I really do want this blog to be primarily encouragement and help for Lutheran writers. But, well, until I get another site up and running for Lutheran resources, please bear with me. 🙂 Today I get to tell you about the Lutheran Public Domain Liturgy Project!
I am not going to fight against copyright, intellectual property rights, or intellectual property law. Not going to do it. I am thankful my stuff is protected by all that stuff! Still, I sure love public domain!
John Jordan is a Lutheran musician in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, but as he and choir provided services as podcasts and videos, they ran into trouble. Getting a license to legally stream or podcast a normal service was terribly complicated and so difficult that at times it proved impossible.
Does that mean they stopped? Nope. They turned toward other resources of the church that were in public domain. 🙂
Right now, the Lutheran Public Domain Liturgy Project shares via Facebook public domain resources he has found. Soon, John hopes to expand into transcribing old services into an easily-edited format like MS Work, include new typesetting for the music, etc. He also loves the idea of commissioning new musical settings, using public domain texts, with the understanding that the composer of the music would agree in advance to release his work to public domain, keeping everything free of charge, free of copyright restrictions, etc.
At some point, there will be a more format-friendly website (as opposed to Facebook), a legal non-profit, and perhaps fundraisers to support the cause, as well as commissioning additional settings hymns.
Wow! This is a tremendous research endeavor and shows a real heart for the liturgy and music of the church!
Now, I love me my hymnal. I really recommend using your hymnal in the home as well as the congregation. But supplemental material? Yes, thank you! Songs and text I can sing with my choir or just plain in public without the struggles of copyright permission? Yes!
Please visit John’s facebook page and keep an eye out for what he is doing. It should be well worth following! Meanwhile, I’ll add it to my growing list of Free Lutheran Resources!
Thanks, John, for all you are doing! It is a great service to the church! 🙂