OpenWorship.Net: The Royalty-Free Worship Database


News as of July 7, 1999:

Welcome to OpenWorship.Net! This site will soon be the centralized resource for royalty-free worship materials. Here is a sample database of songs,
so you can see what I'm thinking it will look like when it's up & running. Sorry if it seems a bit disorganized here at first...

Here is my original message which launched this site:

This site is maintained by christian-e! of globalwavesystem, and is a Christian resource. I'll get a statement of faith up sometime soon.

The problem:

Did you know that you are supposed to be paying money to worship God? The CCLI Organization administers copyright law for churches by charging
an annual fee so that copyright holders can be paid for the use of their songs.

I don't have a problem with people being paid for their work.

But it irks me to think that even if you have a small house or are part of a cell church, you must pay an organization money in order to sing worship songs to God. If you don't pay for a license, you're techically breaking the copyright law.

If I write a new worship song, today there is no way to share it with a lot of people except by sumbitting it to the Vineyard or some other large distributor of worship music. As soon as that sumbission is made, the copyright law takes effect.

My solution:

In the tradition of open source software, I propose that OpenWorship.Net be an alternative means of distribution of new worship songs. This will be a place where anyone can submit and obtain new worship songs for free. There will be no fees to pay for the use of anything on this site. (This does also mean that no song covered by CCLI will be available on this site.)

This site will supply songsheets, chord charts, and audio files of songs, all of which are offered by the authors as free for the taking. Users of the songs will be able to add comments about how they used the songs, and give ratings.

Now the question...what are the details of how to do it? Are there legal issues? I know that this site is needed, and that it can make a difference. Help me do it.

christian-e! / 24 June 1999