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Free The Word

What then is my reward? This: That when I spread the Good News, I may give it without payment, not making use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.

Free The Word encourages the spreading of God's word as widely and freely as possible.

God's living Word is the Light of the world.  A light is to be placed on a lampstand, where it can spread light to the entire room.  A city on a hilltop cannot be hidden.  Glad tidings of great joy are lavishly announced from the sky with brilliant stars and choirs of angels.

The pattern is clear: God intends for His saving word to be spread without limit to everyone, everywhere.  Unfortunately copyright is often used for commercial purposes to restrict distribution.

Free The Word helps writers, publishers, churches, and Christian organizations how they can get God’s word out more widely and cheaply, using the Creative Commons approach to copyright.

Untangle The Word

God’s word was given freely to world.  This is true for scriptures, as well as for the many creative works of writing and music He has inspired and gifted us to produce to build up His church.

Unfortunately it didn’t stay that way.  Christian writing and music has been tangled up in more and more legal questions for the last few hundred years.  Even the famous King James translation of the bible is believed to be under perpetual Crown copyright:  It is four hundred years old, and technically it still cannot be freely reproduced in all countries.

More recent books, devotionals, sermons and songs are even more restricted.  For a song, book or sermon written today, it may be nearly two hundred years before it can freely bless Christians everywhere in the world.  Chances are pretty good that it will be long forgotten before then, of course.  The likely result is the work will touch only a tiny fraction of the people God intended.

Free The Word provides resources Christian creators can use to untangle God’s word, and set it free to accomplish His purposes.

Christian Creators

Creators of Christian content, from books to music to film, usually are looking for four things:

  • Protection.  They don’t want their work mis-used. 
  • Profit. They may need a financial return from their work. 
  • Fairness. They don’t want someone to steal their work, and profit from it unfairly. 
  • Blessing. They want their work to be used by God to bless as many people as possible, in whatever way He chooses.

Copyright is the normal way of accomplishing the first three objectives. Unfortunately, achieving the first three objectives can block the last objective, which is probably the most important. 

Free The Word provides a way for singers, pastors, churches, authors and others to achieve all four objectives.

Creative Copyright

Free The Word promotes the use of Creative Commons licenses for Christian material.  These licenses use copyright to promote the freedom of God’s word, instead of blocking it.

With the appropriate license (read more about choosing), content creators can get the following benefits:

  • Protection.  The author’s permission is needed for any commercial use.  In many countries, the integrity of the work is protected too, it cannot be distorted or used prejudicially to the author’s reputation or honour.
  • Profit. The commercial rights remain with the author, or with whoever they are assigned, and the work can still be licensed commercially.
  • Fairness. People get the work for free so they can be blessed by it, but they are prevented from selling it, so they do not profit from it unfairly. 
  • Blessing. The work can be freely distributed using any means, provided it is non-commercial, so the work can be used by God to bless as many people as possible, in whatever way He chooses.

Free Your Words

Free The Word provides resources, presentations and educational materials to allow Christian creators to free their words and music with confidence. 

Beyond individual creators, organizations such as churches or denominations frequently sponsor the creation of material such as sermons, musical arrangements, or recordings.  Free The Word provides resources for these organizations so that God can best use the creative works entrusted to them. Organizations may wish to arrange things so that works they have already paid for are available to their Christian sisters and brothers around the world.

Free The Word encourages authors, writers, congregations and organizations to take the Free The Word Pledge, making as much work as possible available to the Christian community worldwide.

Learning More

For more information on how you or your organization can help Free The Word, please contact DeoSound.

Free The Word is a ministry of the DeoSound.

God gave us the living Word for free.  Now we can share it for free too!