Copyright compliance

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.

The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri has partnered with CopyrightSolver by
Christian Copyright Solutions
(CCS), to help with your copyright compliance.
Anytime you have specific copyright questions you can call their hotline number at
1-855-5SOLVER (1-855-576-5837) to speak directly with a copyright specialist.


Blanket licenses. One of the greatest areas of confusion involves what each blanket license covers. One license does not cover all your copyright activity. For example, the OneMusic, CCLI, CVLI, PERFORMmusic and WORSHIPcast licenses each offer different coverage in different areas of compliance.

Read details below to better understand what each license covers, what each does not cover and which ones your church needs to become fully copyright compliant.


U.S Copyright Law (section 110[3]) states that churches (along with any religious
organization) do not have to get permission to perform or play music (or a non-
dramatic literary work) during a religious service at a place of worship or other
religious assembly. Beyond this exemption, you must secure licensing for:

•Performing or playing music outside of a worship service.
Examples include:
-Youth Events
-Children’s Ministry
-Social Events and Fund Raisers
-Conferences & Seminars
-Music before & after service
-Wedding Receptions
-Movie Nights
-Aerobics and Dance Classes

•Printing lyrics for use inside or outside of a worship service
•Streaming music in worship services or other events
•Reproducing master recordings on CDs and videos
•Streaming recordings online
•Synchronizing music to a video
•Recording music on CDs or MP3s (including practice recordings)
•Distributing CDs or videos
•Most uses of copyrighted works (music, artwork, poetry, etc.)

By law, copyright owners have the right to control their works and be paid royalties. Their exclusive rights include:

•Making Derivative Works
•Public Display
•Digital Recording Performance

In most cases, each time you want to use any copyrighted work for any
purpose (other than those specified in the religious service exemption), you
MUST contact the copyright owner for permission. (Recent information
about church copyright lawsuits.)

You may either contact the copyright owner individually (copyright and contact
information is usually included on most copyrighted works), or you can secure a
blanket license for certain types and groups of copyrights.


What is a church blanket license?

A blanket license allows you to use a catalog of specific copyrighted works for
one annual fee. Several blanket licenses have been created to meet the needs of
churches and ministries. The best known of these are:

•CCLI Church Copyright License
•CCLI Church Streaming and Podcast License
•CCLI Rehearsal Copy License
•CopyrightSolver’s PERFORMmusic
•CopyrightSolver’s Ticketed Event License
•CopyrightSolver’s WORSHIPcast
•CopyrightSolver’s WORSHIPcast LifeWay Worship License
•CVLI Church Video License

These licenses provide a mosaic of copyright coverage, with very little overlap
between their coverages. The first step in determining which of these licenses to
purchase is understanding what they cover and what they do not cover.


Brief Overview of blanket licenses

CCLI Church Copyright License

Covers 200,000 Christian Songs. The CCLI Church Copyright License was the first church blanket license and it is the best known. Uses or permissions revolve around making copies of music and lyrics for congregational singing with some limited CD and DVD recording rights.

What you CAN DO:
•Print songs, hymns and lyrics in bulletins for congregational singing
•Create custom songbooks for congregational singing
•Create visual format for projection of lyrics for congregational singing
•Arrange, print and copy your own arrangements for songs used for
congregational singing where no published version is available
•Record your worship services (provided you only record live music and do
not reproduce accompaniment tracks) and sell for up to $4 each for cassette
tapes and CDs and $12 each for videotapes and DVDs (number of copies are
limited to 15% of the church’s congregation size)

What you CANNOT DO:
•Photocopy or duplicate octavos, cantatas, musicals, handbell music, keyboard
arrangements, vocal scores, orchestrations or other instrumental works
•Reproduce or make practice or rehearsal tracks
•Perform or play songs outside of worship services
•Make translations of songs
•Post any songs to the internet
•Record song performances, unless recorded live in your services
•Use songs that are not in the CCLI song catalog
•Use any copyrighted material besides songs

CCLI Church Streaming and Podcast License

Covers 200,000 Christian Songs. The CCLI Church Streaming and Podcast License is an add-on to the CCLI Church
Copyright License. This license allows churches to stream and podcast their
performances of songs in the CCLI catalog.

