Why Do I Need A License?

A license is granted by a publisher to give permission to an individual or entity to record, reproduce or distribute a song that the publisher owns. Please read through the information below to learn more about licensing and why it is necessary to protect the works of artist's and writer's.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States
"Congress shall have the power to ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Grants Exclusive Rights to Copyright Authors or Owners
* Right to Reproduce
* Right to Make Derivative Works
* Right to Distribute
* Right to Perform
* Right to Display

Every Recorded Song Contains Two Copyrights

The notes and lyrics of the song

The Recording Artist's recorded version of the song

Even if the recording artist is the songwriter, two copyrights are created – one for the sound recording and one for the musical composition.

What is a Music Publisher
A music publisher works with songwriters to market and promote their songs, resulting in exposure of songs to the public and generating income. Music publishers "pitch" songs to record labels, movie and television producers and others who use music, then license the right to use the song and collect fees for the usage. Those fees are then split with the songwriter.

Music Publishers and Record Labels
Songwriters enter into publishing, co-publishing, or administration agreements with music publishers. In exchange for acquiring the copyright, a portion of the copyright, or a percentage of the revenue earned from the exploitation of the musical composition, the music publisher seeks opportunities to exploit the musical composition, collects revenue from the exploitation, and pays and accounts to the songwriter. The music publisher share is usually 50%.

Recording artists assign their copyrights to a record label in exchange for a negotiated royalty.

What does a CCLI License cover?

What You Can Do
* Print songs, hymns and lyrics in bulletins, programs, liturgies and songsheets for use in congregational singing.
* Create your own customized songbooks or hymnals for use in congregational singing.
* Create overhead transparencies, slides or use any other format whereby song lyrics are visually projected (such as computer graphics and projection) for use in congregational singing.
* Arrange, print and copy your own arrangements (vocal and instrumental) of songs used for congregational singing, where no published version is available.
* Record your worship services (audio or video) provided you only record live music. Accompaniment tracks cannot be reproduced. You may charge up to $4 each for audiocassette tapes and CDs, and $12 each for videotapes and DVDs.

What You Cannot Do
* Photocopy or duplicate octavos, cantatas, musicals, handbell music, keyboard arrangements, vocal scores, orchestrations or other instrumental works.
* Translate songs into another language. This can only be done with the approval of the respective publisher.
* Rent, sell or lend copies made under the license to groups outside the church or to other churches. (It is OK to distribute recordings to shut-ins, missionaries or others outside the church.)
* Assign or transfer the license to another church