Worship resources to be available online

By on December 12, 2008

Authorized worship resources of the Anglican Church of Canada, “for which the General Synod (its governing body) holds copyright,” will soon be available online.The Council of General Synod (CoGS), the church’s governing body between General Synods, has approved a resolution from the faith, worship, and ministry committee authorizing the electronic publication to the Web of these resources, provided that “necessary safeguards are in place to protect the integrity of their texts.”Andy Seal, director of Augsburg Fortress and the Anglican Book Centre (ABC), who spoke at the fall meeting of CoGS, argued against the motion saying “there will be implications beyond what you think.” Mr. Seal said the liturgical books are a source of income for ABC “and, at a time when revenues are in short supply, it should be a factor.” He added that the digital age means that “when you make things available (online) you will lose control (of them)” since it becomes public domain.Some CoGS members too expressed concern about the motion.”I’m not only lukewarm, but absolutely tepid (to the idea),” said Randall Fairey, diocese of Kootenay. “We don’t understand the full implication of this.”In its written explanation, the committee said the move to make liturgical texts available online was “motivated by environmental concerns and the desire to continue to best resource the church by responding to increasing numbers of requests for Web-based availability of texts.”The faith, worship and ministry committee indicated that it received positive feedback on the proposal from the communications and information resources committee. “It has been noted that online availability of liturgical texts has had negligible impact on sales of books,” the committee said. “It also noted that experiments over the past few years with annually renewable licensing of CD format PDF files for purchase have not been successful, with only about 130 having been sold.”

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