What is CCLI?

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 Need
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 Solution
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.


John Pape from El Cajon California, an independent, self-managed Christian songwriter who creates worship and praise music for seekers and believers in the church. His music ministry mission is to create songs that will encourage a closer relationship to Jesus. The songs are crafted to encourage Christians in their daily walk. The songs provide a positive soundtrack for people’s lives. John’s songwriting drive is to honor God though words and music. His experience has grown over several years of honing the art of songwriting. In addition to writing songs, John also uses his musical gifts to lead worship in local churches. Currently John is working on a project to release several new Praise and Worship songs that were written to build and encourage Christians in their daily walk. John has loved music all his life. His first musical experience was playing the violin at the Bostonia Elementary School Orchestra and singing in the Glee Club. During high school John got a guitar. This began a new venture that has continued to this day. Learning all he could about the guitar and music John became a very competent musician. The enthusiasm for this instrument led him to become involved with various rock bands. At first these groups played popular cover tunes. Eventually, John’s desire to express more artistic creativity led him to collaborate with others to write original music. Out of this a home recording studio was created and at the same time the songs were being performed with a music group. Most of the venues were at local San Diego establishments. John is also author of the book “Building a House of Worship”. The book was written as a guide to Christian church worship leaders to better minister to the people they serve as they use their gift of music. “Music is a wonderful thing.” says John, “It has the unique ability to invoke emotions without any words. Add Lyrics and the words meanings are enhanced tenfold.” John continued to say, “Music is such an integral part of life. I love the creation of a new song.”

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