Why Our Materials are Copyrighted
NCW 71, May - June 2001
Q. Why do you have a copyright on your articles, magazines and books? I was wondering if you believe that your materials and messages were inspired by God for the edification and building up of the body in love, for the equipping of the saints? And if so, then where do you get the idea that we are to copyright what God has given us freely to share? Does this mean that if I find something inspiring in your messages that I may not use it without your permission?
A. The reasons we copyright materials are as follows:
(a) To prevent people from modifying articles and putting them out as though we are the authors of the mutilated text, thus misrepresenting us and the Person who inspired them;
(b) To prevent cults or enemies of the Gospel from using our materials, in part of in whole, to support their own positions after making modifications, or by making "selective extracts", thus giving a false impression of what we are saying;
(c) To prevent people from using our materials for commercial gain;
(d) So that we may be accoutantable for our stewardship before the Lord, making sure that pearls are not being cast before swine, etc..
We actually usually freely grant people to reproduce our materials once we have checked their sites out and are satisfied that they are using the materials in a God-honouring way. We in any case automatically allow extracts of up to 500 words for reviews, etc.. We always require a proper reference to published materials, or a link on the Internet, so that the public can check that the materials have been reproduced faithfully.
Actually, a ministry in Norway made exactly the same objections you did until we explained our reasons. Now they copyright their materials too!
This page was created on 1 July 2001
Last updated on 1 July 2001
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