I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m sometimes amazed by what I find online. I have a Google auto-search rigged up to send me church tech sites as it gets them. Most are actually from CMN (ChurchMedia.net), but from time to time I get one of interest.

Recently I learned about a blog that was dissing the kind of church I go to. I understand; I had concerns before I started going to Quest, but… Anyway, I digress.

Today I got a link to a site that tracks church files over bit-torrent (for the purpose of sharing).
Bandwidth is certainly an issue for podcasters and others who distribute large files. P2P file sharing is a legitimate way to combat that issue, but it’s often been abused. I think that’s what I’ve found here. The file I got the link for was a volume of Digital Juice’s Jumpbacks called “All Church”.

I realize that many smaller churches just can’t afford this resource. I also realized that we want to provide the excellence that this resource provides, but this is beyond the pale. I looked over the site. It was mostly password protected, but I could access the membership rules. They were very strict about sharing your password or inviting people who share porn, but not a word is said about ramifications for sharing copyrighted material. There’s a little notice on the bottom of the home page absolving the owners of culpability for copyright violations, but nothing more I could find.

There’s a Romans 13:1 (i.e. obey the ruling authorities and the law) principle here. Copyright is the law. As Christ-followers we’re called to follow the law. You could make a good argument that this doesn’t apply to unjust laws, but copyright isn’t one of those.

Additionally, Jesus and Paul both say (in Luke 10:7 and 1 Timothy 5:18 with Paul quoting Jesus in the latter) that “the worker deserves his wages”. Taking a file that people sell is taking money from people–people who have families, people with real hopes a dreams.

While there are legit uses for a site like this, it seems that the owners haven’t done the work to insure that their site is being used for them. I just couldn’t not write about this. Please don’t steal copyrighted files.

Paul

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