Guidelines for website aimed at church members

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matthewmidgley
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Guidelines for website aimed at church members

Postby matthewmidgley » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:53 am

Hello,

I am wondering if there are any guidelines for creating a website aimed at church members. The website would not be for anything church related apart from the fact that it's use would be aimed primarily at members. Membership in the church would not be a requirement and non-members would be encouraged to participate.

Is it permissible to use LDS (or something similar) in the web address, for example, ldsphotography.net?

I am interested in creating a discussion site based around a particular hobby/industry.

Thanks!

russellhltn
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Re: Guidelines for website aimed at church members

Postby russellhltn » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:34 am

There are guidelines for use of websites in callings, but nothing for websites aimed at members.

matthewmidgley wrote:Is it permissible to use LDS (or something similar) in the web address, for example, ldsphotography.net.

That would be a question of trademark.

The best place to start with this would be to contact the Intellectual Property Office at:

Phone: 801-240-3959 or 1-800-453-3860, ext. 2-3959
Fax: 801-240-1187
E-Mail: cor-intellectualproperty@ldschurch.org.

or by writing to:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Intellectual Property Office
50 E. North Temple
18th Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3012
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Guidelines for website aimed at church members

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:28 pm

I emailed the Intellectual Property Office back in 2012 about targeting an LDS audience for my website, and this is the response they gave me about using "LDS":

You further asked about the use of the term “LDS” on your site. It is acceptable to use “LDS” as a church identifier on your site as long as it is not used in names or to imply Church endorsement.


As I interpret this, you don't have to get any sort of permission as long as you 1) do not use LDS as part of the site title or domain name, and 2) make it clear that it's not an official Church site. There are no other restrictions about using "LDS" in the site description or subheaders. I imagine the same policy applies to the word "Mormon."

I would suggest coming up with a creative site name that resonates with Church members, such as a short phrase from the scriptures (like I did for my site, SingPraises.net) or Church history, instead of using "LDS" in the site name. Look at other successful LDS sites for ideas on how they market to LDS members.

Note that these policies are not necessarily enforced by law – they are just Church policies. So, they are mainly important if you want to be on the Church's good side. :)
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

kisaac
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Re: Guidelines for website aimed at church members

Postby kisaac » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:45 pm

I would suggest you read the policies in Handbook 2 (21.1.10 Church Name and Logotype, and 21.1.22 Internet, and the links it mentions.) While specifically addressing use "in your calling," these policies will likely give you some broader perspective that will help.

matthewmidgley
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Re: Guidelines for website aimed at church members

Postby matthewmidgley » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:06 am

Many thanks for the replies. I've sent an email and am awaiting a reply from church HQ.


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