Here are some very helpful resource links and tools to help churches maintain their integrity and avoid costly lawsuits regarding copyright.

These are all helpful in enabling churches to be above reproach, whilst still functioning from a place of creative freedom. Also included here are links to our list of recommended paid & free media resources & software. 

Although this list is not comprehensive, we believe it will be a help to many. If you have any other recommended links or free resources please let us know about them by mailing info@four12global.com.

  • CCLI (Church Worship, Video, Photocopy etc. Licensing)

Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) was established in 1988 to provide churches with simple, affordable solutions to complex copyright issues. CCLI helps churches maintain their integrity and avoid costly lawsuits, while also giving churches the freedom to worship expressively and spontaneously.

It is CCLI’s aim to provide a simple, legal and affordable solution to copyright issues faced by the Christian community, whether they are reproducing song words, photocopying from authorised publications, or accessing song lyrics online.

CCLI licenses are available in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxemburg, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Visit ccli.com for websites for these regions.

The copyright law is very clear on copying music, videos, publications, etc. If you do not have express permission from the rightful owner, you cannot make a copy. (It is advisable to have that permission in writing in case of need for legal reference.) There have been a number of copyright disputes, although most have been settled privately. You can imagine how uncomfortable it is for a Christian songwriter to address legal entanglements with a church.

Some church music leaders have made efforts to honour the law and have tried to obtain permission first from the copyright owner before making copies. This is often a time-consuming challenge and in many cases an administrative nightmare.

Many have agreed — the copyright law is fair but not practical. That’s why more than 170,000 churches are taking advantage of the licences from CCLI, including the Church Copyright Licence, the Photocopy Licence and the Church Video Licence.

Do you have any questions about the copyright laws and how they might apply to you and your church?