Research ~~- Killing The Cancer of Worship Licensing

Priority In Settling Conflicts Of Law

Law 4189 Characters =~4.2Min. Reading Time
Laws of various classes often come into conflict with each other.

In such 'Conflict Of Law' cases, one must compare the priority of each of the conflicting "laws."

Not all law is made equal.

At the top of the Mountain Of Law live the 10 Commandments and the other universal principles of law reflected in the Old and New Testament scriptures. Don't murder, don't steal, don't commit adultery, etc.

Below those commands, you have rights.

For instance, free exercise of religion is a top-level right, called a Creator-Endowed inalienable right.
Free exercise of religion is "right" up there with your right to stay alive and move about freely and pursue happiness.

The 'right' to collect royalty payments for your intellectual properties is of a different and MUCH lower status, roughly that of a privilege in commerce.
A right to copy does not naturally exist in nature.
In the 37000+ scriptures in the Bible, copyright is never once even contemplated.
Copyright collection only becomes a practical reality by the operation of government, which makes it more of a franchise than a right.

Here's a visual demonstration of the relative weights of the two legal categories:

Religious Free Exercise


It should be obvious to you that Religious Free Exercise is going to win the wrestling match against copyright.

That means that if, in the performance of his services to provide religious worship a music minister copies a piece of sheet music without permission, the copyright holder in that sheet music isn't going to be able to sue the music minister for copyright violation, even if the copyright holder can dig up copyright act clauses to support his case.

frequently words of general meaning are used in a statute, words broad enough to include an act in question, and yet a consideration of the whole legislation, or of the circumstances surrounding its enactment, or of the absurd results which follow from giving such broad meaning to the words, makes it unreasonable to believe that the legislator intended to include the particular act. - U.S. Supreme Court - RECTOR, ETC., OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH v. UNITED STATES

That's right.
No matter what you have been deceived into believing, the copyright act never applied to religious free exercise.

Can it be believed that [copyright regulation of worship] would have received a minute of approving thought or a single vote?
Yet it is contended that such was, in effect, the meaning of this statute.
The construction invoked [by the worship-licensors] cannot be accepted as correct.
the general language thus employed is broad enough to reach cases and acts which the whole history and life of the country affirm could not have been intentionally legislated against.
It is the duty of the courts, under those circumstances, to say that, however broad the language of the statute may be, the act, although within the letter, is not within the intention of the legislature, and therefore cannot be within the statute.
- U.S. Supreme Court - RECTOR, ETC., OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH v. UNITED STATES [bracketed clarifications added]

So If the copyright-holder wants money from the music minister, he's gonna' have to ask nicely.
And if the music minister has the money, certainly it would be a wonderful act of generosity if he would reward the copyright holder.

The copyright holder might be Mother Theresa, and the Music Minister might be Attila The Hun.
Makes no difference who's naughty and who's nice.
The music minister's right to free exercise wins over the author's right to bar the human race from copying his masterpiece.

Any questions?

Any case citations to the contrary?

I didn't think so.

Penalizing a church for using unauthorized copies in worship
is like ripping off your roof to insulate your ceiling.
It's like cutting off your child's head to give them a haircut.
The "cure" is worse than the supposed disease.
- Songwriter