What you CAN DO:
•Stream your performances of catalog songs in worship services
•Podcast your performances of catalog songs in worship services

What you CANNOT DO:
•Stream or podcast your performances other than worship services
•Stream or podcast copyrighted master recordings
•Stream or podcast songs not in catalog, including all secular songs
•Charge for access to streams or podcasts
•Use any copyrighted material besides songs

CCLI Rehearsal Copy License

Covers recorded tracks from more than 100 Christian record labels

What you CAN DO:
•Allows legal copying commercial audio recordings, and/or audio files via email
flash drives or worship planning websites
•For rehearsal purposes only
•Not for permanent copies or personal collections
•Recordings must be from labels listed in CCLI program

What you CANNOT DO:
•Does not include secular recordings
•Does not allow recording the songs (making your own recordings of songs)
•Make photocopies of sheet music or songbooks

CopyrightSolver’s PERFORMmusic License

Covers 16 million Christian and secular songs
The PEFORMmusic License allows churches and ministries to legally perform music
and play recorded music in their facilities outside of religious services.

What you CAN DO:
•Perform music and play recordings of music for activities like:
-Concerts (no admission charge)
-Youth Events
-Children’s Ministry
-Social Functions
-Retreats, Conferences & Seminars
-Music before & after service

What you CANNOT DO:
•Charge admission fees (an add-on license for ticked events is available)
•Retransmit performances on radio, TV or internet

CopyrightSolver’s Ticketed Event License

Covers 16 Million Christian and Secular Songs
This is an add-on to the PERFORMmusic License. Once you have the PERFORMmusic
License, you simply report your ticketed events and pay the required royalty fees.

CopyrightSolver’s WORSHIPcast License

Covers 16 million Christian and Secular Songs
The WORSHIPcast License allows churches and ministries stream their performances
of more 16,000,000 Christian and secular songs

What you CAN DO:
•Webcast live performances of music
•Webcast archived performances of music
•Charge for access to internet streaming of services

What you CANNOT DO:
•Make performances available for download
•Webcast third party recordings
•Webcast copyrighted works other than songs

CopyrightSolver’s WORSHIPcast LifeWay Worship License

Covers 1,200 master recordings
This is an add-on to the WORSHIPcast License that allows churches to stream
LifeWay Worship tracks.
What you CAN DO:
Stream versions of master recordings for:
•Webcasting of worship services and programs (live and on-demand)
•Streaming of ministry related videos (baptisms, testimonials, mission trips)
•Streaming of background music on church/ministry site

What you CANNOT DO:
•Downloads of any kind
•Creation of any physical media of any kind
•Any use which requires a payment to the licensee from other internet users in
order to hear the stream

CVLI Church Video License

Covers 400 Video Producers
The CVLI License allows churches to show selected films & videos for specific uses.
The catalog includes Christian and secular films and videos.

What you CAN DO:
•Show videos to illustrate sermon points
•Show videos in Sunday schools and youth groups
•Show videos for teaching and training in classes
•Host special event movie nights
•Show whole videos or select portions

What you CANNOT DO:
•Reproduce or edit videos
•Sync video to another medium
•Charge admission or advertise titles
•Retransmit on TV or internet


Covers 100,000 Christian Songs
LicenSing allows reproduction of songs for congregational singing. LicenSing has a
liturgical focus.
What you CAN DO:

•Use catalog songs, hymns, lyrics for congregational singing

What you CANNOT DO:
•Record your performances
•Reproduce or copy sound recordings
•Make translations of songs
•Use songs that are not in the LicenSing song catalog
•Use any copyrighted material besides songs


Covers Christian songs of 62 publishers
OneLicense allows churches to make copies of songs for congregational singing.
OneLicense also has a liturgical focus.

What you CAN DO:
•Use catalog songs, hymns, lyrics for congregational singing
•Record worship services for the home-bound
•Podcast your performance & create practice tracks

What you CANNOT DO:
•Reproduce or copy sound recordings
•Make translations of songs
•Use songs that are not in the OneLicense song catalog
•Use any copyrighted material besides songs

This information is provided by Copyright Solver/ Christian Copyright Solutions and is only intended to be an overview. This document provides information and not legal advice. For more information and resources, including fact sheets, videos and idea kits, visit the CCS/Diocese of Missouri page at

If you’d like to ask specific copyright questions, please contact CopyrightSolver directly at 1-855-5SOLVER (1-855-576-5837).

To receive a 15% discount towards your first year’s licensing fees on CopyrightSolver’s PERFORMmusic License, WORSHIPcast License or PERMISSONSplus Service, use Promo Code: DIOCESEMO.

More Info

Contact: Beth Felice, director of communications