Copyright and Streaming

Copyright and Streaming

Copyright and Streaming


Churches need to be mindful of copyright when streaming worship. Any material that is not an original creation of the church – be it music or liturgies or poems – may be subject to copyright. Your stream may be blocked, and your church could be sued, if you violate copyright.

Copyright is also a justice issue: it ensures that writers and composers are properly compensated for their work.

To use a copyrighted work – to reprint it or broadcast a performance of it – you must either obtain written permission from the copyright holder, or obtain a license.

Music Licensing:

There are three main organizations that provide licenses for church music: CCLICCS, and OneLicense.  OneLicense right now is offering some free licensing through April 15 in response to the current situation.   That includes Pilgrim Press.

There are licenses for reprinting or displaying lyrics, and then add-on licenses for streaming performances of that music.

The different license companies cover different publishers, so you’ll want to choose the one that covers music you are interested in using.

It is not enough, however, to just obtain the license. You must search for each song on the license website, and report that you are using it. That is how the artists receive compensation.

More resources:

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