I've just updated a couple of discussions about this issue, but thought I'd also post it here, as I know many of us still struggle with the issue of making practice cds for our teams.


Last week I took part in a CCLI Copyright Owner's annual meeting via the web, and in that meeting CCLI announced that they are finally coming out with a Rehearsal License, which will "provide churches with a license to make audio reference copies of song recordings for rehearsal purposes". (the quote in bold is from the powerpoint slide that CCLI used in their presentation to copyright owners, of which I am one)


This license is to be available in January 2011. In response to my questions, they further elaborated that this will cover creating practice CDs, e-mailing mp3 files to band members, posting mp3 files on a password-protected resource website, etc - basically "all the methods covered in the questionnaire" they sent out last year on this subject.


So finally we have a "legal" solution to this problem. Great news!

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I think it's worth it in the long run. Anything that will help our teams learn songs before practice night is a blessing. :)

I give CCLI credit for trying to balance law and reasonableness.

By the letter of the law anyone who wanted any version of a copyrighted song would have to purchase it (unless the copyright holder chose to make it available for free, which some of us do); but the reality is, especially in these economic times, that most churches don't have the budget to make all those purchases and it would be dubious stewardship if they actually went out and did.

So this license is a valid attempt to find a reasonable balance.  Glad CCLI got it done...

It's not very expensive, I think it's $100 per year for up to 99 copies or something like that. A small church could easily afford to do this.

I think it is expensive. Say I'm in a church with a music group of ten people (and we had that at my previous place where the average congregation was often no more than about 50 - not everyone plays every week but they would all want CDs) and we do a new song every month... 10 x 12 is 120 copies which would put us at the $100 licence fee (I don't know if this is being rolled out in the UK yet but I'll work with dollars for the time being). That's still about 90c a song, which isn't really a discount on buying tracks individually for each person. Given that most of the commercial recordings I have heard are not directly applicable to the instrumentation and skill of most church bands I have heard, that makes the value of each recording even less for the purpose of learning a song.


Since the reporting of numbers is all based on an honour system anyway, I would rather see a smaller charge, perhaps tagged to the size of the church (the number of people you are serving and also some indicator of income) allowing copies to be used while a song is being learned by those who will be responsible for providing the music and then surrendered or destroyed once that learning has been done.


I know the worship music industry depends on those who write and perform the songs and those who work to produce and distribute the recordings. However, it does also depend on folks like me who freely give our skills and the loan of our equipment to create the live musical setting for those songs for corporate worship.



I just looked at the pricing, too.  It would be just as good to just give the Team a list of new songs to look at and ask them to buy them on iTunes.  Then they would own them for good.

It all depends on volume. If you introduce 20 new songs a year and hand out copies to 10 team members, that's $200. It would be cheaper to use the copy licensing model.
Yep, CCLI is trying to make an honest man outta me...'bout time. :)
Robotic monotone "we need to buy songs we cannot write our own"

And yours are good? Do share.


No, wait.  


Robotic Monotone: "we are too proud to use the songs of others". 

I just wanted to update this discussion again, in case there is any confusion. CCLI has now released its Church Rehearsal License that allows worship leaders to make practice CDs for their teams. If you go to the main CCLI page, look under the tab "What We Offer" and you'll see it there.


Just in case you can't find it, here is the link to the Fact Sheet that will describe what the license provides:



Our church just did the math (you have to figure out how many "1st listens" will happen in a year for your team) and we've bought a license for 399. We estimated we would only need 256 "listens" but erred on the side of caution.


Hope this helps!



Thank you for the followup on this.  It wasn't on the CCLI site the last time I looked. 


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