Test Your Knowledge on Summer Program Copyright Issues

We hope your Memorial Day holiday was fun and refreshing! But for many church leaders, it’s only a short break and then graduation, VBS and summer programs right around the corner. There are many copyright questions when it comes to youth events, graduation and camp programs, so here’s a brief quiz to test your knowledge for accuracy.

My church needs a performance license in order to play music for our VBS programs? True or False?

TRUE. When you play recorded music or perform songs outside of a religious service, your church needs a performance license from the song copyright owners, or with the performance rights organizations, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Your church VBS program does NOT qualify under the Religious Service exemption (U.S. Copyright Law (Section 110[3]) as a religious service, which covers “during the course of services at a place of worship or other religious assembly.” CCS’s PERFORMmusic License provides easy, immediate and affordable performance blanket coverage for 20 million songs (Christian and secular) from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.  

Our church summer camp programs need a performance license to cover playing music or performing songs during any camp activity or event. True or False?
TRUE: Camp programs often feature and play recorded music at various events and activities, as well as performing music at sing-alongs, concerts and during events. These public performances and uses require performance licensing, and can be secured from individual song owners or CCS’s PERFORMmusic License, which covers 20 million Christian and secular songs.

If we play or perform music at a church or ministry graduation event, do we need to licensing? True or False?
TRUE: The US Copyright Law Religious Service Exemption only applies to music performed during a religious service, so even if you have your graduation event in the church building or facilities, you will need to obtain performance licensing for the music you play or perform.  CCS’s PERFORMmusic License provides easy, immediate and affordable performance blanket coverage for 20 million songs (Christian and secular) from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, and annual fees are based on the congregational size of your church, starting as low as $299.  

If we make a memory video of a youth event or mission trip, we need a synchronization license to feature a song or background music with the video. True or False?
TRUE: You need a synchronization (sync) license to legally reproduce a copyrighted song in timed relation with visual images; e.g., motion pictures, video, promo audiovisuals, etc.  Requests for sync licenses can be denied by the publisher, so it’s important to obtain a license prior to producing the video. In addition, publishers can set any rate they want for these licenses. If you also reproduce a third party’s recording of the song, you will also need to get a master sync license from the owner of the recording, which is a separate copyright from the musical composition. CCS provides a list of music administrators and services that can help you obtain licensing. CCS’s WORSHIPcast License also allows you to legally stream your video music on your website for more than 20 million songs.

If you need any assistance with performance licenses, just call one of our CCS reps at 1-855-576-5837.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.”  CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on TwitterFacebookThe information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel