What Copyright Licenses Do I Need?

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I'm wondering how many different copyright licenses most of you have.

We have the red "Lift Up Your Hearts" hymnals in all our pews, but we still like to project the words onto the screen as some people have a hard time holding on to a heavy hymnal.

An article in the Banner over the winter made me more aware of copyright permission and so I'm trying to do it right. But just one hymnal requires at least 3 different copyright licenses. Each one costs between 200-400 dollars, depending on your congregation size...and they are annual, so every year again we have to purchase/renew them. It seems silly to me to purchase an annual license when there are only 2 or 3 songs that we need it for. I guess our other options are to either not sing those particular songs or just not project the words. Any other brilliant ideas that I'm missing?

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You are right in what you've said, Betty. But I've come to really appreciate the folks who offer the copyright licensing opportunities for churches and worshiping communities (CCLI, OneLicense.net, and LicenSing). While technology offers us the means to project and copy music, the law still has requirements and regulations attached to those acts. These copyright licensing organizations have bundled hundreds of thousands of hymns and songs and offered them under one license. If that was not available, we would have to go individually to each author, composer, or publisher for each song for permission every time we wanted to sing it. And there is no set fee that can be charged - it could be any amount, though the standard is probably between $15.00 - $40.00 for a single use.

So while it seems like a hassle and added expense, I've found that these people have a real heart for ministry, and are doing their best to assist the churches' worship in the 21st century.