Community of Christ

COVID-19  Ongoing Response

Using Online Content & Posting Online

Using Online Content & Posting Online

Using Content from the Internet

Pay attention to the attribution credit or other copyright information on the website where you find the content.

  • There may be a copyright link at the bottom of the page that will take you to a description of how much, if any, of the material can be used or how to go about obtaining permission.

Just because a photo, video or other image is online and you have the ability to download it does not mean it is ok to use it in your resource, worship service, presentation, blog or website.

  • The content could be copyrighted and your use of the content could be a copyright violation.
    • As a general rule, assume all content is protected by copyright unless there is conclusive proof otherwise.
      • Something is not in the public domain simply because it has been posted online or because it does not include a copyright notice.
    • Even if the content is labeled “royalty-free” or “free to download”, pay attention to any terms or conditions found in any “Click to Accept” or “Read Me” files that accompany the material.
    • Copyright owners will sometimes have companies search to catch others using their images online. This can and has led to fines and potential litigation.
    • If you are looking for an image to use for a webpage, resource or presentation, one step that may be helpful is to use the Advanced Search feature on Google images.
      • You may have to look for the advanced search in Settings.
      • One of the search parameters you can select is to filter images by “usage rights” and find images that are free to use.
      • See also the discussion here about Creative Commons and other public licenses.
    • Another alternative is to purchase a licensed image from a stock photo or image bank website such as iStock or Getty Images.
    • If you find an image online you like, but are unsure if it is copyrighted or who owns the copyright, try using a reverse image look-up website such as TinEye.

If you receive a take-down notice or someone contacts you with a complaint of unauthorized use of copyrighted material, remove the disputed material or disable access to the material immediately.

  • Notify the Office of General Counsel to discuss other appropriate steps to take.
  • One issue will be to verify and get documentation of the complainant’s copyright ownership.
  • Until the claim of copyright infringement is resolved, the disputed material should stay removed and/or the access disabled.

If you are in doubt about copyright and your ability to use the material, seek permission to use the material or find alternative material to use before moving forward.

Posting Content on Church Websites and Social Networking Sites

The content found on the Church’s official YouTube channel and many Church resources can be posted on Community of Christ congregation and mission center websites and social networking sites without needing further permission.

However, resources sold by Herald House will likely require additional permissions.

Tips to Remember - Videos and Sound Recordings

  • Be careful about posting videos and pictures from 3rd party sources
    • Posting such content may be a direct copyright violation or the content could include copyright infringing material that would be a secondary copyright violation.
    • Review the discussion about use of online material in the section above.
  • Posting videos or sound recordings of church events may also be problematic if the song or material is copyrighted
    • A synchronization, master or performance license may be required, depending on the nature of your intended use.
    • Even if there is not a copyright issue, there may also be privacy or child protection issues with posting videos and photos of individuals.

If you have questions or concerns about copyright issues with content on a Church website or social media profile, please contact the Office of General Counsel.


Review resources available from Communications, such as the Website Toolkit and Social Media Guidelines for additional helpful information.