Interesting article from Christian Century. I know the key issue is for those who publish sermons and wish to receive income/royalties.
1. Do we not preach for congregants and the world beyond the walls of the sanctuary?
2. Do we not (in the Presbyterian Church USA) follow the Book of Order? Freedom of Conscience? The church calls me to preach. Content is beyond what anyone can own?
3. Is not the sermon but an extension of Scripture – God’s Work product?
4. Do not preachers share their sermons in different contexts: churches, nursing homes, chapels?
5. Another related question: Who owns the prayers of a pastor?
6. When I want to quote another sermon do I contact the person who wrote the sermon or the church where the sermon was proclaimed?
I often think the church has become too litigious with these interpretations of law when it comes to copyright and ownership. I suppose a pastor who contemplates publishing sermons (for prophet) should include some legal language in his or her “call” or “contract”. Otherwise I think this is a non-issue for 99% of preachers.