Ask the Expert: Is it OK to record sung vocals for practice purposes under the CCLI Copyright License?

Miranda Cunningham asks:

“Is it OK to record the choir singing copyrighted songs in order to improve without putting on your CCLI Copyreport? For example recording Sunday service, rehearsal, individual practice.

Is there a difference between recording for public distribution, church distribution and just for improving the choir in terms of copyright permission?”

CCLI Encouraging the spirit of worship


Chris Williams, Customer Relations Coordinator at CCLI (UK) replies:

Dear Miranda.

The Church Copyright Licence (CCL) includes a Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) right which provides the permission to record live music from any meeting for non-commercial use.  This would therefore provide the provision to record a pianist, singer or choir onto an audio and video recording for others to use for individual practice and/or group rehearsal.  Please note that this right does not cover the post production (dubbing) of music from a commercial music recording such as a CD or MP3 for distribution to band members and singers via another media. Please contact CCLI [email protected] for more details.