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How to Properly Display Copyright Notices (for CCLI License Holders)

How to Properly Display Copyright Notices (for CCLI License Holders)

From my observation, it seems that the majority of churches are not in compliance with their CCLI license requirements when it comes to displaying the copyright information. Merely possessing a copyright license is not enough for your church to comply with the copyright laws. Proper display of copyright information is another important piece of legality. Today, I hope to clear up the misunderstandings of what is required.

As part of the CCLI terms and agreement, you are responsible for including the copyright information on all songs reproduced under the Church Copyright License. If you did not read last week’s post on the CCLI license, please do so. The information that must be displayed is:

  • the song title
  • writer credit(s),
  • copyright notice, and
  • your church’s CCLI license number

Here is an example of a correct display of copyright information:

“Hallelujah” words and music by John Doe
©2000 Good Music Co.
CCLI License # 0000

If you are uncertain of your CCLI number, you can find your CCLI License Number on your License Certificate.

In a printed format, for example a bulletin insert or songsheet, just include the copyright information at the top or bottom of the page. In computer projections, there are several ways that lyrics are shown. Whether you show your lyrics a few lines at a time or you show the full song on the screen, you must include the copyright information at least one time for each song. This video will make things much clearer.

The abuse I often see occurs in bulletins. The church will include lyrics to songs and merely include something like, “CCLI License #777777.”  Some church bulletins I have seen include nothing concerning a license or copyright information at all; others list their CCLI license once somewhere in the bulletin. All of these examples are not in compliance with the requirements and are therefore illegal in their use of music or lyrics in the church. Here is an example from a last week’s church bulletin (I chose an out-of-state church) :

bulletin

As you have seen from the previous information, you have to include the complete copyright information, as described above, with each song that is included in your print material. The notice can be in a small font, as long as it is readable.

The accurate notice for this song should be:

“Make Us One” words & music by Carol Cymbala
© 1991, 1994 Word Music, LLC | Carol Joy Music (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 777777

As I mentioned earlier, video projection of lyrics must also show the copyright information on at least one slide of the song. Again, the copyright information may be in a smaller font and a different color from the song lyrics so that it will not be distracting. Here is an example:

Projection-Copyright

Next week, I will post information specific to the church musician and the copyright law.

About The Author

Kenny Lamm

Worship Consultant for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. A frequent worship clinician and guest worship leader. Extensive work in worship renewal in several Asian countries.

48 Comments

  1. I work for a church and sometimes what I put in the bulletin for the copyright info. is almost as long as the song I print. Is all of this necessary???
    Thx. for any help.

    ex.:The Introit – “Only a Holy God”
    Who else commands all the hosts of heaven?
    Who else could make every king bow down?
    Who else can whisper and darkness trembles?
    Only a Holy God.

    What other beauty demands such praises?
    What other splendour outshines the sun?
    What other majesty rules with justice?
    Only a Holy God.

    Come and behold Him the One and the Only.
    Cry out, sing holy, forever a Holy God.
    Come and worship the Holy God.

    CCLI Song # 7073332
    Dustin R. Smith | Jonny Robinson | Michael Farren | Rich Thompson
    © 2016 Farren Love And War Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook]))
    Integrity’s Alleluia! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook]))
    Integrity’s Praise! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook]))
    Jonny Robinson, CityAlight Music (Admin. by Jonathan Robinson)
    Rich Thompson, CityAlight Music (Admin. by Rich Thompson)
    For use solely with the SongSelect® Terms of Use. All rights reserved. http://www.ccli.com
    CCLI License # 2640266

    Reply
    • You do not need to include the CCLI Song # or the CCLI.com website. I would eliminate all line breaks and reduce the entire notice to a 6 pt font and perhaps even use a gray font color. Something like this in a small, gray font:

      Dustin R. Smith | Jonny Robinson | Michael Farren | Rich Thompson. © 2016 Farren Love And War Publishing, Integrity’s Alleluia! Music and Integrity’s Praise! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music [DC Cook])) Jonny Robinson, CityAlight Music (Admin. by Jonathan Robinson) Rich Thompson, CityAlight Music (Admin. by Rich Thompson) All rights reserved. CCLI License # 2640266

      Reply
  2. I sometimes write bulletin articles that quote songs. I always give the information in the text of the article for the title and author; for example: “Josh Wilson wrote a song called “Dream Small,” which reminds us not to lose sight of the little things we can do to change the world” followed by the quote I wanted to use, which may be a couple lines or may wind up being most of the song.

