The Copyright Question

It is the aim of this website to make available mp3 files of these tapes at no cost, to all those who would like a copy. Naturally, the question of copyright immediately raises its ugly head, so let's take a look at the issues.

Because the Harvestime organisation is now defunct, it is now very hard to work out who specifically to contact about this issue; indeed, I have contacted several people about it and nobody seems to know what the current situation is. In fact I would even go as far as to say that nobody wants to commit themselves, in writing at least, to making either an authoritative statement or even a judgement call on the copyright issue.

Basically the situation is this. The copyright holder 'in the original recording' is the defunct Harvestime organisation. I have found out from the PPL people (Phonographic Performance Limited, basically a company who administer copyrighted music) that Harvestime are not, and never were, registered with them. It's therefore very unlikely that this material was ever registered for copyright purposes. If anyone knows different, I would be obliged if such people would please contact me so that I can liaise with the correct people.

When this music was recorded, of course, the very idea of anyone trying to copyright the wonderful sounds of Christians worshipping Jesus in the Spirit was a ludicrous one. It simply didn't form part of our vocabulary in those days. Remember how many songs in the Dales songbooks were simply listed as 'CopCon' - that meant that they didn't know who that song belonged to that they were using in their songbooks!

Also, of course, some of this music is already in the Public Domain, particularly the older hymns, and because all of this this music has been recorded in public divine worship services, and sung by unpaid members of the public. Indeed, in some cases I was myself actually present in the congregation at the time of recording!

As we have already seen, the Harvestime organisation is no longer in existence; therefore, these tapes have now been out of print for some time, and are therefore very, very hard to find, particularly examples in a good condition. Therefore it is essential to preserve this wonderful music; the tapes are part of the musical history of the charismatic movement in the United Kingdom and as far as I know they were only ever available on vinyl LP and cassette tapes (in fact only the later recordings were available on LP). But the point is that all the recordings, whether on LP or tape, will deteriorate with time. The idea here is to 'snapshot' the tapes at their current preservation level so that the music is preserved. This music needs to be preserved and made available to those who will be blessed by it.

I have asked, researched and worked hard to try to find out who knows about the copyrights, if any. I've tried my best, with all the resources and contacts I can find. However, nobody has been able to give me a definitive answer. It seems that the only thing remaining for me to do is to make this appeal: If there are any copyright holders who object to their material being used and distributed here, please let me know and I will gladly and immediately remove it.

There is no money involved in this. I am not making any money from this and nobody is losing any money either - well, actually, I am, because I pay for my website to be hosted. But hey, it's a labour of love, and it's an integral part of my ministry to bless others with music. These songs and recordings are so old that their profitablility, if there was ever any, is long since exhausted. Therefore, until I hear otherwise, then, I intend to distribute the music recordings as mp3 files for anyone who wants them.

The intention here is to bless people with these songs, and perhaps to remind certain people of the songs and worship from their youth, not to make any money. This music is part of Church legacy, and needs to be preserved!