The CCLI Church Rehearsal License is an important license for any church that distributes recordings of songs to their team.

Let’s say you want to give your team 10 new songs to learn this year. You buy the songs on itunes, convert them into an MP3 and upload them to PlanningCenterOnline.com. Everything’s good right? Not quite.

For many years it was very time consuming and very costly to legally distribute recordings of songs to your Worship Team. It wasn’t hard to do, but it was hard to do legally. Thankfully the CCLI Church Rehearsal License has made this so much simpler.

A lot of Churches are misinformed about Copyright Law.

Here are some of the excuses people give as to why it is okay for their church to distribute a copy of a song and not pay for it.

1. I’m not selling it.
2. We’re a church – so we have exemption.
3. We have a CCLI license that covers it.
4. It’s not a physical copy, we’re just streaming it online.
5. It’s just for rehearsal so it doesn’t matter.
6. I’ll never get caught – they don’t care about my little church.

Although these sound good, none of them are true.

I believe most people want to do what’s right but many times they have been misinformed or don’t take the time to find out what the law says.

When it comes to Copyright Law, ignorance is not bliss.

Here’s the truth.

If you distribute an original recording in any way to any of your team members, you must have permission from the publisher (and pay the royalty fees), or own an original for every copy distributed.

Thankfully, CCLI has a Blanket License that allows churches to legally distribute CD’s and give their teams access to stream or download songs over the internet.

It’s called the CCLI Church Rehearsal License and if you distribute recordings in any way, you need this license.

The Rehearsal License gives your church “blanket coverage” to distribute (almost) every Christian song to your team for rehearsal purposes. This means that you are covered from legal action and aren’t required to pay royalties for each song.

The CCLI Rehearsal License is an add-on to your CCLI License (you need one of those too!)

There is a yearly fee that’s based on your church size. Here’s a screenshot of their pricing structure:

CCLI Rehearsal License Pricing

Based on this pricing 99% of churches can be covered for $166/year or less.

One of the best things about this license is that there are no limitations to how many copies you can distribute.

What’s the downside? You do have to report every song you distribute. It takes about 5 minutes a week to report but it is well worth the effort to know that you are doing things legally and ethically.

So go ahead and give those 10 songs to your team to learn. With the Church Rehearsal License you can do so knowing you are honoring the artists and honoring Jesus.

How do you make sure you are doing things legally at your church? Let’s talk about it in the comments.