Are You Practicing Legally…The Church CCLI Rehearsal License

Abbie Stancato of Rockin' God's HouseThe best way to learn a song is to hear a song. So the natural thing for a Worship leader is to get an original recording of an artist’s songs and make copies available to the team for rehearsal. “But doing so without permission is a violation of copyright law,” according to CCLI Marketing Manager, Paul Herman. CCLI is a licensing agency which offers your house of worship the opportunity to purchase licenses which cover a number of worship music copying activities.

Paul elaborates, “For years, CCLI is has been aware of the need for churches to legally provide copies of commercial recordings to worship teams for rehearsal purposes. So we have recently been able to negotiate with publishers and recording companies to provide a Rehearsal License.”

Paul, does it matter who purchases the copy, the church or the music director? Personally, I purchase the music, take it as a personal tax deduction, burn copies each week for my team, and post it to Planning Center Online.

“The law does not allow a person to purchase a single copy of a CD, make multiple copies and pass them out to friends. In the same way, the law does not allow a worship leader to buy a single copy and distribute them to the worship team. Music piracy is not limited to burning a CD, but can also include distributing it online using something similar to Planning Center Online. The great thing about having our rehearsal license is that it allows churches to now do this legally.”

So how long can you keep your copies if you are a member of a Praise team receiving copies and not the person who purchased the original copy?

“The agreement we have with publishers and record companies is that the copy is intended as a temporary. The copy is not intended for permanent personal collections.”

Is there anything related to the Rehearsal License that is not obvious and/or commonly misunderstood?

“Yes, often churches will confuse the reporting process of our Rehearsal License with the reporting process for our Foundational Church Copyright License. The reporting period for the Church Copyright License is only once every 2 ½ years and lasts for six months. But the reporting process for our Rehearsal License is ongoing.”

Check out Part IDoes Your Church Suffer From “The YouTube Syndrome?” CCLI Has The Answer!
Here is Your Link To Part III of this Series… STREAM…The CCLI Streaming & Podcast License – Part III