Understanding Copyright


The Synod office and local churches often reproduce images, whether as part of a PowerPoint presentation or in paper form. It is important that when we do so we add words that properly attribute any copyright relating to it. This will apply to any images that churches reproduce for their own use and also to any items sent to the Synod office for us to use e.g. by uploading to our website.

Linda Harrison has prepared some advice about attribution which churches are encouraged to follow. In the case of any material containing images that is sent to the Synod office for reproduction in one form or another, you will need to ensure that it contains an appropriate attribution. In many cases, particularly where the image originates within your church, that will just be a simple acknowledgement that recognises your copyright or that permission has been given. However, where the image is taken from the Internet, you will need to check the copyright from the Internet and add the appropriate attribution to your presentation, article or report. Click below for more detailed advice and a Creative Commons example.

Download: advice, with Creative Commons example

The communications department at Church House has produced an information guide 'Getting to grips with copyright: A short guide for United Reformed churches'. This short guide, written by Dr Jean Silvan Evans, clearly and simply covers the major copyright issues and queries that churches face – including a run-down on the most common licences; what to do if your church wants to show a TV broadcast or a film; and what you need to know about copying and photocopying from magazines, newspapers and books. 

Gill Nichol, the URC’s Head of Communications, says: ‘Copyright is complicated – but we hope that this booklet, written simply and yet with authority, will help United Reformed churches navigate their way through the minefield of copyright law and how it affects the churches.

’Getting to grips with copyright is available as a free download see link below  or, if you would prefer it a printed booklet, it can be ordered, for just 75p a copy, from the URC’s online store. NB: We are able to offer follow up training on church copyright issues via Chris Williams, Customer Relations Manager at Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) UK.  If you or your synod or group of churches would like to invite Chris to attend a synod or similar meeting to speak about – or deliver a workshop on – church copyright issues please email him direct. [email link] -

Download: Getting to Grips with Copyright  -  A short guide for United Reformed Churches

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