Performance Rights License Covers Music Both ONSITE and ONLINE

November 19, 2015

MUSIC is central to church activities and ministries. But what about the legalities of copyright licensing when you play or perform music ONSITE throughout your facilities or stream your music ONLINE?

During this busy holiday season, music is performed live and played throughout church facilities for a myriad of events and programs, and more and more churches stream their music on their websites.

Now there is a simple, easy and immediate solution that covers performance rights for any type of event or activity. CCS’s BUNDLE License gives you comprehensive coverage, so that you’re FREE to perform more than 19 million Christian and secular songs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC throughout your facilities and on your websites with just one annual license fee. Plus, your fees play an important role in supporting your favorite songwriters.

Music performance rights, one of six exclusives rights of song owner, represent a fairly simple concept, but one that is often misunderstood by churches. Performance licenses are controlled and managed by performing rights organizations or PROs. The three PROs in the United States are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

Every songwriter and publisher who wants to be paid performance royalties is registered with one of these three organizations, which represent more than 19 million songs. PROs collect performance license fees for a wide range of uses, from Internet, radio and TV broadcast to stadiums and restaurants.

Churches qualify for an important exemption in the U.S. Copyright Law (section 110[3]), known as the religious service exemption, but it is vital that church leaders understand which performances qualify for the exemption and which do not. Performing or playing music outside of your worship services is not included under the exemption.

According to the exemption, the following performances are not infringements of copyright:

“Performance of a non-dramatic 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.”

While the religious service exemption allows churches to play and perform copyrighted music without paying royalties, this exemption also does not extend to re-transmission of the service, such as radio, TV or internet streaming.

It can be confusing and overwhelming trying to figure out what licenses your church needs. That’s why CCS has created a simpler way to provide comprehensive coverage with ONE-STOP licensing for performance rights, and you get 10% OFF your first year with CCS’s BUNDLE License for ONSITE and ONLINE.

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 and Pinterest. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

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