Is My Church Going To Get Sued Over Worship Music?
COULD I GET FINED FOR USING SONGS IN CHURCH?
No, NO a thousand times NO!
The copyright act doesn't apply to religious free exercise!
No one has EVER sued a church for singing a song, or printing out display copies of a lyric, or writing a new arrangement of a song, or any such harmless thing!
The very idea is totally ridiculous, frivolous, and would be considered contemptuous by any sane judge in a court of Law.
See USC 1701 Sec 110(3), which explains from the Copyright Act, America's guarantee that churches always have freedom to use any means of display of copyrighted works in bona-fide worship services and worship rehearsals.
Has a Copyright Claimant ever sued over these issues and proved you wrong?
To our knowledge, no copyright claimant has EVER sued any church over the issue of display of lyrics or performance of music in a worship service, a worship rehearsal, or in small-scale copying of music and/or lyrics in direct preparation for bona-fide, non-commercial worship.
And they would have to be nuts to do so, because of the bad press.
The certain defeat, (assured in a fair court), would seal precedent against the aggressor, who would be barred from sending churches sales letters full of untested and bogus legal insinuations.
The costs of mounting such a frivolous copyright infringement case would exceed $10,000 PER MONTH.
Most churches won't copy materials with a total license value of $10,000 in decades of operation.
Any insinuation that a bona-fide nonprofit church could get sued for charitable music use in worship, worship-preparation, and rehearsal for worship is misrepresentation and intimidation, not fact.
Has CCLi stated it will not sue churches?
Yes. Suing a church would destroy CCLI's business model.
CCLI is not going to court against your church, or any church.
CCli would not be the one to sue the church. That would be the decision of the copyright holder.-Letter from CCLi to an attorney
Are you promising no one will ever accuse our church for our unlicensed worship copy activity?
No, because false accusations are common.
For instance, if you're an unlicensed biker, and you roll past a stop sign on your bicycle, a cop can stop you and claim you violated the motor vehicle code.
That's a lie, but cops sometimes tell lies.
Ignore that lie.
If the cop asks for your name, and you refuse to give it to him on the grounds of your right to remain silent, the cop can tell you that you only have the right to remain silent after he gives it to you by reading you your 'Miranda Rights.'
That's another lie cops sometimes tell.
You can just ignore that lie.
And sometimes, copyright holders claim that it's a crime for a church to copy a piece of sheet music in preparation of bona-fide, noncommercial worship.
That's just another lie you can ignore.
Lies don't hold up in court.