    With the title and author within the text of the article, would I just need to tag on the Copyright Owner and our CCLI# at the bottom or would I need to formally list the author and title? For that matter if I add the Copyright Owner/ Date in parenthesis in the text of the article, could I just tag on our CCLI # at the bottom.

    I mainly ask this to preserve space since I am often pressed for space and would rather the Copyright info not take up 3 additional lines if one will do because I already cited the pertinent info within the text of the article.

    Reply
    • The pertinent information includes more than the title and author. It also includes copyright owners (which are usually not the authors). You can print the information in a very small font taking out line breaks and extra information. If you are just quoting a small portion of the text, you do not need to include the copyright notice.

      Reply
  3. Hymn is in the hymnal in the pews.
    Words also on the screen. Still need info on screens since it is in the hymnal?

    Reply
    • The rules for copyright inclusion do not change if you have the sing in the congregation’s hymnal.

      Reply
  4. If a song has multiple copyright sources, do all copyright sources need to be referenced on PowerPoint or song sheets?

    Reply
    • Yes. All copyright sources must be referenced.

      Reply
  5. If I am using X number of songs for a service (projecting the lyrics), can I list all the licensing information on one slide or does it have to be listed on each song’s title or end slide?

    Reply
    • According to CCLI, the copyright notice has to appear with the song and only has to be shown once. Unfortunately, you cannot compile all copyrights and show at one time.

      Reply
  6. I’m on the Praise Team at my church. I am interested in finding more information on screens and projectors for our sanctuary . Small budget . Call me 336-473-6406. Thanks, KC

    Reply
    • I’m on the Praise Team at my church. I am interested in finding more information on screens and projectors for our sanctuary . Small budget Thanks, KC

      Reply
  7. I have been to two large churches (one in Elizabethtown, Ky and the other in Springfield,Il) neither showed the copyrite information or CCLI # anywhere on their slides. I asked one minister about it and he said it was too expensive to subscribe

    Reply
    • A church has at least three options, (1) purchase an individual license for every song they use (time consuming and costly), (2) purchase a blanket license at a reasonable rate, or (3) break the law. The third option really should not be a viable option for a church. Licenses are based on the number that attends the morning worship service on average.

      Reply
      • There is actually a fourth option. They can purchase a digital songbook that comes licensed already. One such option is called Paperless Hymnal. You buy the volumes once and they can be used forever without yearly renewal. I don’t know if this considered like being under option 1 or not, but I thought I’d throw that out there.

        Reply
  8. Our church has about 50 people, has CCLI license and we use Worship music videos with lyrics as we don’t have a worship team with instruments yet. We have gotten some songs from ‘sermoncentral.com’ but I want to expand and see there are many songs covered under the CCLI but I am unsure if it is ok to download a music video with lyrics if it has a CCLI #.. Please give me information regarding this. Thank you and God Bless you for answering our questions.

    Reply
    • So sorry that I missed this comment until now. If you purchase the worship music videos with lyrics, then you will have paid licensing fees to use that video with or without a CCLI license. You cannot legally play non-purchased videos (such as from YouTube) even with a license because your CCLI license does not cover the use of the copyrighted song’s audio being used in a video. You should consider purchasing accompaniment trax from LifeWayWorship.com and using your presentation software to display the words with these excellent tracks. Also WorshipBackingBand.com has some excellent backing trax with words displayed on screen in their DVD collections.

      Reply
  9. Do i need copy right permissions or license to display lyrics on a projection screen for the audience to follow again? I have an event in two days. Thanks

    Reply
    • Yes, you must have a CCLI license to display lyrics on screen. Check this post out for details:

      Reply
  10. We are finally moving into the 21st century my church! We are upgrading the sound booth completely, and will be purchasing Easy Worship 6. Where and how do we go about getting this CCLI? Also, if we purchase the Song Select you were talking about above, does that include the CCLI item as well? Thank you for all your help!

    4Him

    Reply
    • You can get all the information about CCLI, SongSelect, and their other licensing products at http://us.ccli.com/. They also have phone support if you can’t find what you need on their website. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  11. I personally use YouTube videos (Downloaded onto my personal laptop) to prepare the congregation for my sermon. Such as Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons”, ‘Official’ Covenant Worship videos, etc. (I preach 1 x per month). Sometimes I post song lyrics on the back of the bulletin and I always include © info.
    Most Youtube videos do not contain copyright info.
    We have just begun using something other than the Hymnal and so do not yet have a CCLI license. That is just a proceedural matter for the Church Board to approve.

