Friday, February 6, 2009

Is it wrong?

Copyright infringement use to be very clear cut. If you wanted to own a song you had to buy a record. Very few people could reproduce them so they tended to not be copied. Eventually tapes and VHS came around along with tape and VHS recorders. Lots of people made mix tapes and copied tapes for friends, but it was still limited. You usually had to own an original to copy because unless you had really good equipment each copy of a copy became worse. CDs and computers made it possible to make copies of copies without diminishing returns, but you typically had to know the people until the internet made it possible to transfer files across the world.

So the question is simply this. Where does it become illegal to use media. As a church we pay several copyright fees. One to put music on a screen and to play the music publicly, another to play CDs and videos and another that lets us use copyrighted material in our original content. Techinally we pay someone who has arranged rights to several, but not all, owners of copyright music and videos. This meens that I may or may not have the right to use given music in the background of a video I make for my youth.

It could take hours of research to figure out if I can use 30 seconds of a song. This is simply a waste of my time so I fall back on the thought that if nothign else I can run with "fair use."

I understand the industry is concered about money, but I think they will be able to live on what they are making without making me feel guilty over wondering if I am allowed to use a clip that I may or may not have already paid for permission to use when most of the kids in my Youth have downloaded the song already.

I think someone needs to come up with a better solution. If I am paing money out of my budget for several copyright whatevers they should pretty well garuntee that every label has given permission for the use we are paying for.


katdish said...

Yeah...make a worship cd and try to track down who owns the rights to what. Contemporary songs are fairly easy to run down, but the old hymns are a bit tricky. I think the church should be above reproach when it comes to the legal issues as they pertain to copyright infringement, but it can really be a pain in the butt.

On a related subject, how many times have you heard a sermon that is either vaguely familiar or downright word-for-word verbatim from another pastor? Alas, there is nothing new under the sun!

I was planning to sit on my rather expansive backside today and answer comments a-la Nick the Geek on SCL today, but alas, my daughter came home with a fever and I had to leave the cyberworld for the real one. Now the thought of going over there and reading all the comments seems overwhelming!

Excellent obscure scooter reference today, BTW. I literally laughed out loud! I hope Matt caught that one.

Beth said...

I was having similar thoughts the other day, Nick...
Wish I had a solution.

katdish said...

P. S. - A certain male contributor whose name rhymes with Chef mentioned the inordinate amount of estrogen displayed on the sidebars. For the record, I wouldn't mind seeing some more masculine stuff on here. I actually googled "macho" images, but let's just say most of the pictures are not so appropriate for this particular blog. I would also like to state for the record, that cat IS awesome!

Beth said...

I'm still laughing at Awesome Cat. Every single day.

I say if the men want cool manly sidebar stuff, let them find it and add it. Or perhaps we should issue them a challenge...which they will never win because we totally have the majority.


Although Hucklebuck works for NASA, so we might not want to mess with him too much...

sherri said...

Nick- Does this have anything to do with the stolen SISTERHOOD "award" on the sidebar?

Really officer....I can explain!

If you are talking about secular music, I think most of us have placed songs/videos on our blogs without permission of the author, I've never given it a second thought. Or even the great graphics of photos we find and use on our sidebars without ever giving credit to the creater of the piece.

One of my sons is in the music industry and people download his stuff for FREE all the time. Another is a photographer, and asks that his name be mentioned when his photos are used,because he knows anything he puts online will be picked up without his permission and he will never be the wiser. When I look at it from their standpoint, it doesn't seem fair
for their gift to be swiped, especially with no credit given. And contrary to popular belief, those in the recording industry ARE NOT very wealthy unless they are HUGE!0ne of My sons had a full page photo of him and a bandmate in ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE and played a VIP concert for them, and has done some "BIG" things, but still struggles financially at this point in his career.

As far as gospel music goes, I understand the reasoning behind the copyrights, but I can't imagine myself implementing a lawsuit on a church if I walked into a worship service and people were worshipping God to one of my songs without my "permission".

Something is wrong there as well.

