Home Worship Planning Music Resources Copyright 101: Copyright Myth #9

Copyright 101: Copyright Myth #9

Myth 9. We're not going to sell the copies.

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

Explanation: The false belief persists among many church musicians and members that it is legal to make and use copies or projections of copyrighted hymns and music as long as you don't sell or otherwise make money from those copies. The fact is, if you want to make copies of a copyrighted piece of music, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner to do so; or you must obtain a music license that covers the specific copying and use you want to make of the music. Whether you sell those copies or not has no bearing on the legality of the copying. However, be aware that if you make illegal copies and then sell them or make a profit from those copies by your use, you may have given the copyright owner additional justification for legal action and seeking monetary damages from you. The right to financially exploit or make money from a copyrighted piece of music is a right reserved exclusively to the copyright owner.

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