ServiceMusic: copyright

Link to Christian Top 1000 website

Copyright in all material on this website is held by David Lee (unless otherwise indicated) whose express permission must be obtained for any use of this material other than as indicated here.

But you may probably freely use and copy this material, as outlined below, for normal, non-commercial, non-broadcast church worship purposes, although other restrictions may apply where other copyright holders are involved.

If your church uses a licensing scheme such as CCLI you may use, and report, the material in accordance with that. As an added bonus, you can include my choral material (CCLI usually only covers congregational material). If your church doesn't have a CCLI licence, you may still use the material anyway.

I would also appreciate a brief e-mail note. Please also check with me every six months to ensure that copyright conditions have not changed (although any such changes would be exceptional).

Free copyright: Aims and examples

You are a small, struggling church:
My material is freely available for normal worship use. If reasonably possible, please let me know, either before or after the event. If you can conveniently make a recording, I would like to listen to it.
You are a big church or cathedral:
My material is freely available for normal worship use. Please try to contact me before the event. Please also try to record the event, or its dress rehearsal, so I can hear it.
You are a Christian/church-music magazine:
You are encouraged to consider reproducing items. Discuss it with me: the answer would almost certainly be positive and, for charitable organisations, probably free-of-charge. Recent examples: MWF's Baseline and Stainer & Bell's Worship Live have each used various items free-of-charge.
You are a commercial publisher:
You are encouraged to consider commercial reproduction: this would normally be under your own non-exclusive licence. Recent examples include: RSCM, Spring Harvest, the Lutheran Church (LCMS), the UK Methodist Church and the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

I am not a lawyer. This information is probably full of holes, loopholes and inaccuracies. So let me illustrate the spirit of the copyright.

But first let me stress that this only applies to my copyright. If you suspect, believe, or know that other copyright is also involved, you should verify and abide by that. Similarly, if you suspect, believe or know that I have missed or overlooked some aspect of copyright (of mine or of others) then please tell me.

You probably expect copyright both to restrict you and to cost you. But this copyright is almost the opposite. It is purposefully liberal and, for normal church use, heading down towards zero-cost. The chief aim, so far as is reasonably and easily practicable, is to make the material freely available, and locally adaptable, for normal church worship use. At the same time, commercial use is encouraged, subject to prior agreement.

If you happen to know about the GNU software licence, GPL, you will recognise the ideas at work here, including permission to re-distribute under the same liberal conditions (although permission to modify is less liberal than GPL, and modifications may not normally be re-distributed).

If you happen to know about the Creative Commons licences, mine is very similar to their "by-nc-nd".

My significant differences from those allow you to make local, but non-distributable, derivations, and allow me to reclaim the licence if a significant commercial venture requires this. The latter is, in reality, unlikely.

Copyright © David Lee (UK)
Last updated: 6th October 2012