|How to Legally Use Videos and Music in Your Church||| Print ||
With the changes in the way we worship and utilize music and video in our churches, we need to understand how to abide by the law. Being compliant with the law is not just a legal issue, but I believe it is a spiritual issue as well. This article is intended to provide you with an overview of licenses available so that you can more easily be compliant with the law. Let's take a look at the different types of licenses.
CCLI License: Every congregation that ever prints Christian lyrics in bulletins, programs, song sheets or projects lyrics for congregational use needs a CCLI license. The license fee is based on the regular attendance at the main service(s) of your church. The CCLI license also allows you to record your worship services (audio or video) provided that you only record live music. Accompaniment tracks cannot be utilized on recordings. You may charge up to $4 each for tapes or CDS and $12 each for videotapes/DVDs. This does not cover any photocopying or duplication of print music. CCLI is intended for use in congregational singing. For more information, visit www.ccli.com.
CVLI License: While there are multiple packages depending on your need, this license will allow selected movie clips to be used to illustrate a point in a sermon. It will allow Sunday Schools and Youth Groups to view videos included on the Producer List in their entirety. From this list, churches can host special event movie nights as well. The license does not cover charging an admission fee. It is important to understand this license does NOT give blanket coverage to show all movies or movie clips. Oddly enough, many Christian films are not covered by CVLI. An individual license must be obtained for these films. The Producers List can be found at www.cvli.com/producers. Included with this license is ScreenVue, providing over 5,000 clip ideas from major movies that you can purchase or rent, plus clip downloads from selected movies.
CCLI Church Streaming & Podcast License: This license allows you to stream or podcast your live or recorded worship service music on your church’s website or other streaming services. The songs covered are the same as those covered under the CCLI license…over 200,000 songs. The Streaming & Podcast license does NOT cover secular songs nor does it cover the use of tracks for accompaniment. For more information, visit www.streaming.ccli.com.
If your church utilizes worship tracks from LifeWayworship.com for congregational singing, they are NOT covered by the CCLI Streaming & Podcast license. Christian Copyright Solutions offers a WC+Track License that allows for use of tracks in webcasting and streaming. Unfortunately, it cannot be individually purchased, but must be purchased as an add-on to the WORSHIPcast license. The WORSHIPcast license covers streaming of Christian songs and, unlike CCLI, it also covers songs in ASCAP, BMI AND SESAC catalogs (secular songs). Remember, no other accompaniment tracks are covered for recording streaming or podcasting under this license except tracks from LifeWayworship.com. These two licenses are more expensive than CCLI, but cover more. Check out www.christiancopyrightsolutions.com for more info.
Finally, there is a CCLI Church Rehearsal License. This license allows worship leaders to legally copy commercial audio recordings and/or share audio files via email, flash drives or on worship planning websites. The copies are intended for rehearsal purposes only, and are not intended to remain as permanent copies for personal collections. This license does not cover recording the songs yourself and then burning to CD’s. Any recording that you produce requires a mechanical license from the publisher. This license does not cover downloading songs from a free streaming website (YouTube, for example) and then burning to CD’s or sharing. Be certain that your recordings are on the “What Record Labels are Covered?” list at www.rehearsal.ccli.com.
I encourage you to visit the websites to learn more details or call a representative from CCLI or CCS if you have any questions. If we can be of help to you, please feel free to contact the ABSC at 501-376-4791, ext. 5121. Let’s work together so that every aspect of our worship is God honoring.
Larry Grayson serves as the music and worship consultant for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. He lives in Bryant and enjoys bicycling all over Arkansas.
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Arkansas Baptist State Convention
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