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Church Copyright License® Manual

Church Copyright License Manual

The Church Copyright 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 Church Copyright License covers a vast selection of song titles to keep your worship services fresh and creative.

Church Copyright License Terms of Agreement

Welcome to the Church Copyright License (“License”). To enjoy the rights and benefits your License provides, your understanding and adherence to the following is necessary, and you agree to:

  • Keep your License in good standing by paying the annual fee when it is due
  • Honor the terms and conditions of this program as outlined in the following sections marked Permitted Activities and Activities Not Permitted
  • Report all Song copy activity when required
  • Validate each participating song (“Song”) before making a copy (see how in the Song Validation section)
  • Use the License in a lawful and ethical manner
  • Destroy all copies of Songs made under this agreement if your License expires
  • When reproducing a Song, include the song title, writer credit(s) and copyright notice in substantially the following form:

“Hallelujah” words and music by John Doe
© 2018 Good Music Co.
Used by Permission. CCLI License #12345

Permitted Activities

An active License allows you to make copies of Songs to assist with congregational singing, in the following manner.  You may:

  • Copy Songs from hymnals, websites, chorus books and similar types of publications
  • Print Songs in bulletins, liturgies, programs, song sheets, songbooks compiled by your church, overhead transparencies and slides
  • Electronically store, retrieve and utilize song files in computers, presentation software and similar resources to enable the visual projection of Songs
  • Record Songs in your live worship services, including meditations, preludes, postludes, interludes, fanfares, and handbell, vocal and instrumental specials, by either audio or audio-visual means, provided that:
    • Accompaniment tracks and artist or record label recordings of Songs may not be reproduced, and permission must be obtained directly from the producer
    • Such recordings are for shut-ins, missionaries and others in your church and the quantity made and distributed may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the Church Size of your License
    • To offset the cost of production, for each copy duplicated you may charge up to $4.00 USD or $5.00 CAD per CD or similar form, and $12.00 USD or $15.00 CAD per DVD or similar form
  • With the understanding that all rights in copies made under this provision are reserved by the copyright owner, only where a published version is unavailable you may:
    • Make customized vocal and/or instrumental arrangements of Songs
    • Translate Song lyrics into another language

All rights not specified herein are reserved to and for the benefit of the copyright owner.
Streaming songs performed in your church services in audio and/or video requires a Streaming License.

Activities Not Permitted

This License has certain important and necessary limitations and you may not:

  • Charge a fee or receive any form of compensation for any of the Permitted Activities, except where specifically stated
  • Assign or transfer any rights under your License to any other church or group
  • Distribute copies of Songs outside of the jurisdiction of your license and church
  • Copy or duplicate choral sheet music, cantatas, musicals, handbell music, keyboard arrangements, vocal solos, instrumental works or music education publications
  • Alter or change the lyrics, melody or fundamental character of any Song

Song Validation

CCLI’s SongSelect makes it easy to confirm if a song is authorized under your license.

Simply visit and enter the song title in the search box. If your initial search results don’t include the song you are looking for, check the box next to “Expand search to show all songs” for more results. Find a match and you’re good to go. If you don’t find a match, it’s likely the song is not covered by the license.

To confirm if a publisher catalog is authorized under your license, search the Copyright License – Covered Catalogs list at

When in doubt, CCLI’s Customer Service is ready to help.

Essential Information

This is an annual license

All terms are in effect only when the license is active. If the license is not renewed, all rights are terminated effective on the expiration date, and all song copies made under the license agreement must be destroyed. Should you have questions or desire further information regarding the Church Copyright License, please contact Customer Support

License Holder Duties

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

  • Copy Report:
    As a License Holder, you will be required to report your song copying activity once every 2 1/2 years. You will receive a letter of notification when it’s your turn to report. The letter will explain how to complete the Copy Report online. Your completed Copy Report is a vital element of the Church Copyright License, as it allows us to accurately process and distribute royalties to songwriters and copyright owners.
  • License Renewal:
    The Church Copyright License is an annual agreement. To ensure continuous coverage, the license must be renewed yearly, prior to the expiration date. A renewal notice will be sent 45 days before expiration for your convenience.
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