Copyright is an intellectual property right given to the creators of original musical, literary and dramatic works.
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is the legislation that currently operates in the UK and provides the creator with two main rights:
A newly written piece of work is protected from the moment that it is written down or recorded in some physical or tangible format. The creator often sends a copy of the work back to themselves by recorded delivery so as to retain a sealed, dated copy of the work should anyone challenge the date of creation.
If you only use hymnbooks during your times of worship, then a fee for copyright permission has already been paid because it was included in the purchase price of each book.
However, as technology continues to influence our worship activities, many of us now make our own song sheets, service sheets or we project words using an OHP or computer projection system. But permission must still be obtained from the copyright owner who will probably make a charge for use, in accordance with their rights under law.
The prospect of contacting copyright owners each and every time you wish to reproduce their work can be daunting. It was for this reason that CCLI was established, ensuring that copyright owners are properly rewarded for the use of their work and giving churches, schools and organisations the freedom to use material without the hassle of frequently contacting many different copyright owners.
As churches, schools and organisations continue to move along with technology CCLI have made licences available to cover showing films, playing music, photocopying, reproducing song books and now legally downloading song lyrics.
It is CCLI’s vision to make creative works available in a simple, legal and affordable way.
We have more information about copyright on these pages:
Do you have any questions about the copyright laws and how they might apply to you and your church? Please contact us.