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What's Covered Under Your Blanket License?

Many churches are confused about the rights that various blanket licenses cover and do not cover. There are at least four blanket licenses that most churches need today, because they provide coverage without obtaining prior permission from individual copyright owners and save ministries time and money.

To help understand what copyrights and activities are allowed with the purchase of each license, here is an outline of basic coverage for the annual church licenses currently available. 

CCLI (Christian Copyright License International): Reproduction license for songs in the CCLI Song program

What CCLI the license DOES cover:

• Printing of songs, hymns, lyrics in bulletins for congregational singing

• Creation of custom songbooks for congregational singing

• Creation of visual format for projection of lyrics for congregational singing

• Arranging, printing and copying your own arrangements for songs used for congregational singing where no published version is available

• Recording your worship services (provided you only record live music and do not reproduce accompaniment tracks) and selling for up to $4 each for cassette tapes and CDs and $12 each for videotapes and DVDs

What the CCLI license DOES NOT cover:

• Photocopying or duplicating octavos, cantatas, musicals, hand bell music, keyboard arrangements, vocal scores, orchestrations or other instrumental works

• Reproducing or making practice or rehearsal tracks

• Reproducing or copying sound recordings

• Making translations of songs

• Posting any songs to the internet

• Reproducing songs in videos or audio recordings, unless recorded live in your services

• Use of songs that are not in the CCLI Song Catalog program

• Use of any copyrighted material besides songs

CVLI (Christian Video License International): Public viewings in your church of all, or any portion, of a film from participating producers

What the CVLI license DOES cover:

• Use of selected movies to illustrate sermon points

• Sunday schools and youth groups can view the latest videos in the CVLI producer package

• Educational classes can show videos for teaching and training. If movies have multiple producers, permission is needed from all copyright holders.

What the CVLI license DOES NOT cover:

• Reproducing or copying a video or film in whole or in part

• Synchronizing any portion of a video or film to another medium

• Charging admission to view the movies

• Showing videos or films on TV broadcast or on the Internet

PERFORMmusic (Christian Copyright Solutions): Covers music performances outside of religious services

What the PERFORMmusic license DOES cover:

• Playing music before or after a church service

• Non-exempt Concerts (with no admission charge)

• Music on hold for phone system

• Music through a speaker system in the church facilities

• Music for an aerobics/exercise class

• Music for weddings and funerals

• Seminars and conferences

• Music at church functions such as a youth event, special dinner, concert, etc.

What the PERFORMmusic license DOES NOT cover:

• Dramatic-musical works/performances


WORSHIPcast (Christian Copyright Solutions): One-stop church internet song performance license

What the WORSHIPcast license DOES cover:

• Webcasting worship services and events featuring your performances of more than 16 million songs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC repertoires

• Posting archived files of events and services featuring your performances of songs (non-downloadable and non-interactive)

• Songs must be performed by your own musicians and singers or artists/groups who grant permission to use their recordings of the songs

What the WORSHIPcast license DOES NOT cover:

• Downloading MP3 or digital song files (or providing for download)

• Webcasting third party sound recordings or accompaniment tracks

• Use of any copyrights other than songs on your Web site; e.g., videos, literary works, visual images, etc.



Susan Fontaine Godwin is the Founder and CVO of Christian Copyright Solutions (CCS) and has more than 25 years of professional copyright experience and leadership. CCS’s mission is to make copyrights simple for Christian community. The CCS staff is comprised of copyright administration and music publishing veterans. Our headquarters are located in Fairhope, AL, with offices in Nashville, TN, Atlanta, GA, and Orange County, CA. For more information, go to copyrightcommunity.com