Copyright compliance is a major area of responsibility and concern for most church music and creative arts leaders who use copyrighted materials. Obtaining the proper licenses for compliance can often be a confusing, difficult and time-consuming process. Churches that only perform music using hymnals during a worship service may not require licensing. However, using copyrighted songs from the hymnal outside of services and many other ministry-related activities do require licensing. The vast majority of churches do need licensing to be copyright compliant.


At the 2012 Diocesan Communications Conference on Oct. 6, John Talbert from CCS presented a session on copyright. Material from that workshop will be linked as it becomes available.

Church Blanket Licenses

There are currently four annual blanket licenses, which grant churches permission for specific uses of particular groups of copyrights for specific activities WITHOUT obtaining individual owner permissions. They include:

  • One License- churches and religious institutions are able to reproduce words and/or music for the congregation from the catalogs of around 65 partnering publishing houses. Additional event licenses may be purchased.
  • CCLI - allows churches to reproduce songs in the CCLI Song program (about 190,000 titles) for congregational singing purposes.
  • CVLI - allows churches and ministries to perform (or show) selected titles of films and videos (from specific list of producers) to illustrate sermon points, view in Sunday school and groups, and show for teaching and training.
  • PERFORMmusic - onsite facility license allows churches and non-profit ministries to play and perform more than 16 million songs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for non-exempt activities, like concerts, social events, conferences, weddings, funerals and music-on-hold.
  • WORSHIPcast - internet song performance license allows churches and non-profit ministries to webcast their performances of more than 16 million songs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

For a more detailed overview on what each license does and does not cover, read copyright compliance. This material provided by CCS.

CCS/CopyrightSolver partnership

Discount for diocesan members. By the diocese partnering with Christian Copyright Solutions, diocesan congregations are currently able to receive: a 15% discount towards initial fees on WORSHIPcast and PERFORMmusic licences and PERMISSIONplus service; Copyright Hotline to answer FAQ and provide solutions; free training videos and webinars; and monthly copyright news. CCS has created a unique landing page for diocesan members, where you will find links to services, in addition to a library of articles and videos.

Copyright newsletter. Each month, CCS prepares a 2 page newsletter covering some part of copyright relevant to congregational life. If you'd like to be on the email list, send a note to

More Info

Contact: Janis Greenbaum, director of communications