Does the US Copyright Law Really Apply to Churches?

March 17, 2016


Many church leaders wonder if the US Copyright Law REALLY applies to them. After all, churches and ministry are non-profit organizations and they are not, in most cases, making money on the use of copyrights.


The truth is that there are some important limitations or exceptions, often called “exemptions,” to the US Copyright Law, which allow for copyrighted works to be used without a license from the copyright owner. In particular, there is one exception that applies specifically to religious organizations, called the Religious Service Exemption.


In our FREE downloadable 56-page eBook, “SOLVE THE PUZZLE COPYRIGHTS,” we devote an entire chapter to the specific details of the Religious Service Exemption(RSE) and the Fair Use doctrine.


In this chapter, we take a close look at the RSE and the Fair Use doctrine as they relate to church and ministry activities. You will learn what types of copyrights and exclusive rights are covered in the RSE, and what is not considered exempt. We will also unpack the four key factors that judges use to rule on whether or not a copyright use is considered Fair Use. We feature attorney Brock Shinen’s excellent teaching on application of Fair Use, which provides examples of church activities that may or may not qualify for Fair Use.

Download “SOLVE THE PUZZLE COPYRIGHTS” today, or you can call and talk to one of our copyright experts at 855-576-5837 to talk about the RSE and how it impacts your church.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.”  CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

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