Every piece of original work, whether written, composed or filmed, is protected by copyright during the creator's lifetime and for 70 years after the end of the year in which they died.

The law on copyright has many implications for churches.

For instance, to stay within the law all churches will need copyright approval to:

  • Photocopy hymns
  • Show hymns on an overhead projector
  • Photocopy text from books
  • Record music, such as a church concert
  • Publish others' work in a church magazine
  • Use others' images or text on a church website


To overcome the complexities involved in getting official approval everytime you use a copyrighted resource in church, Christian Copyright Licensing International offers a set of simple licences. These licences are based on an annual fee which is tailored to the size of the congregation, and are designed to cover the various uses of material in different circumstances.

CCLI website:  

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