In addition to being the founder and CVO of Christian Copyright Solutions, I’m also an adjunct professor at the University of Mobile. I teach “Survey of Copyrights and Intellectual Property Law” within the Worship Leadership program and am genuinely passionate about my vocation, or calling—to simplify copyrights for the Christian community.
But, when I tell people what I do there’s usually an immediate visceral reaction…they break eye contact, drop their heads and look for the nearest exit. I’m not offended, and I really understand, because copyrights can be very puzzling, complex and often overwhelming. That’s why I have devoted my efforts for 33 years to develop ways to unpack and explain copyrights in a format that church leaders can understand, and that’s why CCS is dedicated to providing comprehensive and up-to-date online educational resources on copyrights for the church.
We want to make sure that when you have questions, you can find practical answers right here at Copyright Coach or in our CCS Learning Center. Many times we will create educational material based on questions and conversations we’ve had with church leaders. So if you can’t find an answer for a specific topic or question, let us know and we’ll do the research. We may even develop a Fact Sheet to address the issue as we have in the past with topics like Super Bowl viewing parties and Facebook Live.
We’ve developed two special educational tools to help you and your team evaluate your current copyright compliance level. The Church Copyright Toolkit helps you learn how copyrights work, what kind of licensing your church needs based on your usage and receive step-by-step instructions on how to become compliant and avoid any potential copyright infringement going forward. Our 5-minute online Copyright Quiz provides very useful information and practical solutions that you can quickly implement. Your free report contains your grade and a detailed breakdown of licensing explanations and solutions.
Here’s a list of just some of the Free Fact Sheets you can download from our website.
- Copyrights 101: Basic Building Blocks
- Copyright Planning & Budgeting
- Church Blanket Licensing
- 7 Myths About the Religious Service Exemption
- Why Your Church Needs Performance Licensing
- Why Your Church Needs the PERFORMmusic Facilities License
- Why Your Church Needs the WORSHIPcast Streaming License
- What About Facebook Live
- Royalty Estimator
- Copyright Checklist
- Basic Steps to Publishing
- 5 Myths About the Religious Service Exemption
- Copyright Issues for Webcasting Services
- Video Embedding
- Training WORSHIPcast Reporting Instructions
- Public Domain Christmas Songs
- Copyrighted Christmas Songs
- 6 Myths About Copyrights That Put Your Church at Risk
- Comparing Church Streaming Licenses
- Creating Legal CDs and DVDs
- Differences Between CCS and CCLI
- Super Bowl Church Viewing Party Guideline
In addition, we feature brief teaching videos on our YouTube channel (CopyrightSolverCCS) on various topics surrounding copyrights and licensing. There’s also a wealth of information in our CopyrightCoach blog articles, so be sure to use our search feature to find articles that may address your issue.
Since you have come to our blog for answers, I truly appreciate your commitment to honoring copyrights and for dedicating time to learn more about how the U.S. Copyright Law impacts your church or ministry activities. I understand how confusing copyright issues can be for church leaders, especially with the abundance of creativity and innovation in worship and creative arts.
New and accessible technology tools are facilitating an explosion of expressive ways to proclaim God’s Word, especially through audio, video, media and internet productions. The result is increased uses of copyrighted material, and so it’s more important than ever to know how to avoid copyright infringement and risk of fines.
We’d love to hear from you about how our educational resources have helped you and your team and what additional materials you’d like for us to develop.
Susan Fontaine Godwin is CCS’s Founder/CVO, an educator and long-time member of the Christian arts community with more than 33 years of experience in the Christian media industry, church copyright administration and copyright management. Susan is an author and speaker and frequently writes for several Christian magazines and online publications. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Mobile.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.