Copyright Guidelines


The laws governing creative works and their permissible use vary from one country to another. The Church policies outlined in this section are consistent with international treaties that are applicable in most countries. For simplicity, this section refers to a creator’s rights as “copyright.” However, certain of these rights may be known by different names in some countries.

Copyright is protection given by law to the creators of original works of authorship that are expressed in a tangible form, including:

  • Literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works.
  • Works of art, photography, and sculpture.
  • Audio and audiovisual works (such as movies and videos, CDs, and DVDs).
  • Computer programs or games.
  • Internet and other databases.

Church members should strictly observe all copyright laws. Generally, only copyright owners may authorize duplication (copying), distribution, public performance, public display, or derivatives of their work. Using a work in any of these ways without authorization from the copyright owner is contrary to Church policy and may also subject the Church or the user to legal liability.

Special copyright laws apply to music. A person may copy music from Hymns, the Children’s Songbook, and Church magazines for noncommercial Church or home use, except where a restriction is expressly noted on the hymn or song. Duplicating printed or recorded music without authorization from the copyright owner is contrary to Church policy. Music that has been duplicated contrary to this policy must not be used for Church purposes. If you have further questions, please contact the Intellectual Property Office at 801-240-3959 or cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org. (Also see Handbook 2: Administering the Church: 21.1.12.)