In our churches, we could be using a variety of intellectual property including singing songs, photocopying music for our musicians, showing film clips from the internet, and photos and pictures.
A crucial difference of us using resources such as music and movies in our churches rather than in our homes is that churches are considered “public places”; and as such, showing a film clip, picture, or playing music is considered a public showing rather than simple personal use.
Therefore, in order to use these resources in our churches, we may need to arrange licences to allow us to use them in our services and ministries.
The Copyright Agency says:
Copyright is a form of intellectual property that protects the original expression of ideas. It enables creators to manage how their content is used.
Does copyright apply to us?
If you are not sure how or if copyright applies to your church or ministry, you can take our quick interactive survey to figure out which licences you may need, and be directed to the appropriate organisation to facilitate these licences.
For general information about Copyright law and uses in Australia:
Big Studio Movie Licence (BSML) through Heritage Films
The Big Studio Movie Licence (BSML) provides Australian and New Zealand churches with an annual licence to screen films or clips.
Click Here to find out when you may need a licence from APRA AMCOS to play music recordings or CD's.
Copyright Agency Licence (CAL)
CAL offers an annual licence where the fee is generally calculated based on the number of regular attenders in the church membership.
Singing Songs During Worship Services
Generally, our Sunday worship service needs are covered by the CCLI licences. Click here to find out more.
Showing Film Clips or Movies
In Australian copyright law, screening a film or movie clip in a public setting (e.g. church) requires permission from the copyright owner. Click Here to...
Playing CDs or Music Recordings
Click Here to find out about using CDs or Music Recordings, and when copyright applies.
Using YouTube in Church Services
Do you use YouTube Clips in your church services? Are there copyright issues? Find out more
Photocopying or Printing Resources
The vast majority of copying and printing we do involves copyright. The Copyright Agency Limited has designed an annual licence that allows religious organisations to...
Using Pictures or Images from the Internet
Click here for Information on using pictures from the internet, and a list of photo sites.
Holding events, conferences, camps or paid performances
Click here to find out about licenses that you may need if you are holding an event, camp, concert or paid performance.
Queensland Baptists Group Deals – Copyright Licences
Queensland Baptists (QB) has negotiated group arrangements for a variety of copyright licences. Find out more.
Christian Copyright Licencing Inc (CCLI)
Click Here to learn more about Christian Copyright Licencing Inc (CCLI) and how they can help.