TSL Copyright Permissions and Trademarks

Dec 13, 2023 | Announcements, Article, Members Only, Monthly Publications

What you need to know from the legal perspective when writing about the teachings of the ascended masters!

Working on a project using text from Summit Lighthouse publications or video clips or images from TSL social media?  In our November meeting Dr. Gregory Bodwell and Jane Hohmann gave us a crash course on the use of TSL copyrighted materials and trademarks and how to obtain permission for their use.  Gregory and Jane both work in the TSL Business Office and have over 30 years of combined experience in this field.

Gregory opened the presentation acknowledging the importance of becoming familiar with copyright and trademark use.   He explained the emphasis of their presentation was to teach us the proper use of these permissions to facilitate our mission of sharing the teachings.

What is copyright?
Copyright is a property right given to authors that allows them to control, protect, and exploit their artistic works.  In simpler terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.

  • It also has “moral rights” to receive attribution and retain artistic control of uses of their works.
  • It exists from the moment the work is created and fixed in form.
  • A copyright notice is not legally required, but its use deters infringement and may allow for a greater monetary claim for damages.
  • It does not protect ideas but only the form (words or drawings) in which they are expressed.

Gregory commented that Mother’s TSL copyright policy was liberal in granting permission for use of published text as long as proper credit was given and there is a clear demarcation between the teachings and the writer’s perspective.  Conversely, she was more protective of the TSL artwork.  There are pre-approved TSL images that can be used, as well as other TSL images that require permission on a case-by-case basis.

What is fair use?

Fair use is a legal principle that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances.  It permits a party to use a copyrighted work without the copyright owner’s permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

What are trademarks?

This type of intellectual property refers to a recognizable insignia, phrase, word, or symbol that denotes a specific product and legally differentiates it from all other products of its kind. A trademark exclusively identifies a product as belonging to a specific company and recognizes the company’s ownership of the brand.

  • It represents investment of time and money from TSL (typically 2 years and $2,000)
  • It must be registered in USPTO with certificate.
  • It is registered under a specific class and must be used only within that class.
  • Trademark examples: The Summit Lighthouse®, The Summit Lighthouse® logo, and Pearls of Wisdom®.
  • In the U.S. trademarks are followed with the symbol ® typically in the title.  Other countries do not use this symbol.
  • Logos must be used as they are without change or manipulation of the text or image.
  • When using trademarks, a trademark statement is required.

Following their presentations, Jane and Gregory held a question-and-answer session.  Watch the video for more details and the examples they shared.  You may want to watch it more than once!!!  MWG members also have access to the resource documents presented by Gregory and Jane at the meeting and the link to the TSL images album.  These resources are posted in the TSL Writing Resources area of the MWG website.

Lynn’s Weekly Guided Workshop
They continue to meet on Sundays at 3:00 P.M. Montana time via Zoom.  Bring any writing you have in progress.  Send your email address to Lynn at lynnwilton@me.com to get access to the workshop.

Our next meeting: December 14th, 2023, at 5:00 PM (MST)

Speaker: MWG member roundtable discussion

Topic: End-of-the-year planning meeting for 2024                        

Follow ups:

We continue to collect articles for the website, please send your article for review to: writing@SummitUniversity.org

Mercury Writers' Guild


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