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Make Sure You Understand Your CCLI Video License

church copyright

By now many churches have a CCLI video license, but do you understand what it allows and what it prohibits?

The CCLI video license is the most comprehensive, convenient, and cost effective means of copyright clearance available for songs used in congregational singing. As a license holder, you have the advantage of creating your own worship aids, custom tailored to your church’s specific needs. Also, the CCLI video license covers a vast selection of song titles to keep your worship services fresh and creative. For an additional fee, you can add SongSelect, giving you the ability to print and download lyrics from over 75,000 songs in our database and listen to thousands of 30-second sound samples (Basic/Advanced) plus print and download up to 200 lead sheets per year (Advanced).

Your CCLI Video License

What Your CCLI Video License Covers

  • 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 songs are visually projected (such as computer graphics and projection) for use in congregational singing.
  • Arrange, print and copy your own vocal or instrumental arrangements of songs for congregational use, where no published version is available.
  • Record your worship services by audio or video means, provided you only record “live” music (instrumental and vocal). Accompaniment tracks cannot be reproduced. You may also charge up to $4.00 (U.S.) / $5.00 (CAN) each for audio tapes and CDs, and $12.00 (U.S.) / $15.00 (CAN) each for video tapes.

The quantity of recorded copies allowed cannot exceed 15% of the maximum number of your church size category.

What Your CCLI Video License Does NOT Cover:

  • Photocopy or duplicate octavos, cantatas, musicals, handbell music, keyboard arrangements, vocal scores, orchestrations or other instrumental works. 
  • Translate songs from one language to another. This can only be done with the approval of the respective copyright owner.
  • Rent, sell, lend, or distribute copies made under the Church Copyright License to individuals or groups outside the church, or to other churches. However, you may distribute tapes to shut-ins, missionaries, or others outside the church.
  • Assign or transfer the Church Copyright License to any other church or group without CCLI’s approval.


This license does not convey the right to photocopy octavos, cantatas, musicals, orchestrations, vocal scores, handbell music or other instrumental arrangements.

Congregational Single Song Sheet (CSS)

A CSS is a single song which is found in a compilation of songs intended for congregational use (i.e., a hymnal or chorus book). These songs can be photocopied into bulletins, congregational songbooks, congregational songsheets, or placed on a slide or transparency. However, the above activity only applies if the song owner is covered under the Authorized Catalog List, and only if the purpose is to assist the congregation in singing.

Customer Support

If you have any questions or comments concerning the Church Copyright License, please feel free to email Customer Service at support@ccli.com or call 1-800-234-2446.

Recording Your Services

One of the rights granted to you with the Church Copyright License is the right to record your worship service. This right includes recording your meditations, preludes, postludes, interludes, fanfares, plus handbell, vocal and instrumental specials. Please be sure to report these when it is your time to complete a Copy Report.

Rehearsal Tapes

If you would like to make rehearsal tapes for the purpose of having your choir or orchestra learn the music, you must contact the administrator directly for this activity. There are no exceptions regarding this issue.

Copyright Notice

License Holders are responsible for including a copyright notice on all songs reproduced under the Church Copyright License. The copyright notice should include song title, writer credit(s) and copyright information as follows:


Words and music by John Doe

©2000 Good Music Co.

CCLI License #

Accompaniment Tracks

In order to record an accompaniment track, you will need permission from the producer of the accompaniment track. An accompaniment track has two copyright owners – the owner of the song on the track, and the company that produced the accompaniment track. Your Church Copyright License covers the song if it is from the Authorized Catalog List , but it does not cover the copying of the actual accompaniment track itself. Permission would need to be obtained from the producer of the accompaniment track.

Visual Layout

We have provided a sample layout of a projection (slide or transparency) print, bulletin or songsheet for your convenience. Please be sure to list the copyright information of the song at the bottom of your copy as shown.




Let heaven and earth sing Hallelujah

Glory to the Risen King, Hallelujah

Words and music by John Doe

© 2000 Good Music Co.

CCLI License #000000


The following requirements are the responsibility of the License Holder as stated under the terms of the Church Copyright License agreement.

  • Song Editing 
    The following activities are prohibited under the terms of the license agreement: altering or changing the lyrics, melody or fundamental character of any song covered under the Church Copyright License. 
  • Copyright Notice 
    License Holders are responsible for including a copyright notice on all songs reproduced under the Church Copyright License. The copyright notice should include song title, writer credit(s) and copyright information as follows:“Hallelujah”, words and music by John Doe ©2000 Good Music Co. CCLI License # 


Through an agreement with several producers, the CVLI Church Video License provides legal coverage for churches and for other ministry organizations to show movies. (Each organization needs to be specifically covered.) Coverage includes playing just a few seconds of a video all the way up to showing a full-length feature.

The Church Video License is one of the most cost effective and convenient ways for churches and other ministry organizations to protect themselves from the possibility of being fined for illegal use of videocassettes and videotapes.

What You Can Do with this license:

1. Pastors can use portions of movies to illustrate sermon points.

2. Sunday schools and Youth Groups can view the latest videos.

3. Educational classes can use videos for teaching and training.

Other ministry organizations (schools, childcare, conferences, camps) can also be licensed to include videos in their programs.

What You Can’t Do

This license does not cover materials that have been copied from another source or recorded from television. It also does not cover charging an admission fee for video showings or where specific titles have been advertised or publicized.

In Short: You cannot in any way edit any video or television clips. They must be shown in their original format from their original format. No editing is allowed in any form.

For more information, please visit CCLI.com.

Used by permission of ExperiencingWorship.com.