Permissions & Copyright for Logos Media
Logos Bible Software delivers a rich set of media collections, which raises some questions: What am I allowed to do with Faithlife / Logos media? Is it copyrighted? Do I have to ask permission to show it in front of an audience? What about posting to social media?
The answer is: It depends on the media. Logos media collection slides, videos, and still photographs are released under four different licenses: Public Domain, Logos Free, Logos User, and Copyrighted.
When in doubt, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media that is in the public domain is either so old that rights have expired, or rights have been granted to everyone. There are no restrictions on the use of public domain content delivered through Faithlife / Logos services and applications.
Many items in the Logos Media Archive are public domain reproductions of public domain artworks.
Don’t be fooled just because something looks old, though. Photographs of two-dimensional artworks such as paintings or lithographs may be in the public domain based on the age of the original artwork. However, photographs of three-dimensional artifacts are often not considered public domain, because the lighting, framing, and positioning of the artifact constitutes new intellectual property.
“Logos Free” media items are intended to be shared and shown to others. Here’s the official statement of the Logos Free license:
Copyright 2014 Faithlife / Logos Bible Software. Free for non-commercial use by individuals or organizations. May be presented before live audiences; may be posted on social media; may be re-distributed. May not be used commercially. May not be modified or included in published works without permission; contact email@example.com. Attribute as: “Copyright 2014 Faithlife / Logos Bible Software ()”.
Rule of thumb: If the media originated with Faithlife / Logos and it was given away by us for free, it’s licensed under the Logos Free license. For example, Verse of the Day art. This is media that we want people to feel free to share and copy, but not charge for them.
By “non-commercial use by individuals and organizations” and “[m]ay not be used commercially” we mean yes, feel free to use this for your church or school, but no, don’t incorporate it into advertisements or products for sale, and no, don’t include it in for-pay internet or print magazine articles or ebooks.
By “may be presented before live audiences” we specifically mean to include churches, schools, conferences, or any other venue where there is a screen projecting material in front of an audience. By “live audiences” we mean to exclude webcasts, podcasts, or other production recordings that might be distributed for sale. However, if your church or school records live class sessions and posts them for free on the internet, that is allowed.
By “may be posted on social media” we mean that it’s okay to download the media, make a copy of it, and post it to Twitter or Facebook. By “may be re-distributed” we mean that you can publish these media items on your blog, or collect them and let others download them (as long as you don’t charge for them).
Rule of thumb: Always use the media for purpose for which it was created. Inspirational quotations and verse of the day artwork are meant to be posted to social media, slides are meant to be included in presentations, and videos are meant to be played on screens for people to watch. If you are doing those things (in a non-commercial setting, with attribution), you don’t need permission.
By “may not be modified” we mean don’t add to or take away from the finished artwork as presented by Faithlife / Logos.
Rule of thumb: If you’re loading this media up in photo editing software or placing it in desktop publishing software or word processing software, you may need permission. A specific exception to this rule is church bulletins, prayer cards, and classroom handouts: It’s okay to use Logos Free media such as Verse of the Day art in these sorts of paper “ephemera” that sometimes accompany live presentations or class sessions.
By “may not be … included in published works” we mean that the media item must be presented on its own, not as an integral part of something else. There is some gray area here.
Rule of thumb: If the media item could be removed from the larger item it was placed in without degrading or disturbing it, then no permission is needed. For example, you can include a Logos Free media item as an illustration accompanying a blog post or other free access website so long as the media item is an illustration that supports your original content, and is not the content.
Now, if your blog is later published as an ebook, you will need to get permission (and possibly negotiate a royalty) to include the media as an illustration. If your “blog” is really an internet magazine that lives behind a paywall, you will need permission. Those are “commercial” uses.
“Logos User” media items are meant only for use by the Logos user who paid for them.
Copyright 2014 Faithlife / Logos Bible Software. Free for use by licensed users of Logos Bible Software. May be presented before live audiences. May be shared on the web as a link or embedded frame hosted by Faithlife. May not be re-distributed. May not be used commercially. May not be modified or included in published works without permission; contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Attribute as: “Copyright 2014 Faithlife / Logos Bible Software ()”.
This license applies to most Faithlife-created media collections. Basically, we want you to feel free to show these to other people in church and classroom settings, but we don’t want you to make copies of the media file itself and make it available to others.
Rule of thumb: If you paid for it, it’s very likely that we want other people to pay for it, too.
By “may be presented before live audiences” we mean the same thing as above under “Logos Free.”
By “shared on the web as a link” we mean don’t save the file to your hard drive and then post it on Facebook or embed it in your blog. Instead, use the “share” buttons from within the Logos application, which will share a hyperlink to the file on our servers. By “or embedded frame hosted by Faithlife” means some widget, plugin, or other code snippet that you got from a Faithlife / Logos site specifically for embedding content into your page.
By “may not be re-distributed” we mean don’t copy the file and hand that file to others, either through the internet, or email, or by posting to a download site.
By “may not be modified or included in published works without permission” we mean the same thing as above under “Logos Free.”
Some media distributed by Faithlife / Logos is licensed from third parties. All the normal copyright rules apply.
You shouldn’t use media items that are copyrighted by third parties for anything other than their clearly stated purpose. For example, it’s still okay to include copyrighted slides in your presentation in front of your church or classroom, but don’t post that presentation to the internet without permission.
Restrictions vary based on who holds the copyright. When in doubt, contact email@example.com.
The Visual Copy feature shows many different kinds of media. Copyrighted media and many public domain media are labeled as such right in the tool, in small type right below the media item.
Some items are not labeled:
Verse of the Day art
We give it away free of charge, and encourage you to post these verses to social media, use them in your blog posts, and incorporate them into your worship services. These are “Logos Free” as outlined above.
Prepared quotation slides
Even though you may have paid for access to a Logos Media collection to get prepared quotations by (for example) Charles Spurgeon or C. S. Lewis, the purpose of a prepared inspirational quotation is to be shared and dispersed. It’s okay to post these to social media as if they were “Logos Free.”
Quotation images that you make
One way to use Visual Copy is to select some text, choose a background, and then use the resulting image. Rule of thumb: If you put some effort into selecting the content and background, then that counts as you making it. The resulting file is yours to do with as you please.
Quotation templates are “Logos User”
The rendered quotation slide you made is yours, but the template you used to make it is probably something that you purchased from Faithlife / Logos. Don’t copy the template and give it away.
Media items that are part of “stock photos” collections are meant to be used in your graphic design projects. They are technically “Logos User” but because of their express purpose as raw material for larger works, the “[m]ay not be modified or included in published works” clause doesn’t apply.
Am I going to get in trouble?
If you are operating in good faith, probably not.
Practically speaking, we know that in the natural course of enthusiastically using our media you may run afoul of one of these restrictions on accident. In that case, our first course of action will be to politely ask you to fix the problem — to remove a piece of misused media from a blog post, for example.
We intend to give permission for most any “good faith” uses of our media. We are happy to discuss commercial uses, derivative works, inclusion of media in for-pay publications, or distribution to others. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get that conversation started. (Note: This is only for media produced by Faithlife / Logos. We can’t speak for third parties whose content we’ve licensed, but we can put you in contact with them.)
Does this document contain legal advice or is it intended to give legal advice?
We’re not lawyers, so no.