Copyrights during COVID-19

2020
Copyright laws and procedures protect intellectual property and pay people who make a living or supplement livelihood through artistic creation. Compensating artists is a material way to acknowledge and support their work — the hours of time, training, and craft they commit to creating words and music that enable and enrich our worship.

As congregations have moved to online worship during COVID-19, many are navigating new questions about copyrights for prerecorded or streamed services.

Whereas, for "Voices Together" hymnal, MennoMedia is securing the rights of both a printed hymnal and an iPad app version. This means that worshipers can sing from the physical pew book or app during in-person worship without limitation.

Congregations using projection, however, are subject to regulations that a publisher cannot address. There is no legal mechanism for MennoMedia to extend rights for congregations to project or stream copyrighted Voices Together content. MennoMedia will provide the projection product, but the congregation has the responsibility to gain rights to use it. Copyright law provides artists and writers additional rights when content is consumed via a screen.

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