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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3139
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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We have a member of our church who is video and audio taping

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We have a member of our church who is video and audio taping church functions and services and then posting them on his own website. He is casual with asking for permission and I am afraid he has recorded many hours of footage without anyone's permission. He is also going to seek financial contributions for the recordings ie for special events on his website.

I would like to put a protection policy in motion around this type of activity right away to present to the Church Board of Trustees for approval. Do you have any suggestions for a policy?

Your church has the right to restrict video or audio tapping on its premises. When church members enter onto your property they do so with a license, and as the owner or operator of the premises, you have the right to restrict that license in any way you see fit, including prohibiting video and audio tapping.

If you want to restrict such activities, you should have clearly posted signs near the entrance making it clear that such recording is prohibited.

If you want to allow such recordings, you should only allow such recording with written permission of the Board or any other officials you feel is appropriate. And in your written "permission form" you can require that the person recording:

(1) not be permitted to post the material online (or in other places);

(2) not be allowed to charge any money for viewing or listening or downloading the services;

(3) not be allowed to make additional copies of the recording, and not be allowed distribute or sell additional copies, etc.;

(4) you can state that any recording is solely for the personal use of the person recording; and

(5) you can require a fee or charge for permission to record (you may want this to be paid in advance);

You can basically require any conditions you feel is appropriate, but the above are some conditions which immediately come to mind. And if the person violates the terms of these conditions, you would have a cause of action to seek damages and injunctive relief.

I hope this helps.

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