January 6, 2015

DOING MUSIC RIGHT? Music is the universal language that crosses all borders of culture, race, age and gender, and like milk, it goes with EVERYTHING. The power and passion of a song can touch hearts in a way that no other message can, and so music is central to activities and ministry in most church communities.

More and more church leaders are thinking OUTSIDE the box, and we’d love to hear about all the different places, events and settings where  your church or ministry plays or performs beyond your regular worship services. We recently heard of one church that plays music in the parking lot to welcome people as they arrive. We know church leaders are very creative in the way they use music outside religious service, so let us know where you’ve GOT MUSIC?

Worried about getting the right music licensing when you play or perform music outside your service? Great news…you don’t have to stop the music!  You can get IMMEDIATE coverage to avoid any copyright infringement, and it’s SIMPLE and EASY. There’s only one annual blanket license that let’s you legally play music wherever your creativity leads you. It’s the PERFORMmusic License and it covers more than 17 million Christian and secular songs with one annual fee and NO REPORTING. Even better…the fees you pay help SUPPORT your favorite songwriters.

Here are more details about PERFORMmusic and how it benefits your church. A performance license grants permission to play or perform music in all types of public settings, like churches, whether it is a live performance or playing of music from a recording. Performance licenses are controlled and managed by performing rights organizations (PROs); and the three U.S. PROs are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

Every songwriter and publisher who wants to be paid performance royalties is registered with at least one of these three organizations, which represent more than 17 million songs. PROs collect performance license fees for a wide range of uses, from Internet, radio and TV broadcast to stadiums, stores, bowling alleys, restaurants, and other facilities like churches.

It’s important to note the CCLI does NOT cover any of these performance rights. The basic CCLI License is basically a reproduction licenses, and allows churches to make copies or print song lyrics and music, as well as make recordings of live worship services in audio or audiovisual format.

Churches do qualify for an important exemption in the U.S. Copyright Law (section 110[3]), but it is vital that church leaders understand which performances qualify for the exemption and which do not. According to the exemption, the following performances are not infringements of copyright:

“Performance of a nondramatic music work or of a dramatico-music work of a religious nature, or display of a work, in the course of services at a place of  worship or other religious assembly.”

This exemption specifically applies to performances that take place during a worship service at a place of worship, it DOES NOT exempt churches or camps from the requirement for performance licensing outside of services.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.”  CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.



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