File Sharing and Format Shifting
Because the internet enables such easy access to creative works, the law has been expanded to address the increasingly complex issues related to legal distribution of digital files and how those files may be used and stored.
Churches, organizations, and schools increasingly use the internet to access and share digital content, be it music or video. Under the law, however, distribution by anyone except the rightful copyright owner or reseller (publishers, labels, or artists) is strictly prohibited without the cover of a license or direct permission from the owner. Channels of distribution include, but are not limited to, e-mail, web sites or digital storage devices.
With the surge in personal ownership of digital media (music, videos, ebooks, etc.), individuals may wish to copy their lawfully purchased media from one format to another, e.g. from a computer to a CD. This is known as Format Shifting. Unfortunately, in most countries, Format Shifting for personal use is not permitted under law. While some exceptions may exist for libraries, museums and educational establishments for the archiving or preservation of certain works, these exceptions would not extend to individuals or churches. CCLI always recommends that you check the laws applicable in your country for further information.