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

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

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.

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:

Kenny Lamm, senior consultant for worship and music for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, is a frequent worship conference leader with a strong focus on equipping leaders in North Carolina (USA) and Southeast Asia. His blog, Renewing Worship, features posts that explore ways to renew–impart new life and vigor to–the worship in the local church.

Other copyright related posts you might like:

The CCLI license – what is legal and what is not?

CCLI for the little guy –  Are individuals subject to the same copyright laws, as are formal organizations, particularly if those individual(s) make no money from their ministries?

What are the copyright implications of using a secular song for worship?

Ask the Expert – Is burning CDs from iTunes legal when used for educational purposes?

Ask the Expert – How to copyright and licensing songs I have written

Ask the Expert – Is it OK to make a worship song our own, or should we follow the original recording?