Let’s Talk About it: But is it stealing?

Charlie’s college sent out an online survey a while back. They asked two questions:

1. Do you think it’s wrong to burn copies of CD’s for your friends? — 75% of the people who responded said no.

2. If you had the chance to steal something of low monetary value, would you? 90% of the people surveyed said no.

Eye opening conclusion. Most of the kids / young adults who responded to this survey do not recognize burning CD’s as stealing. 

Let’s bring that home a little. 

Do you think it’s stealing when a church plays a contemporary worship song not found in your hymnals, without a CCLI license and prints out the lyrics and all either in the bulletin or on the screen?

Is it stealing to order one bible study book and make copies for the class?

What do you think? Let’s talk about it.

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About it: But is it stealing?

  1. I was once in a Praise Team and located some copies of material in my “book” that said that CCLI license was not to include copying these pieces of music. I confronted the director and was told that since it was so difficult to find those pieces, it should be ok and since it was only 5 copies anyway, that it wouldn’t matter. I expressed my feelings about it and ended up quitting the team because I could not justify in my own conscience that this was right. I also spoke to the pastor (no longer at the church) and he agreed with the music director. I lost lots of respect for him that day. It is W R O N G and as Christians, we should not even give the appearance of evil.
    Also, there are movies out there that you must purchase an agreement to show it to “groups”. I have one. i would like to show it to my SS class, but because I don’t have that agreement, I would just encourage each of them to either borrow mine or rent it or even purchase it. Wait a minute…that movie was loaned out and got destroyed in a house fire, so I guess I don’t have to worry about that one.


    • Now Rena you bring up a really good point. You know, my church may violate this one as well — mainly being the justification of the music is just for the choir so that they can learn it. We aren’t printing it for the whole congregation.

      These thoughts are great you guys.


  2. Good thoughts Frank. So you’re saying yes, it is stealing. I worked for a church several years back and that is how I learned about CCLI.. their preschool can’t even show movies that aren’t covered under that.

    What do they do at your church?


  3. Two issues here… first the right hand kingdom thingy; if a person is entitled to paid for a service then God’s holy and righteous law says he is due to be paid. Therefore it is stealing.

    Second, the left hand kingdom thingy; our country’s laws protect people from having their work and intellectual property stolen. Therefore it is stealing since God has placed rulers over us for our good. We may not like all our laws but it is our duty to obey them as long as the law(s) don’t contradict God’s holy and righteous law. If we do not obey, then we should fear our rulers every bit as much as the Lord Himself as both will judge us.


  4. It is if there’s a copy write on the publication and you are making copies without their permission.

    I have thought in the past that if you copy and past a quote from one website to another that you also give where you got it from so that the persong gets the credit. I’ve tried to just send the website out rather then the paste and copy when I can. If not I put down where it came from.

    Burning cd’s are the same. I think we get confused over the “marketing the product” issue as people say that they aren’t selling the product to another person so what is the harm? The harm is that if one copy that is 13.95 and someone is copying for free to 100 the person whose product is being given out has lost an income that they were counting of of 1395.00 to pay their bills and such.

    However if a person asks the publisher for permission to copy one time the publisher would more then likely permit it if its for a useful event. Its when that one copy goes out to the other 100 people that it gets sticky as those hundred give it out to their friends and so on and so on.

    Me personally, what I write for ministry I don’t care who takes it as long as they ask me for it and don’t change what I’ve done. When it comes to books I’ve written for enjoyment purposes then its going to have a copywrite on it as that is my business, not a minstry.


    • Those are good thoughts.. A lot of bloggers now have various licensing options and directions.. ie.. you may copy the first paragraph of my post and then link back to my blog so people can read the rest. Or they go with all rights reserved.

      Intellectual property is a sticky wicket.

      Some of my friends have a stipulation on their videos, be it comedy or bible study with a “for private and church use only.” meaning, I can show their videos at church as long as I don’t charge admission.

      Our church went CCLI a few years back and when budgets are tight, we have to re-explain the reasoning all over again. The same applies for movie night at church. It is actually illegal to go to blockbuster, rent a movie and charge admission.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s