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Tamara is HIRED for a SERVICE. All copyright licensing & permission is the responsibility of the church using the music. ChartsForChurches does not SELL any PRODUCT. If this page does not answer your questions, please contact CCA:

CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International):

It is expected & assumed that all churches requesting charts from Tamara are CCLI licensed. There are three common scenarios where CCLI may not cover a song & where it may be required that the requesting church (User) obtain a photocopy print license from a publisher/copyright owner:

1. The song is NOT listed with CCLI.

2. The song requires an "arrangement" (rather than a "transcription")- i.e. medleys and orchestrations not purely derived from the original recording.

3. The song is not covered by a publisher's "permission to copy for the purpose of performance" (you will note that this is NOT a usage covered by the CCLI license). Most major publishers do allow for this usage, but NOT all.

In these instances, the User is expected to contact the publisher. I, as the transcriptionist, will continue to provide for all "basic" requests the available information on who to contact. In most cases, a request for permission to photocopy out-of-print music will be the means to obtaining license to use a song not covered by CCLI. It is very rare that any copyright holder would deny such a request, so it should not hinder your use or your planning in any way.

See Permissions Forms for more details.


Of course, any individual or non-CCLI licensed User will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder whether the song is listed with CCLI or not.

If the song is to be used for non-religious purposes, the sponsoring venue (concert hall, festival, etc.) will also need to contact the Performing Rights Organization (BMI, ASCAP or SESAC) to obtain permission to perform.

Public Domain songs are exempt from requiring permission, but in most cases transcriptions are from copyrighted arrangements, so the info herein will still apply.

See Permissions Forms for more details.


Most music leaders distribute recordings of songs to team members. AND, I offer a service of creating rehearsal tapes for vocalists with the vocal part sung clearly into the right speaker. This is a TREMENDOUS tool for singers of all calibers. I personally use my own rehearsal trax when I am involved in the performance of a song.

Unfortunately, the specifics of the laws actually discourage the copying of audio even for mere learning purposes. The good news is that many major CCM publishers have allowances for this usage & in most cases the permission is implied. If permission is not implied, a rehearsal track licensing permission is required for a standard fee of about 8¢/copy.

See Permissions Forms for more details.


One suggestion I make to ALL churches who use contemporary Christian music: MAKE THE ORIGINAL ARTIST'S CD AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE SALE following the service where the song(s) is used. Simply list in your church's printed handout the title/artist info of the song(s) you use in the service & then coordinate with your sales table to be sure to have copies available. It is a wonderful variation on the "sermon tape" that so many churches now make immediately available following services. This accomplishes:

  • perpetuated artist sales
  • a pragmatic take-home tool of ministry that will have a lasting impact
  • a pragmatic way to build up your church sales inventory


If the Holy Spirit is to do His work in any of us, we must take seriously any possibilities that we are doing wrong & take strides to not only correct our errant ways, but of course to repent & seek out God's will in these matters.


The caution is always to PROTECT THE PROPERTY OF THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. Equate it to your neighbor who leaves his lawn mower out on the front lawn. He's not home so you go & borrow it from him & then return it without ever telling him. Would you REALLY do that? If you have a standing agreement with him, then yes, but certainly not if it had never been discussed.


This is probably the greatest concern in the interest of the CHRISTIAN publisher, songwriter and recording artist. The caution here is to NEVER UNDERMINE SALES REVENUE by distributing songs in any form that would take away from what would otherwise be a sale of existing product.

In church usage, we have a distinctive legal exemption allowing us to perform songs in religious gatherings without paying royalties. Do not mistake this for "fair use." We have no fair use rights. That is an EDUCATIONAL distinction. Therefore, when it comes to making copies of print & audio, we must be sure that we are at the VERY least following the "spirit of the law" as well as the "spirit of the usage" whenever we are not sure if we have permission. Redtape or not, we must make every effort to obtain permission where permission is neither granted nor implied.


As Christians, we are called to be above reproach in all we do. In 2000 I went above & beyond to be sure laws were obeyed - & I found it to be frustrating, time-consuming & unreasonably expensive for everyone. In 2001, I laid that burden more appropriately upon the User of the charts in a way that makes it more legally & monetarily fair to the copyright owners, the requesting church (User) & myself. I barter a "service" - not a "product." I will continue to do the tedious work of researching copyright ownership (as part of my "basic" service), & trust that you, the User, will take appropriate action for any songs or usage not falling under your CCLI license agreement.

If you find, conclusively, that there is an error in anything laid out herein, I ask that you bring it to my attention. These laws are not only confusing to us as musicians, but even to the so-called "experts" of the industry.

As far as usage for "contemporary" church services, we are really in uncharted territory (no pun intended!). The laws have not caught up to the common usage. And of course that is why I provide this service - because the publishers have also failed to catch up to the common usage of rhythm bands & background vocals in the church.

CCLI was born out of a need for worship/congregational church use. And CCLI has been in every sense of the word a GODSEND. But what about the thousands of "communication" songs? No longer do churches just ask the congregation to stand & sing "vertical" worship songs out of pre-printed hymnals & praise books. There are "horizontal" songs that communicate the deep truths of God's Word (even from the secular market) which either never make it to print, or which make it to an unusable print format (which in copyright terminology is equated to being "out of print" as far as your usage is concerned). No distinct laws (to my knowledge) actively address the great usage of "horizontal" contemporary music in the church.

In summary , CCLI & common permission requests will keep you aright.

Any further questions, please contact CCA:


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