Google can find anything you want—an image, a devotion, an article, a sermon. One click and you can view it; copy and paste and you capture it. But just because it’s that easy to do it, does that mean you should do it? If we want our digital lives to match the beliefs of our analog lives, as believers and servants of Jesus, the answer is no. We need to be just as careful today that we are not using something that does not rightly belong to us, just as we did in junior high school when we were taught not to plagiarise material for school papers.
To help us do that, a review of what constitutes copyright, fair use, public domain and the newer Creative Commons designations is essential. Following this brief overview and some recommendations is a list of links to the U.S. government sites and other articles that explain these issues in more detail. Yes, this is work and a challenging area that we often do not want to be bothered with—but we work for the King of Kings and Lord of Lord and we need to do all our work as honestly and legally as we know how—no matter how hard it is.
This does not apply to any material you purchase: the images, clipart, articles you may have bought for a yearly or monthly fee.