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Church Copyright Licenses

The copyright laws of the United States are very clear when it comes to using music and video in worship services, small groups and other gatherings associated with your church or organization. And while the likelihood of having your service interrupted by a SWAT team of Copyright Cops busting through the stained glass, it is vital that all Central Texas Conference churches and organizations honor copyright laws.
 
While there is a lot of verbiage to digest when it comes to copyright laws, it boils down to basically this – if you don’t have permission from the rightful owner of the content (music or video) you cannot make copies of the music (print or digital) or show the video in any other setting other than for personal home use. This can be quite a time consuming process to obtain permissions on a one off basis. As such, it is recommended to pursue and yearly license that covers your church.
 
Each church/organization is responsible for purchasing and maintaining its own music and video* licenses. Below are some resources to get you started.
 
Church Copyright License (CCLI) has long been the go to resource for music licenses. Established in 1988 to provide churches with simple, affordable solutions to complex copyright issues. CCLI helps churches maintain their integrity and avoid costly lawsuits and provides access to more than 300,000 worship songs. Visit ccli.com to learn more or to purchase the license that is right for you.
 
Christian Copyright Solutions (CCS) is another resource for music licenses. CCS is the only Christian company to partner with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC to offer one-stop performance licenses that allow religious organizations to legally play, perform and stream more than 17 million Christian and secular songs of all genres. Learn more at christiancopyrightsolutions.com.
 
Church Video License (CVLI) provides legal coverage for churches and for other ministry organizations to show motion pictures and other audiovisual programs intended for personal, private use only. Coverage includes playing just a few minutes of a movie all the way up to showing the full-length feature. Visit cvli.com to get started.
 
 
*Until 2013, The CTCSC allowed the churches of the conference to buy into an umbrella license purchased by the conference because it provided a significant cost savings for most churches vs. buying the license on their own. In 2013, CVLI changed its policy and no longer allowed conferences to provide umbrella licensing. The company did allow the conference to “grandfather in” churches that had previously bought into the conference license the previous year, but at a significant cost increase. After evaluating the cost increase, it became clear that churches would save a lot of money by purchasing the license on their own.
 
If you have questions regarding the type of license you need, please contact the CTC Communications team at ctc_communications@ctcumc.org.