    Reply
  12. Is it possible to display all the copyright information on a separate slide so that the information can be displayed during the pre-service announcements, rather than placing it with the individual songs.

    Reply
    • The copyright information has to be displayed on at least one slide of the song – can be first or the last. Unfortunately you cannot place the information in another part of the service.

      Reply
  13. What if a church is performing a song from memory, no printed material? Then do they need to have any kind of copyright information?

    Reply
    • Kimberly. Thanks for your great question. As long as your church is singing from memory and no words are displayed on screen or in print, you do not need to show copyright information.

      Reply
  14. Do you need to include the composer when projecting?

    Reply
    • Yes you do. In CCLI’s documentation, they refer to “writer credits” as those responsible for the words and music.

      Reply
  15. Thank you for all of the information, very useful. God bless you in all that you do.

    Reply
  16. If the song is public domain, or only lists the author and composer, what copyright information should I include? As an example, Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me. Can I display the information as follows:

    “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me” words by Augustus M. Toplady, music by Thomas Hastings
    CCLI # 777777

    Our hymnal does not include copyright information for this but we are displaying the words on screen. Thanks.

    Reply
    • If the song is in public domain, you do not have to list ANY of this information. Only copyrighted songs require this. SongSelect will generate that information for you anyway, but there is no requirement to publish/display it. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  17. Is there a website or other resource where you can find copyright info for songs?

    Reply
    • CCLI.com is your best resource for copyrights on congregational music. If you have a SongSelect subscription, you will find all the information you need.

      Reply
  18. Blessings this day, is it alright if I put the Title at the top of my slide and the words etc.. at the bottom as per this example. As long as everything required is on the slide, does it matter how it is displayed or where it is located?
    “Make Us One”

    words & music by Carol Cymbala © 1991, 1994 Word Music, LLC | Carol Joy Music (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.) CCLI License No. 777777

    Reply
    • It is fine to arrange the information as you have stated. The requirement is that all of that information is displayed, and it does not specify where that information is shown on the slide. Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  19. Thanks for all this clear info. Does the church simply renew or re-purchase a license each year placing a copy of it in the church office as well as in the office of the music director? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Yes. Once you purchase an annual license from CCLI, they will bill you each year to help you keep current. You can print out a copy of your license online at CCLI’s site anytime you need one.

      Reply
  20. If my church is showing the iWorship videos, where do I put the CCLI # for my church?

    Reply
    • In purchasing the iWorship video, you purchased the rights to show the video in your church–no CCLI license needed. If you do put the words in your bulletin or other publication, you will need to list the copyright and license information there.

      Reply
  21. Could you recommend a reliable company to purchase the right to copy music?

    Thank you,
    Lanell

    Reply
    • Hi Lanell. In my research, http://www.copyrightsolver.com/ seems to be the leading provider of assistance to churches in securing the needed licenses. I have not yet used their services, but plan to in the near future. Does anyone else out there have a suggestion for Lanell?

      Reply
  22. If we only include the name of the song in our bulletin, are we still required to list writer, copyright, publisher, CCLI info??

    Reply
    • Scott,
      You only have to list the copyright information and CCLI# when you include lyrics or music in the bulletin. Titles alone need no copyright info. Hope things are going well for you in Laurinburg! If you see my in-laws, tell them I said, “hello!”

      Reply
  23. I have noticed that Easy Worship puts everything on each song slide EXCEPT for the CCLI #. I don’t see how to add the CCLI # anywhere.

    Reply
    • The copyright display information can be found on pages 43-44 of the manual (pp. 49-50 of PDF). You can download it here. Hopefully this will take care of your problem. If not, contact EasyWorship support here. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  24. that’s great- thanks Kenny!

    Reply
  25. Is it necessary to post the admin info as well? It’s something I’ve always wondered about!

    Reply
    • Eric, the examples that CCLI gives for display of copyright are void of the admin info, so it would seem all that is required is the copyright holder information and not the admin information. For instance, the copyright notice from SongSelect for Lord, Reign in Me is:

      © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) (Admin. by Vineyard Music UK)

      The example on the video only displays:

      © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire)

      Hope this helps.

      Reply

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