The Copyright Law of The United States can be complicated, but one part that is easy to interpret deals with music and videos:
To assist East Ohio Conference churches and faith communities in being copyright compliant, the Conference has negotiated a group rate through both Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) and Church Video Licensing International (CVLI).
If you have questions about your church license #, or need the pin # to access CVLI ScreenVue videos, please e-mail Brenda Vaccaro in the Communications office or call her at (800) 831-3972 ext. 153.
NOTE: The EOC-provided CCLI license does NOT enable churches/faith communities to legally livestream or record/post music to the internet.
Because music on the internet extends beyond the walls of the church building, livestreaming/posting music to the church website or social media channels IS NOT covered by the religious services performance exemption written into the U.S. Copyright law.
To legally livestream/post music of any kind to its website and/or social media channels, a church/faith community MUST:
There is not one individual license that covers preludes/postludes and hymns/anthems. So, churches livestreaming/posting entire worship services will need to buy a Streaming and Podcasting license from multiple companies. For Annual Conference worship services, the Conference has purchased a Streaming and Podcasting license from each of these companies:
NOTE: Copyright law prohibits livestreaming/posting pre-recorded instrumental or vocal backing tracks.
The Christian Copyright Licensing International CCLI license makes it possible for churches/faith communities to legally project or print for distribution lyrics of songs that are included in the CCLI catalog.
Checking for Copyright Permission
It is the responsibility of each church/faith community to be sure that a song is included in the CCLI catalog before lyrics of the song are projected or printed for distribution. Do this by:
NOTE: Song Select is not part of the EOC-provided CCLI license. Churches wishing to purchase the premium Song Select add-on directly from CCLI will need to e-mail Brenda Vaccaro in the Communications office or call her at (800) 831-3972 ext. 153 to get the EOC pin number needed to make the purchase.
Posting Copyright Permission
To comply with the terms of U.S. Copyright law and the CCLI agreement, churches must display the copyright information of the song as the lyrics are being projected – either at the beginning or end of the song’s music or while the lyrics are being projected. For instance:
Jonas Martin, Matt Redman
© 2011 Said and Done Music
(Administration by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
Used by Permission. CCLI License # ______ (insert license # of your church)
Using Songs from The United Methodist Hymnal or Faith We Sing
The same process detailed above must be followed for projecting/printing lyrics of songs in The United Methodist Hymnal and The Faith We Sing unless:
The Church Video Licensing International CVLI license permits showing – within the church walls only – only those movies that are produced by companies included in the CVLI library.
To comply with the terms of the CVLI agreement, “No specific titles, or any characters from such titles, or producers’ names will be advertised or publicized to the general public unless authorized by certain producers. No admission or other fee will be charged to the audience.”
This means that churches:
Checking for Copyright Permission
It is the responsibility of each church/faith community to be sure that a movie is included in the CVLI catalog before it can be legally shown. Do this by:
If the producer of the movie you wish to show is included in the list of producers, you can legally show the movie.
If the producer of the movie you wish to show is not included in the list of producers, you must contact the producer to receive written permission to show the movie.
Getting Copyright Permission to Show Movies Outdoors
The EOC-provided CVLI does not allow for movies to be shown outside the walls of the church. Only three companies provide copyright licenses for showing movies outdoors. They are:
Using Movie Clips Legally for Sermon Illustrations
The EOC-provided CVLI license includes free access to ScreenVue, where movie trailers, and thematic clips can be downloaded for use in sermons, Sunday school classes, and small group meetings. To download these trailers/clips, please e-mail Brenda Vaccaro in the Communications office or call her at (800) 831-3972 ext. 153 to get the needed EOC pin number.
Don't forget about image copyrights. Doing a Google image search and downloading the first image you see may not be legal. Make sure you own or have a license to use the image.
These websites offer free, or low cost, downloadable images for use on church websites or in sermon graphics. You’ll also find helpful information in the Breaking the chains of clipart article from United Methodist Communications.
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
© East Ohio Conference. All Rights Reserved.