Churches are not exempt from copyright laws. We sometimes tend to think that because are a non-profit, it might be ok to bend the rules. It's not! Copyright laws are there to protect the rights of creators of content and to give credit where credit is due. We, especially as the Church, need to make sure we always follow copyright best practices and honor the work of others.
There are many great resources for copyright free images. In our Resources area, under graphics, there are many copyright free image resources available for your use. There are also paid services where you can purchase photos and images for your use.
Text, images, music, videos, etc that you find online are not free game for the taking. Someone put time and effort into making material available for consumption online. However, you cannot simply copy content and paste it on your website. You can quote material and cite the source; or you can simply add a link to the original source for more information. This is a great way to give credit where credit is due and is a best practice for web content.
Copyright Guidelines for Churches:
- Download Guide provided by leaderresources.org
- Copyright Basics by the United States Copyright Office
- Copyright Licensing in Music Distribution, Reproduction, and Public Performance by Brian T. Yeh, Legislative Attorney, Congressional Research Service, September 22, 2015