Church Video License (CVLI)

By law, as well as by intent, videos that are available in stores and rental outlets throughout the United States are for home use only.

The Copyright Act of 1976 is pretty clear about non-home showings: if a video does not carry with it the right "to perform the copyrighted work publicly," it is illegal to show it!

The bottom line: Anyone wishing to engage in non-home showings of videos must secure licenses to do so. Failing to do so can mean you and your church could face substantial civil damages of between $750 and $20,000.

What is CVLI?

CVLI is an independent licensing agency formed in June 2001 by Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) and the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC). It works with non-profit groups such as churches, religious schools and other church-operated sites that show video material, to provide an annual license that covers a huge database of films supplied by Hollywood studios and independent producers.

How to obtain coverage?

Churches are responsible for obtaining video licensing on their own.

To obtain coverage, you may access the Tech Shop Church Video Licensing page here – or go to www.umc.org and click on "Tech Shop," found on the bottom right corner of the page, and then select "Church Video Licensing."

CVLI grants the license you need to comply with federal copyright law and allows for the public showing of DVDs and videocassettes in your church and childcare program. The CVLI Church Video License® provides copyright protection for more than 400 studios and producers, ranging from Disney to Warner Bros., and from Christian to independent producers. Once licensed, you may show a few scenes for a sermon illustration or sponsor a church movie night, all with the assurance of copyright compliance.

For more information, visit CVLI's website at www.cvli.com.

Link here for additional info on video copyright and licensing: http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?ptid=1&mid=7299.

What about music licensing?

The Conference does not offer an umbrella license for music licensing, so churches must obtain that coverage on their own.

The companies most commonly used are Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), OneLicense, and LicenSing. The General Board of Discipleship compiled a list of Q & A's for Copyright & licensing, which your church may find useful at http://www.gbod.org/site/c.nhLRJ2PMKsG/b.4065527/k.53B8/Copyright__Licensing.htm#.

You may find it useful to read information compiled by ChoralNet.org, also. On that organization's website, www.choralnet.org, click on the word "Resources" on the navigation bar at the top of the Home Page. When the Resources and Links page opens, click on "Reference and Research," then "Copyright and Licensing." (In addition, you may be interested in postings on "Different Copyright licensing agencies for churches," located under ChoralNet.org / Resources / Church Music / Church Music Issues.)

Or view the video Common Performance Rights Myths for Churches by Christian Copyright Solver (CCS) which addresses some common myths. For more infomation, visit their website at copyrightsolver.com.

Visit the websites at ccli.com, onelicense.net, and licsensingonline.org to get current pricing and other information.