last updated 11/30/2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has defined and challenged the world in many ways. While much of our workforce has moved their offices into their homes, the church has had to learn new ways of ministering to its people. When the body of Christ cannot be together in person, many churches have turned to live streaming as a virtual substitute.
Your music director or minister of music is probably familiar with a copyright license and what it covers for using music in a worship service. Generally speaking, a copyright license grants the use of a particular work (e.g., a song, a hymn, lyrics, a religious ritual) and compensates the owner for their work. However, one important exception churches should know about is the Religious Service Exemption (“RSE”).
If your church is new to live streaming, there are other requirements that a copyright license does not cover -- you’ll need a streaming license as well. A streaming license allows you to digitally transmit songs on your church website, a hosted website, or a streaming service.
To learn more about the licenses you’ll need to live stream your next service, below are a few companies that help churches obtain the appropriate licensing: