Way back in 2005 (was it really that long ago) I posted a piece on my blog entitled “Christianity that doesn’t spread from the fridge“.
In that I explained how the use of copyright can stifle the spread of worship and faith among churches. I also focused on the ridiculous situation that means the vehicles of worship and relationship that God has inspired his people to create are locked down and used as revenue generators rather than faith-builders. If you read this blog long enough you’ll soon discover I am a fan of freedom and for creative works (including the text and artwork on this site) I encourage the use of Creative Commons licences. My spreading from the fridge piece ended with a rallying cry:
So here’s a wake up call to the Christian publishers, Bible houses, Song composers and authors of today:
Think about why you do that work? If it’s for God’s glory and the furtherance of God’s kingdom then are you not restricting the very purpose of that work by restricting the fair usage of it by others?
Christianity is about risks – take one with the work you do for him and see if God likes it.
I’m happy to say that I’ve found somebody who has. I’m not for a second claiming that they did because of anything I wrote – I doubt they’ve even heard of me – but when I found the music it blessed me. Yes I know that can be a cheesy phrase, all too often bandied around but in this instance it’s the most accurate description I can use.
Murray Bunton of Australia has produced and made available a live album of great original songs and made them available under a Creative Commons licence. I’m never any good at music reviews so I’m not going to try and explain where these songs fit in the spectrum of Christian music. What I will say is that the songs on this album are of a high quality – in terms of the writing, performance and production.
Murray has also made the recordings, the lyrics and the guitar chord sheets freely available under the same licence as my artwork: the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share-Alike licence. This means you can use them, copy them, pass them around as much as you like without charge or penalty. You just can’t sell them or use them in a comercial venture. Seems entirely fair to me and I applaud and thank Murray for this step. Others will be greatly encouraged by the music and further still by the decision to allow the works to be freely used in their intended purpose.
If you produce or know of other Christian worship songs under a Creative Commons licence, feel free to post a link as a comment here.