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John 3:16 Conference: Blogger Accused of Copyright Infringement

A blogger named Todd chimed in on a thread at the Crimson Window.  Here’s part of the discussion.

Todd: FYI, there was no notice that recording was prohibited so I actually have all of the messages from the conference (including the free Q&A session) available as MP3’s. Just email me at tburus@msn.com or comment on my blog at ToddOnGod.com and I can get you copies. They’re not the high-quality $50 variety, but you can hear what is said. Also, I am in the process of responding to the presenters myself. I have already posted up through David Allen’s message against Limited Atonement. Enjoy.

Me: bootlegger calvinist … cool

Todd: It’s not really bootlegging. I checked with my church’s tech guy about the legality of it and he said that if no signs were posted or remarks made to the contrary then speeches are public domain and can be recorded and distributed by whomever. Plus, isn’t $50 for a CD extortion? Especially for people who had already paid $95 to be there in the first place(!)

Me: I was making a joke … Thanks for making them available! ) Yes. It’s highway robbery! Amrinian extortionist!! It’s all about filthy lucre! (another joke)

Then … an ironic twist in the thread. 

Todd: All, I just wanted to let you know that I woke up this morning to find that my blog had been deactivated because of copyright infringement, one would assume over the conference audio files. As you may have noticed I had already moved to take down these files and so this is a little irritating to me. I am disappointed that the powers that be behind the John 3.16 Conference would move to do such a thing without even having the integrity to contact me first. Please spread the word about this as you see fit. Thanks.

Todd: All, It appears that I have regained my site, but I was right that it had come from someone accusing me of direct linking to the product being sold by Jerry Vines Ministries at $50 a piece. It’s unfortunate that personal gain and fear of accountability has taken us away from reaching out to contact our brothers before going to the authorities, which is the essence of 1 Corinthians 6. It appears that I am allowed to post these after all, but seeing what derision has proceeded from it already I am unsure if I will.

Have a nice day.

Interesting … Todd has a point.  Why didn’t someone contact him before going to authorities?  

——————————HT: The Crimson Window———————————-



  1. Greg Alford says:

    Unbelievable! These guys at Jerry Vines Ministries have no integrity!

    If no notice was given that recording the messages was prohibited then what Todd actually did was perfectly legal… and now someone from Jerry Vines Ministries has made a “false accusation” and an “illegal complaint” to the blog hosting company.

    Grace Always,

  2. Matt Privett says:

    In my humble opinion, money is not the reason they are charging $50. Instead, I think it has more to do with the powers that be not wanting the audio to be widespread, especially amongst the poor student Calvinists at a certain seminary who, even amidst our lack of SBC credentials, could easy pick apart the arguments made from that pulpit. But maybe I’m wrong and it is about money.

  3. I’m utterly shocked.

  4. Chris says:


    I am the one who posted on Todd’s site that the audio recording being posted on his site was illegal, You have been misinformed if you believe that it is legal. No notice has to be given. The speakers are the legal owners of the material and they granted Jerry Vines Ministries the right to record and reproduce the material. It does not matter that the recordings were made by an individual. He has the right to record the material (unless notice is provided), but he does not have permission to distribute unless he has permission from the copyright owner.

    I am not the one that contacted the blog host and reported the activity. I did what was biblical and went to my brother in Christ and confronted him of his sin. He removed the material and in my mind the issue is/was settled. Although I do believe WordPress acted properly because I contacted Todd and all he did was password protect the material, Todd has not right to be mad at WordPress or Jerry Vines Ministry. He had the opportunity to remove the material and he failed to do so. He obviously had reservations on the legality of posting the messages because he consulted his “tech guy.” WordPress did do what was right because they are aware of the copyright statutes.

    Here is the US Statutes for you info:

    Copyright protections are defined within 17 U.S.C.A. § 101, et seq. Copyrights generally subsist “in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” 17 U.S.C.A. § 102. Copyright protection also encompasses compilations and derivative works. Thus, copyrights protect any of a variety of forms of expression that have been fixed in some tangible medium through which others may perceive the expression. A copyright generally endures for the life of the author plus an extended term of years; however, the duration of the copyright may be limited or otherwise modified depending upon the date of first creation or publication of the work, the category of the work, the statutory classification of the authors, and the completeness of the records relating to the death of the authors.

    Copyright ownership gives the owner the exclusive right, subject to certain statutory limitations, to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies of the work, to perform the work, and to publicly display the work. 17 U.S.C.A. § 106. Unlike a patent, a copyright may be claimed from the moment of reduction to tangible form. While there is no statutory mandate that the author comply with the extensive federal copyright registration procedures, the author is encouraged to expediently register his copyright with the United States Copyright Office and the Library of Congress. The Copyright Act provides certain extremely favorable legal rights and remedies that may not be exercised without prompt registration.

    You may also contact and intellectual property rights attorney to confirm this info.

    I would wonder why you would accuse Jerry Vines Ministry of having no integrity. What have they done…. Todd is the one that violated the law. And while he is the one that broke the law he has no been accused of having no integrity.

    Matt, you are making an assumption that is not backed by facts. Before making a public accusation as such you should contact Jerry Vines ministry and see what they say.

    Celucien, I too am shocked by how Jerry Vines Ministries is being attacked when they have done nothing wrong and the way they are being treated despite the fact that they are the ones that broke the law. Why is no one condemning the actions of Todd? Todd is relying on the ignorance of his “tech guy” and he is getting wrong advice.


  5. Chris says:


    In the previous post I listed my name as Greg, but it is Chris.

    The Blog host has permission to fix this error if possible.


  6. theophilogue says:

    Thanks for giving us your side of the story Chris. Prov 17:18

  7. […] 3:16 Conference :: Chris’ Copyright Crossexamination Not long ago Todd reported indignantly that he had been unjustly accused of copyright infringement for posting John 3:16 Conference messages.  He complained that someone had gone to the authorities […]

  8. Samuel says:

    The most comical post is by Matt.

    Yeah, these well-educated theologians are just terrified of those Southern students who are still growing facial hair.

  9. Todd Burus says:

    Just a note about the copyright law, the phrase “fixed in any tangible medium of expression” is not always taken to apply to the act of impromptu or extemporaneous speaking (which is what most sermons are). In this case, it would be necessary that the words spoken were actually documented beforehand, say in a manuscript. This is why the gray area exists. For more a further response from myself, please check out the “Crossexamination” post.

  10. theophilogue says:

    Thanks Todd. I’m not exactly in law school, but I’m following you.

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