One huge legal sinkhole bottoming out churches all over the globe is copyright law. More than a few churches violate copyright law every single Sunday morning. I promise you, it’s true. I’m not saying a word about all of the copyright law violations that occur in churches during the week. I’m just talking about Sunday morning, at the moment. Many, many churches violate copyright law during Sunday morning worship by using worship materials and songs without proper permission. This is usually called “stealing.” It is a legal violation of an incredibly obvious sort, is it not?
Copyright law is often violated in the church office too, specifically at the big, old, cranky copy machine. Wherever there is a copy machine, you will find Bibles, pages of curriculum, texts, books, and graphic images being reproduced without permission. Again, this sort of thing is usually called “stealing.” It is wrong! It not only violates legal standards, but also Godâ€™s standards. Speaking of images, the incorporation of big LCD projection screens in the sanctuary opens up the door for even more subtle thievery. How so? Graphic images used in programs like MS PowerPoint are often used illegally. Many, many churches commission good-hearted folk to surf the Internet for images to use during big screen presentations. These images are more often than not protected by copyright law, but used anyway. Using them in a PowerPoint presentation is wrong. Yet, more than a few churches show illegal images in LCD projection presentations and never think twice about it. Listen, violating copyright laws is illegal, even in church (especially in church!).