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May 22, 2013

Does Your Church Zumba, Hold Concerts or Pageants, or Otherwise Utilize Music Outside of the Worship Service? You Might Need a License.

by Kenny Lamm
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Churches often play music at various events other than their regular worship services, such as social events, fundraisers, special concerts, pageants, music-on-hold, exercise classes, etc. Your CCLI license, does not cover you for these functions.

What do “Zumba” and “church” have in common? If you Google the two, you’ll find more than 11.8 million results for the pairing. Zumba seems to be sweeping Christians off their feet, as church facilities are an ideal setting for classes that offer a joyful way to tone up and get fit. Zumba classes, as well as other types of exercise classes, provide a great opportunity for churches to reach out and connect with their surrounding community, touching the lives of many of the unchurched.

Many church leaders don’t realize, however, that the Salsa, Hip Hop and Latin music played during these classes requires performance licenses to be able to legally hold classes at their facilities, whether a fee is charged for the class or not. You will need a performance license from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC (performance rights organizations in the US) to play music in a public venue. (You may not need a license to play Zumba original music, called ZIN, which you may obtain if you are part of the Zumba Instructor Network, but other music you play requires performance licenses.)

Perhaps more surprising to many is the need for copyright permission for using music in any non-worship event, such as:

  • Social events and fundraisers
  • Youth events
  • Seminars and conferences
  • Camps and VBS
  • Summer programs and holidays
  • Pageants
  • Christmas and holiday programs
  • Concerts
  • Music-on-Hold
  • Music played in coffee shops and bookstores
  • Carnivals & festivals

Remember, your CCLI license only covers music used in your worship service.

The good news? There’s an easy, simple and affordable one-stop performance license that includes 16 million songs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC through CCS’s PERFORMmusic License for one annual fee based on the size of your church congregation, starting as low as $199.

You may call Christian Copyright Solutions hotline number 1-855-5SOLVER (1-855-576-5837) to discuss your specific questions and licensing needs.

 

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