World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Love to share

Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright, and Christian Churches

30 September 2005

Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright, and Christian Churches

  • Churches are struggling with the complexity of copyright laws and the restrictions they face when they want to use liturgical resources in a worship setting or publish non-profit worship material.
  • It is difficult to find resources that can be freely shared through the Internet.
  • It is hard to know how to use worship material from other countries in an equitable and just way.
  • It is not easy to know where to go to find advice or to avoid being trapped by intellectual property (IP) laws.

Churches, individuals, and Christian and ecumenical organizations are facing challenges when dealing with these issues. Their struggle is intensified because of the larger context of globalization, where the rules of the market dominate and a culture of commodification is everywhere. While it is important to understand the logic of the market and the laws and regulations that apply to intellectual property, there are other issues that need to be taken into consideration.

This document aims to give some direction and guidelines in this task of searching for alternatives to the current situation. It is an effort to raise questions and clarify some possible solutions and alternatives.

Also available in Spanish and Portuguese (1.78 MB).

Download : LoveToShare.pdf