Christian Copyright Licensing International

Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) 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. This prototype, called Starpraise Ministries, began in May 1985. CCLI offers copyright licensing of songs and other resource materials for use in Christian worship.

Christian Copyright Licensing International
Starpraise Ministries
FoundedJanuary 1988 (1988-01) in Portland, Oregon, United States
FounderHoward Rachinski
Headquarters17205 SE Mill Plain Blvd Suite 150, ,
United States
Areas served
Key people
Malcolm Hawker, President and CEO Howard Rachinski, Founder
Footnotes / references

Since its foundation, CCLI has expanded around the world to Australia, Botswana, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, South Korea and as of 2016 can now serve most countries.

The mechanism of copyright solution invented by CCLI has been cited by the governments of United States[4] and official copyright organization in United Kingdom[5] when introducing the relevant policy.

Licences and services

The licenses and services offered by CCLI include:

For the reproduction of words of songs for church worship use (The CCLI Church License does not allow you to make copies of performance music pieces. From the CCLI.COM License: "3.0 restrictions: This license does not allow churches to do the following: Photocopy or duplicate any photo sheet music (octavos) cantadas, musicals, handbell music, keyboard music, vocal solo, or instrumental works.")

Photocopy / Music Reproduction License

For the photocopying of worship music


Online access of worship song lyrics, sound samples, and download of lead sheets, chord sheets, and soprano/alto/tenor/bass hymn sheets

Video License

In a joint venture with MPLC, under the company name of Christian Video Licensing International, for the copyright licensing of the playing of videos / DVDs for church activities


CVLI introduced ScreenVue in 2003 as a separate service available for CVLI Video Licensees. ScreenVue offers both free and paid membership which gives the subscriber access to movie clips for illustration use in sermons or other presentations.

As of 10 February 2017, the annual fee for a US CCLI license ranged from $59 (for a church size less than 25 people) to $5,266 (for a church size greater than 200,000 people).[6] License fees are similar for churches in other countries, taking exchange rates into account.[7][8]

"CCLI distributes the majority of the License Fee to the copyright owners (i.e., publishers and songwriters) as royalties."[9] More information about CCLI's royalty distribution policies is available on the CCLI web site. That page also says "Every year CCLI holds an Owner's Meeting for each region, where full details of License fees collected, and royalties distributed, are reported. Every song copyright owner participating in the Church Copyright License program is invited to the meeting for that region."[10]

The performance of works in copyright (for example, playing music) as part of an act of worship is specifically exempted from copyright laws in several countries.

US Copyright Law [17 USC §110], for example, explicitly states that performances of "religious nature" during a service "at a place of worship or other religious assembly" are "not infringements of copyright."[11]

However, there are no exemptions for creating copies (e.g. printed, projection slides, recordings), translating, or making new arrangements.[12][13][14]

When a CCLI license is not needed

No license is needed if all music is in the public domain or covered by something like the Creative Commons licenses. As an example, most sufficiently old hymns are in the public domain. CCLI maintains a list of songs that are in the public domain.[15] If all of the songs that an organization uses are in that list, then the organization does not need to pay the CCLI license fee. As of March 2015, CCLI's list contained nearly 24,000 public domain songs.


  1. "History – CCLI". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  2. "Leadership – CCLI". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  3. "Terms of Use – CCLI". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  5. "the British Copyright Council useful links".
  6. "The Church Copyright License Annual Fee - U.S." Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  7. "CCLI - Church Copyright Licence Cost (Canada)". Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  8. "CCLI - Church Copyright Licence Cost (Australia)". Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved July 15, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "CCLI - Royalty Process". Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved July 15, 2007.
  11. Office, U.S. Copyright. "Chapter 1 - Circular 92 | U.S. Copyright Office". Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  12. "Copyright Board of Canada : Copyright Act subsection 32.2(3)". Archived from the original on 2008-03-31. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
  13. Wikisource:United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 1/Section 110
  14. "Copyright Law – CCLI". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  15. "SongSelect by CCLI". Retrieved October 21, 2017.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.