Copyright 101: Copyright Myth #8

by Dean McIntyre

Myth 8. We don't have the money to purchase copies.

Counting down the top ten myths, false beliefs, and misperceptions about church music copyright, none of which are true. 

Explanation:The truth is, in many churches the purchase of music for choirs, bells, children, or even the congregation is seen as an unnecessary or impossible expense. Churches will find other ways to provide music for teaching, rehearsing, and even for worship. All of these are illegal:

  1. Finding or purchasing one copy, then photocopying the number needed.
  2. Scanning an original as a pdf and making copies.
  3. Scanning an original, then projecting it onto a screen.
  4. Using an overhead projector.
  5. Purchasing a music license (like CCLI, LicenSing, OneLicense.net) and assuming that license covers choir music.
  6. Borrowing or purchasing music from another church that has been reproduced legally with a music license. (NOTE: It is legal, however, to borrow or purchase original music . . . not copied music . . . from another church and sing from those originals.)

So, what can your church do if it truly cannot afford to purchase music? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Borrow legally purchased original music from another church, use it, then return it.
  2. Contact the copyright owner of music you want to use and ask permission to make photocopies for your church's use. Be prepared to pay a fee, which may be less than purchasing all original new copies.
  3. Go to a website that offers free music to be downloaded which may then be photocopied or projected. Be sure the website is operating legally and not just offering illegal downloads. GBOD offers thousands of pieces of music for congregations, choirs, children, bells, keyboard players, and so on, that may be downloaded and copied without charge. Go to the Music Downloads section of our website.
  4. Find someone to compose or legally arrange music for your use. You may need to reimburse that person.
  5. Teach, learn and sing music from memory, without photocopying or projecting copyrighted lyrics or music.

Whatever you do, be aware that if your church truly cannot afford to purchase music for you to legally use, there is no provision of copyright law that allows you to go ahead and make copies of that music illegally and use it.

For more help, see the  Copyright and Licensing section of the GBOD website.

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April 2014
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April 20, 2014
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April 19, 2014
Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil

Read the texts online at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library:

Holy Saturday [No Color]
Job 14:1-14
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 (UMH 764)
I Peter 4:1-8
Matthew 27:57-66


Easter Vigil [White or Gold]
The number of readings may vary, but Exodus 14 and at least two other readings from the
Old Testament should be used in addition to the New Testament readings.

Old Testament Readings with Psalms or Canticles
Genesis 1:1–2:4a
Psalm 136:1–9, 23–26
or Psalm 33 (UMH 767)

Genesis 7:1–5, 11–18; 8:6–18; 9:8–13
Psalm 46 (UMH 780)

Genesis 22:1–18
Psalm 16 (UMH 748)

Exodus 14:10–31; 15:20–21
Exodus 15:1b –13, 17–18 (UMH 135)

Isaiah 55:1–11
Isaiah 12:2–6

Ezekiel 36:24–28
Psalm 42 (UMH 777)

Ezekiel 37:1–14
Psalm 143 (UMH 856)

Second Reading and Psalm
Romans 6:3–11
Psalm 114 (UMH 835)

Gospel Reading
Matthew 28:1–10


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April 18, 2014
Good Friday

Read the texts online at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library:

Isaiah 52:13–53:12
Psalm 22 (UMH 752)
Hebrews 10:16–25
John 18:1--John 19:42

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April 17, 2014
Holy Thursday

Read the texts online at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library:

Exodus 12:1–4 (5–10) 11–14
Psalm 116:1–4, 12–19 (UMH 837)
1 Corinthians 11:23–26
John 13:1–17, 31b-35

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April 16, 2014
Wednesday of Holy Week

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Isaiah 50:4–9a
Psalm 70 (UMH 793)
Hebrews 12:1–3
John 13:21–32

Color: Red, Scarlet or Purple


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April 17, 2014
Holy Thursday


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April 16, 2014
Safe Sanctuaries for Camps and Retreats – Part One

This is the first of a very important two part series on implementing Safe Sanctuaries abuse prevention policies and procedures within camp and retreat experiences and settings. This training is for local church leaders who do camps and retreats as well as leaders serving at Camp and Retreat Centers. Providing a safe environment for children, youth, and vulnerable adults who participate along with the training of leaders who provide the camps and retreats is a fundamental act of love. This initial webinar highlights key aspects of screening, selection, and preparation in abuse prevention for leaders who provide camp and retreat experiences. A second webinar will be upcoming that covers specific content areas for developing abuse prevention policies and procedures.

Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Time: 11:00 am, Central Daylight Time

Duration: 1 hour
Presenters: Melanie Gordon, Kevin Witt