It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

All Rights Reserved

Sometimes the same thing can look different depending on where you're standing.

After the last few weeks, I would count copyright laws among those things that don't look the same from both sides. I have been both the copyright owner having to defend my copyright AND the one seeking permission to quote copyrighted material. What a different feeling I have about each position.

Click . . . click . . . click . . . I follow the links from page to page, site to site, watching a video here, perusing images there. My inherited Irish temper grows with every selection of my mouse. One of my pictures is being used all over the internet, without my permission, to promote a product for sale no less! You might think I'd feel flattered that someone thought enough of my photography to use this photo in this manner, but all I feel is cheated and disrespected. Harumph!

On the other front, I'm still online, still clicking away, my eyes scanning pages and pages of tiny print, fighting to focus my I-hate-being-in-my-40's eyes, reading the simplified legalese of copyright policies. I need to understand all the detailed requirements for quoting Bible verses of different translations for use in various forms. I'm still smarting from the disappointing answer I got from one publisher in answer to my request for a renewal of my previous permission agreement with them. What once was free to me, welcomed by them, is now costly to me and controlled by them. Here comes that Irish temper again!*

Wikipedia explains the basics this way: "Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time . . . gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other, related rights."

As a copyright holder, I enjoy the protection of copyright laws and greatly appreciate the knowledge that others can't legally use my work without my permission. Happily, when I cordially pointed this out to the person in question, I received a gracious and prompt response to remedy all the improper use of my photo. On the other hand, the application of copyright laws protecting the Bible publisher is hindering my progress and has recently cost me a lot of time and energy to comply with those laws, which as a Christian, it is right for me to do.

Are you encouraged yet? Me neither! So let me get to why I thought there was a reason to write about the dry and frequently annoying subject of copyrights today. God is a copyright owner! Did you know that?

God is the Creator of an original work. Lots of them really.

You. Me. Everyone.

That gives Him exclusive rights to His work, and for Him, there is NO time limit.

He has the right to be credited for His work.
He has the right to determine what or who can influence change and adaptation in His work.
He has the right to determine where and how His work is seen, heard and put in front of an audience.
He has the right to determine who may benefit from His work's activities.

If God is the copyright holder of your life, of my life, how often do I check God's copyright permissions policy (His Word) on what I am doing or am about to do? How often do I reflect on the terms of the agreement He laid out for the appropriate use, performance and application of HIS WORK? How diligent am I about proper attribution to Him of the glory He deserves and how consistent am I with giving Him the love and obedience He desires me to have with Him as my Creator and the copyright holder over all He has made me to be?

"For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

If I had such a strong response to the misuse of one little photograph of mine, how much more passionate do you think God is about us? If publishers work so vigorously to protect the works under their authority, how much more can we trust God to protect His own handiwork?

I'm not sure where it's located, but somewhere on your heart you just might find a label that says, 

© Before time began by God Almighty. All Rights Reserved.

NOW do you feel encouraged??
I do!

How are you impacted by seeing God as the Artist with you as His masterpiece?
Do you feel comforted or limited by His copyright protection of you?

* I think I'll leave the question of whether it is right to apply policy about the copyright of a Bible translation in such a way that people have to pay you to quote verses, for another day.  Personally, I can't quite wrap my head around it. Whose Word is it again?? =)  Thankful that most Bible publishers have very reasonable policies.

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

866. Having a house that needs cleaning 
867. Drummer Boy singing back note-for-note to the mockingbird
868. Text message from She So Sweet when she wanted to share the sunrise with me
869. The faithful day-in day-out performance of my dream car for the past six years--such a gift from God (and Hero Husband)--so thankful!
870. Getting to call my best customers to thank them for their big order!!  (Love you Mommy & Daddy!)
871. Big black clouds that make such interesting skies
872. New song Drummer Boy brought home from a great day in the studio
873. Phone call from my little brother
874. Checks in check-boxes on my To Do list
875. The kind of clean that sparkles and shines
876. Best chocolate-dipped macaroon EVER!
877. Pepperoni
878. The sound of a German voice saying, "Schnitzel"
879. She So Sweet's first check!
880. DIY fixes that work like a charm (Mayonnaise for a water-stained wooden table)

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