Up to faith

Copyright for the church musician

First & formost: I am not a lawyer!

There are many copyright issues for a church musician to consider. Some of which are:

It is important to realize that while a particular composition might be in the public domain, that a particular expression of that composition—a recorded performance or a printed score—probably will be protected by copyright.

Some people think that it is enough to get a CCLI license & that it covers everything related to copyright. It does not!

Here is generally where you need to go to get rights for copying, recording, or performing:

17 U.S.C. §106(4) gives the copyright holder (normally the composer) exclusive performance rights. 17 U.S.C. §110(3), however, gives an explicit exception for:

performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or of a dramatico-musical work of a religious nature, or display of a work, in the course of services at a place of worship or other religious assembly

What is not protected: