CCLI Streaming License Needed for Online Worship

By Terry Barone; iStockphoto credit: elinedesignservices on March 20, 2020

With many churches live streaming services for the foreseeable future, it is important for churches which will incorporate music to have the proper CCLI license.

Max Herr, a church compliance specialist for California Southern Baptist Convention, said, “Most churches probably have the correct CCLI license for normal church use, however additional licensing is needed for live streaming.”

He said churches run the risk of “major fines and legal fees for violating copyright law” and pointed to an example from the Church Law & Tax website dealing with infringement by a Tennessee church.

Roger Byrd, a member of the CSBC Church Revitalization Initiatives Team and a worship specialist, echoed Herr’s warning and said adding the streaming license is “well worth the money.”

The CCLI streaming license enables churches to live stream or podcast live-recorded services, but does not cover secular songs.

Byrd noted that adding the license to an existing plan is easy on the CCLI website. He said for churches with fewer than 500 members, the streaming license is less than $100.

CCLI licensing is one of the resources provided for CSBC churches and their leaders during the coronavirus pandemic. Pastors, church staff members and lay leaders are encouraged to check the CSBC list of trusted resources. Organizations are adding resources daily, so check often for helpful resources during these unprecedented times.

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