Christian Copyright Licensing International is a privately owned company that was founded in the US in 1988 by Howard Rachinski. CCLI was launched after being developed by Rachinski for 3½ years while he was a music minister at a large church in Portland, Oregon.
SongSelect -by CCLI is the most comprehensive legal source for worship song chord sheets, lead sheets, vocal sheets, lyrics and sound samples..saving you hours of preparation time. It is the definitive source for discovering lyrics, transposable sheet music, and audio previews from more than 100,000 songs of worship.
Churches do not need a performance license to play / perform copyrighted music in the context of a church service. A “generic” CCLI license is a protective measure which covers certain ways in which you can use the music, it’s not a performancelicense. … Broadcasts and re-broadcasts require performance licensing.
Playing Music in Public. The right to perform or play a song in public is one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. You will need to get permission or a license if you play music in public unless the music is in the Public Domain or the use of themusic qualifies as fair use.
Music licensing is not rocket science, but it is also not intuitive. If your company shares music externally on the internet, in an advertisement or at a conference, it’s very likely that the use of that music requires a license. And even if your company is sharing music only within the organization, there may still be a music licensing requirement.
One of the first steps in understanding music licensing is knowing the difference between a song and a sound recording.
A recorded song has two separate copyrights:
- There is a copyright in the song, which consists of a melody and any accompanying lyrics.
- There is a separate copyright in the sound recording, which is the recorded rendition of the song.
*Typically, but not always, there will be separate owners for the song and for the sound recording. The song copyright is normally owned by the songwriter or the songwriter’s music publishing company, and the sound recording is generally owned by the record label that released that recording.
Here’s where it gets a little bit tricky, because the same song can have multiple sound recordings.
An Example: “I Will Always Love You.”
Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” in 1973, and several different artists have their own renditions of it, including Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and Kenny Rogers. Dolly Parton owns the song copyright for “I Will Always Love You” through her music publishing company.
But with respect to the sound recording, there are different owners. The record label that released Whitney Houston’s rendition of the song in 1992 owns her sound recording. Kenny Rogers’ label owns his rendition of the song.
Public Performance Licenses give permission to perform music in public.
The public performance of a song almost always requires a license. In contrast, the license requirement to perform a sound recording in public are more limited, applicable typically only when the sound recording public performance is offered via the internet or via other digital means. For these purposes, I’m talking only about performance licenses for songs.
If you play a song in a retail store, at a conference or in a restaurant, those are public performances of the song regardless of whether you render the performance by a live band, by a CD, by a DJ, or by your smartphone. That performance requires a public performance license.
Most public performance licenses are issued by one of the performing rights organizations (PRO). In the United States, they are:
- GMR (Relatively new, established in 2013.)
Each PRO controls a different catalog of songs. Typically, the PRO will issue blanket licenses, allowing you to publicly perform any of the songs in that PRO’s catalog.
Going back to “I Will Always Love You,” let’s suppose you want to do a public performance of the song at your company’s trade booth on a tradeshow floor. You would need a public performance license from the copyright holder of the song. That song’s copyright holder, again, is Dolly Parton through her music publishing company, Velvet Apple Music. Velvet Apple Music is affiliated with BMI for their public rights licensing needs. So, if you have the appropriate blanket license from BMI, you can publicly perform “I Will Always Love You” as well as the other 8.5 million songs in BMI’s catalog.
The PROs make it easy to get public performance licenses. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC have online presences where you can determine the specific license that you need and pay for it right online.
Music Licensing for Videos & Presentations
Suppose again you wanted to use “I Will Always Love You” in a new company promotional video. You would need a sync license for the song. Again, the copyright holder of the song is Dolly Parton’s Velvet Apple Music publishing company. You would need to approach Velvet Apple Music directly to request and obtain the sync license.
Let’s say you obtain the sync license for “I Will Always Love You.” You then need a master use license to cover the use of the specific recording of “I Will Always Love You” that you decide to use. If you choose Whitney Houston’s 1992 sound recording performance, you need to approach the holder of the copyright in that sound recording (which at the time of release was Sony BMG), and request the master use license.