CCLI now serves more than 200,000 churches worldwide in worship. It was founded as a ministry of the Church and a service to the Church, to educate the Church about copyright laws, to protect the Church from the consequences of copyright infringements and to encourage greater utilization of copyrights in Church services.
The Church Copyright License covers over 200,000 worship songs for congregational singing. Review all the CCLI Licensing options from Church Copyright Licenses (Music) to Event and Mobile Licenses.
The copyright law is very clear on copying music. If you do not have express permission from the rightful owner of the song, you cannot make a copy. Many church music leaders who have made efforts to honor the law and have tried to obtain permission first from the copyright owner before making copies have found this to be a time-consuming challenge and in many cases, an administrative nightmare.
Many have agreed…the copyright law is fair but not practical. That’s why more than 150,000 churches across North America are taking advantage of the Church Copyright License from CCLI.
The Church Copyright License is a contractual agreement with songwriters and publishers from around the world. For an annual license fee, a church receives legal authorization to copy from over 200,000 songs for congregational use. Here is a simplified version of the Church Copyright License:
Why should I be concerned about copyright issues?
Federal Copyright Law prohibits the unauthorized copying of “original works of authorship” (including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works), and penalties for copyright violations can be up to $150,000 per infringement. Ethically, owners of copyrighted material are entitled to the fruits of their labors, hence copyright protection for original works is fair and right.
Why does my church need a license?
Churches often face copyright infringement issues in two vital areas:
copying music without permission, and
showing videos/movies without authorization.
CCLI provides practical licensing solutions in both areas.
We only project songs. Do we need a license?
In most cases, yes. Entering and storing copyrighted song lyrics on a computer without permission of the copyright owner is a reproduction copying activity and is a violation of the Federal Copyright Law.