How to Properly Display Copyright Notices (for CCLI License Holders)

on August 31 | in Copyright, Feature 2 | by | with 29 Comments

From my observation, it seems that the majority of churches are not in compliance with their CCLI license requirements when it comes to displaying the copyright information. Merely possessing a copyright license is not enough for your church to comply with the copyright laws. Proper display of copyright information is another important piece of legality. Today, I hope to clear up the misunderstandings of what is required.

As part of the CCLI terms and agreement, you are responsible for including the copyright information on all songs reproduced under the Church Copyright License. If you did not read last week’s post on the CCLI license, please do so. The information that must be displayed is:

  • the song title
  • writer credit(s),
  • copyright notice, and
  • your church’s CCLI license number

Here is an example of a correct display of copyright information:

“Hallelujah” words and music by John Doe
©2000 Good Music Co.
CCLI License # 0000

If you are uncertain of your CCLI number, you can find your CCLI License Number on your License Certificate.

In a printed format, for example a bulletin insert or songsheet, just include the copyright information at the top or bottom of the page. In computer projections, there are several ways that lyrics are shown. Whether you show your lyrics a few lines at a time or you show the full song on the screen, you must include the copyright information at least one time for each song. This video will make things much clearer.

The abuse I often see occurs in bulletins. The church will include lyrics to songs and merely include something like, “CCLI License #777777.”  Some church bulletins I have seen include nothing concerning a license or copyright information at all; others list their CCLI license once somewhere in the bulletin. All of these examples are not in compliance with the requirements and are therefore illegal in their use of music or lyrics in the church. Here is an example from a last week’s church bulletin (I chose an out-of-state church) :


As you have seen from the previous information, you have to include the complete copyright information, as described above, with each song that is included in your print material. The notice can be in a small font, as long as it is readable.

The accurate notice for this song should be:

“Make Us One” words & music by Carol Cymbala
© 1991, 1994 Word Music, LLC | Carol Joy Music (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 777777

As I mentioned earlier, video projection of lyrics must also show the copyright information on at least one slide of the song. Again, the copyright information may be in a smaller font and a different color from the song lyrics so that it will not be distracting. Here is an example:


Next week, I will post information specific to the church musician and the copyright law.

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29 Responses

  1. Joel Dahl says:

    We are finally moving into the 21st century my church! We are upgrading the sound booth completely, and will be purchasing Easy Worship 6. Where and how do we go about getting this CCLI? Also, if we purchase the Song Select you were talking about above, does that include the CCLI item as well? Thank you for all your help!


  2. Joe Graffi says:

    I personally use YouTube videos (Downloaded onto my personal laptop) to prepare the congregation for my sermon. Such as Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons”, ‘Official’ Covenant Worship videos, etc. (I preach 1 x per month). Sometimes I post song lyrics on the back of the bulletin and I always include © info.
    Most Youtube videos do not contain copyright info.
    We have just begun using something other than the Hymnal and so do not yet have a CCLI license. That is just a proceedural matter for the Church Board to approve.

  3. Scott McCrimmon says:

    Is it possible to display all the copyright information on a separate slide so that the information can be displayed during the pre-service announcements, rather than placing it with the individual songs.

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      The copyright information has to be displayed on at least one slide of the song – can be first or the last. Unfortunately you cannot place the information in another part of the service.

  4. Kimberly says:

    What if a church is performing a song from memory, no printed material? Then do they need to have any kind of copyright information?

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      Kimberly. Thanks for your great question. As long as your church is singing from memory and no words are displayed on screen or in print, you do not need to show copyright information.

  5. Chris says:

    Do you need to include the composer when projecting?

  6. Thank you for all of the information, very useful. God bless you in all that you do.

  7. Summer Reese says:

    If the song is public domain, or only lists the author and composer, what copyright information should I include? As an example, Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me. Can I display the information as follows:

    “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me” words by Augustus M. Toplady, music by Thomas Hastings
    CCLI # 777777

    Our hymnal does not include copyright information for this but we are displaying the words on screen. Thanks.

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      If the song is in public domain, you do not have to list ANY of this information. Only copyrighted songs require this. SongSelect will generate that information for you anyway, but there is no requirement to publish/display it. Thanks for reading!

  8. Kirby Williams says:

    Is there a website or other resource where you can find copyright info for songs?

    • Kenny Lamm says: is your best resource for copyrights on congregational music. If you have a SongSelect subscription, you will find all the information you need.

  9. Michael Jefferson says:

    Blessings this day, is it alright if I put the Title at the top of my slide and the words etc.. at the bottom as per this example. As long as everything required is on the slide, does it matter how it is displayed or where it is located?
    “Make Us One”

    words & music by Carol Cymbala © 1991, 1994 Word Music, LLC | Carol Joy Music (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.) CCLI License No. 777777

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      It is fine to arrange the information as you have stated. The requirement is that all of that information is displayed, and it does not specify where that information is shown on the slide. Thanks for reading.

  10. Margaret Dixon says:

    Thanks for all this clear info. Does the church simply renew or re-purchase a license each year placing a copy of it in the church office as well as in the office of the music director? Thanks!

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      Yes. Once you purchase an annual license from CCLI, they will bill you each year to help you keep current. You can print out a copy of your license online at CCLI’s site anytime you need one.

  11. Shannon Johnston says:

    If my church is showing the iWorship videos, where do I put the CCLI # for my church?

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      In purchasing the iWorship video, you purchased the rights to show the video in your church–no CCLI license needed. If you do put the words in your bulletin or other publication, you will need to list the copyright and license information there.

  12. Lanell Moree says:

    Could you recommend a reliable company to purchase the right to copy music?

    Thank you,

  13. If we only include the name of the song in our bulletin, are we still required to list writer, copyright, publisher, CCLI info??

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      You only have to list the copyright information and CCLI# when you include lyrics or music in the bulletin. Titles alone need no copyright info. Hope things are going well for you in Laurinburg! If you see my in-laws, tell them I said, “hello!”

  14. Mitch Duncan says:

    I have noticed that Easy Worship puts everything on each song slide EXCEPT for the CCLI #. I don’t see how to add the CCLI # anywhere.

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      The copyright display information can be found on pages 43-44 of the manual (pp. 49-50 of PDF). You can download it here. Hopefully this will take care of your problem. If not, contact EasyWorship support here. Hope this helps!

  15. Eric Campbell says:

    that’s great- thanks Kenny!

  16. Eric Campbell says:

    Is it necessary to post the admin info as well? It’s something I’ve always wondered about!

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      Eric, the examples that CCLI gives for display of copyright are void of the admin info, so it would seem all that is required is the copyright holder information and not the admin information. For instance, the copyright notice from SongSelect for Lord, Reign in Me is:

      © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) (Admin. by Vineyard Music UK)

      The example on the video only displays:

      © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire)

      Hope this helps.

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