Copyright Q&A for December 2013
Here is a question we received for our monthly Copyright Q&A feature. Answers are provided by Christian Copyright Solutions. Feel free to submit your questions to us. We answer as many as we can here on our site once a month.
Question: We have a Sunday night youth service and the songs we are looking at doing next month during our worship set are not in the CCLI catalog. Does that mean we cannot do the songs? They are songs you hear on Christian radio.
Answer: The CCLI License is a reproduction license for congregational singing and allows you to print bulletins, song sheets, overheads and custom arrangements for the 300,000 Christian songs in their program. If you want to duplicate a song that is not in their catalog, then you will need to get an individual license from the song owners to duplicate or reproduce the music.
However, if you are concerned about playing or performing songs in your Sunday night youth worship service, then the US Copyright Law’s Religious Service Exemption allows you to play or perform any song in your worship service. However, if you want to play or perform songs outside a worship service, you need performance licensing (PERFORMmusic). This covers performing music at youth concerts, fundraisers, movie nights, special events, etc. If you want to print the lyrics on lyric sheets or overheads, since the songs are not in the CCLI catalog, you would need to get individual copyright owner permission (CCS can help through our PERMISSIONSplus Service).
The Christian Copyright Solutions answers provided are information, not legal advice. For more information and resources, including fact sheets, videos and idea kits, visit www.christiancopyrightsolutions.com. Use promo code “ABOUTWORSHIP” to receive 10% off the PERFORMmusic and WORSHIPcast Licenses and the PERMISSIONSplus Service.
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