I have no answers, just more questions and perspectives.

Ryan B said...

I don't know. Copyright is really tough. I would just say go with your gut. If you are sure it's wrong or it feels wrong it is probably wrong. If you think that it is good then I'm pretty sure you are ok. Especially if you are using it to promote the kingdom. Everything will work out.

And about the sidebars: I agree. Perhaps each person could pick a symbol that represents them and their respective personality, interests, own personal blog, etc. and post it on the side. Or at least throw up some In-n-Out, Dr. Pepper, Chick-fil-a, or football.

You all are awesome.

Nick the Geek said...

Just to make eveyrone feel better, this has to do with a video I made on Thursday advertising prayer 24/7 for m city. I was gonna post it to You Tube and show it here but they tagged it as potential copyrighted material in the sound track. I don't feel like going through the dispute process to show that I have the right to use the songs, plus there is a bunch of legalese that I'd have to read to find out if the rights we've purchased allow us to put it online or if it is only for church showing.

I try really hard to stay totally legal because I know it isn't cool to nab others' work.

As for sermons. Well I've posted some of my better sermon material online in various places. I'm perfectly ok if someone wants to take what I've done word for word or dress it up a little and run with it. I know a lot of pastors are working full time on top of their pastoral responsibilities. I can only imagine how tough it would be to get 3 sermons a week plus working 40 hours plus dealing with the church stuff outside of preaching. Us full time guys need to get over ourselves when it comes to things like that.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

My husband said a prayer at a wedding a while back that had blended lines from several Christian songs. It was really quite nice. But the copyright fairies must have heard, because the marriage fell apart.

What about all those tunes on everybody's playlist? A conundrum, indeed.

@katdish, you can give me a male name on the sidebar if you wish. Charlie Gene, July 16?

sherri said...

Candace, if the songs are on a free (LEGAL)download service page, then there's no harm.
Some bands sites offer free downloads as well.

For my future photos used on my blogsite, I'm just going to list the name of the photographer ,even when it's posted on a free photosharing site that I normally use.

It does make me stop and think.

As far as the you tube music, I thought we could post that because it has the place to copy and pate it. I guess I'll start adding courtesy of you tube-and add the name of the person who placed it there.

Would that be right?

sherri said...

"copy and PASTE it." DOn't "pate" it. THAT's illegal in all 50 states.

Nick the Geek said...

You Tube flagged what I was uploading not embedding. If you post a video on You Tube you agree to let your videos be shared and embedded but not downloaded.

They have probably been sued by some record label for music that was in one of their videos so they started flagging any video with music in it.

sherri said...

Candy- love your little sidebar icon!

Nick- good to know that it's okay to place the you tube videos on our sites without impending lawsuites. I'll probably still post the name of the one who created it, just to give their creativity some derserving kudos!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

yeah, sherri, you start "pate-ing" songs, you automatically become chopped liver

Candace Jean July 16 said...

sidebar icon, courtesy of Photobucket, just for the record :)

sherri said...

Candace- "pate' = chopped liver" GOOD ONE!

My shoe icon is from an old post of mine and I have no idea where I got it.

(Katdish is the "Administrater" of this site so I'll just blame her if a lawsuit entails.)

That's part of being in control, right? WOuld that be Christianlike of me to pin an unsuspecting "administater"?

Well, maybe in Washington. But probably not here.

I'll take the heat.

Nick the Geek said...


I will say this is shaping up to be a busy weekend for me. I have to finish getting the website for our 24/7 prayer done get my mom's website finished (we just did a complete infrastructure change and need to go live with it after a few tweaks) and we have 4 munchkins and we have my parents dog to deal with. She is a border collie puppy so ... hyper doesn't even begin to describe her. With 4 kids usually at least one is sick but we seem to have only a few sniffles right now.

The worst thing about sick kids is when they are still too sick to go to school but feel well enough to run you ragged.

Beth said...

Nick, I am respecting and admiring you more and more...

One in three with sniffles at the moment.

Helen said...

I think Ryan's idea for each person to pick a symbol is a great idea.