FAQIt seems that a lot of people do not fully understand the aims of this site. The following questions and comments are often heard as a reaction to this site. A full reading of the main article "Why We Exist" should clear things up, but here are our responses to some of the more common questions and comments.
But what if it's your living?Firstly, this site is not advocating a system where people do not get paid for their works. We are simply advocating a more liberal method of copyrighting that will enable works to be used in ministry without the complexities of copyright licensing. You should still charge for CDs, printed books, concert tickets etc, and also register with CCLI to enable you to receive royalties from organisations that can afford to make contributions to CCLI (or buy a license as it is at the moment). Having done all this to ensure that you get paid for your work, set it free to be used in ministry by having a more liberal copyright on the work than "All Rights Reserved". Making a living from liberally released works is described in great detail in the article Understanding Free Content.
The Bible says that "a worker is worthy of his pay".Absolutely it does, and we do not disagree with this statement. If you enjoy consuming or using the work of another then you should seek to compensate the other for their work. While this site attempts to encourage creators to be more liberal we do not encourage users to leech from those whose creative works we enjoy. Scripture is clear that we should pay those that labour for us.
Copyright holders should make it easy for users to compensate them. In this day and age it would be trivial to make your work freely downloadable on a web page that also sets out suggested payments for use of the material. For example you could say "if you have CCLI license X then you have already contributed to these uses ... otherwise you are encouraged to pay Y for your use. If you cannot afford this then please give what you can. If you can afford nothing please do not let this stop you from using our work in your ministry. Your decision to use / not use, and pay / not pay is between you and God".
What is the best way to release my works?So you agree that "all rights reserved" is too restrictive and wish to release your works more liberally?
Well, license wise we suggest you visit http://www.creativecommons.org and check out their licenses. A non-commercial, attribution license should do the job, and you can choose either share-alike, or no derivatives as you please.
Once you have decided to license your work in this way you can do the following:
In doing this you are ensuring the following:
- Sell physical copies. Since your license states that only you or your publisher can do this, no one else can do this without your permission.
- Place digital copies on your website stating that anyone may download and use them for non-commercial purposes.
- On the same web page state a price for the work, and encourage those who download and enjoy your work to fulfill their moral obligation to pay for the work, ideally via an online payment service that they can access from that page.
- If it is appropriate then register the work with CCLI. That way you can receive royalties from CCLI subscribed churches that use your work in their services.
- Anyone can access and use the work without first having to obtain permission or find a way to send money before they can use it.
- Only you or your publishers can legally sell physical copies of the work.
- If your work is appreciated by others then you will receive income from the downoad page, or orders for physical copies from those who have sampled and enjoyed your work.
- The barriers to your work being used in ministry are removed while still retaining a strong position to make money from the work.
- The world will eventually see that God looks after His own as christians are able to make a living from their work and give glory to God without having to adopt an untrusting worldly system like "all rights reserved" copyright.