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Distribution of Copyrighted Materials

Check before distributing materials to ensure you're not in violation of copyright law.

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Key point. One of a copyright owner's exclusive rights is the right to publicly distribute copies of the work. A church violates this right when it distributes or makes available unauthorized copies to the public.

! A federal appeals court ruled that a church violates the copyright law when it publicly distributes an unauthorized copy of copyrighted materials. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter—Day Saints (the "Church") acquired a single copy of a copyrighted genealogical text and made several unauthorized copies which were distributed to the Church's "branch libraries." When the copyright owner learned of the Church's actions, it demanded that further distribution be stopped immediately. The Church recalled and destroyed many of the copies that it had made. It was concerned that nine libraries continued to possess unauthorized copies, and it wrote them each a letter asking ...

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  • November 3, 1997

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