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Community of Christ Sings Copyright

Legal - Community of Christ Sings Copyright

Questions and Answers


Since the release of the hymnal, Community of Christ Sings (CCS), in 2013 Legal Services has responded to questions related to the release, the use of CCS digital-hymn products, and general copyright and blanket-license questions. Drawing on the questions submitted, Legal Services has prepared the following questions and answers (Q&A) to help provide guidance about acceptable uses under copyright law and terms of use. Please remember that we have both a legal and a moral obligation to be fair to those who have created copyright materials. Failure to abide by the laws not only robs creators of a fair recompense for their work; it also puts the church and individuals in legal jeopardy.

Words and Music

Does purchasing the hymn book cover all copyright requirements?

No, if you are going to project or copy from Community of Christ Sings then you need permission from the copyright holder. You can obtain this directly, however, we advise you to purchase a blanket license. Having this license allows you to project or copy numerous songs, as long as you abide by the terms of use of the specific license.

Does every congregation need a license?

No, just those who project or photocopy hymn lyrics or music. Singing from the hymnal itself does not require a license.

What license is recommended?

The Hymnal Steering Team recommends because it covers most (not all) of the hymnal. Purchasing other licenses may make sense if you want to project or copy songs not covered by

How do I use the license?

Read through instructions on compliance and refer to the website. If you still have questions, call Legal Services at +1 (816) 833-1000(816) 833-1000 or e-mail

Do I have to purchase a yearly license; what if I am planning a special event?

You can purchase a single use or an event license but, depending on your circumstances, it may make more sense financially to purchase an annual license.

Do I need a license if I type the lyrics to songs myself?

Yes, typing the lyrics is still considered copying. Any copyright-protected texts will need a license number included.

What does “public domain” mean?

Some materials are in the public domain and can be copied or projected without permissions. Typically this is material for which copyright has expired or is so ancient it has never been protected. This material will not have the © symbol at the bottom of the hymn in CCS. Warning: You need to check the public domain for words and music.

Is a spreadsheet available showing which hymns are covered by which license?

Yes. Community of Christ Sings Applicable Copyright Licenses (XLS file)

Can you confirm that requires monthly reporting? At Peace Colloquy 2013 we were told “regular” was sufficient.

Best practice is monthly. Regular is acceptable, but a warning—if you wait too long to report, you may have to contact directly rather than being able to use the online reporting.

Can I get a license for an individual person or specific program that can be used in multiple locations?

Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) did have some flexibility in this, offering a “multisite” license; this has not yet been made universally available with We are aware of some very isolated agreements of this kind but we cannot be sure of their terms of use. Please contact Legal Services if you need more information.

Can the mission center pay the license fee and be considered one congregation?

This arrangement had been negotiated in some areas with CCLI, to our knowledge this kind of arrangement is not currently available with

Should I report use of Community of Christ copyrighted materials?

Yes, in this way the church can receive royalties from

Use of the Audio Recordings and Digital Song Lyrics USB (Thumb Drive)

Please refer to the terms of License and Use included with the USB.

Does purchasing the Digital Song Lyrics USB cover all copyright requirements?

No, if you are going to project or copy from the Digital Song Lyrics USB, then you need permission from the copyright holder. You can obtain this directly, however we advise that you purchase a blanket license. Having this license allows you to project or copy numerous songs, including many of the songs in the CCS hymnal and Digital Song Lyrics USB, as long as you abide by the terms of use of the specific license.

If I purchase a thumb drive can I download it onto multiple personal electronic devices?

The terms of the purchase for Audio Recordings and Digital Song Lyrics USB let you download onto one computer and one backup. However, you can access and listen to the files from the thumb drive using other devices as long as you don’t download the files.

Do I need a sync license to add the music/words of a song to a video?

Yes, if the music or words are copyrighted.

Can I load my own copy of the thumb drive onto the church’s computer?

You can gift your thumb drive to the congregation and it can use the content on two devices. Or if you download it onto your own device, then you can use the church computer as the backup. Don’t forget the congregation will still need a license if it intends to copy or project the hymns.

Can I burn the thumb drive onto CDs for congregational use?

Only if, for every set of CDs, you have a thumb drive and are using the CDs for a purpose listed in the Terms of License and Use. Burning to CDs or other conversion to new media is intended for the convenience of congregations and individuals that are unable to play directly from the thumb drives.

Can I download the file onto personal laptops for the purpose of creating PowerPoint or other projection slides?

You can create your own projection slide(s) to be used on the primary or backup device, but this cannot be shared across other devices.

Can the file (downloaded onto the hard drive) be then uploaded to a shared drive such as a network drive/cloud/Dropbox?


Can staff use their personal thumb drives to display lyrics when they visit congregations?

Remember, if you purchase the thumb drive you can only download it onto one device and a backup. If staff is using their personal devices on this basis then, yes they can use them when visiting congregations. However, you would still need permission or a license number to project copyrighted material.

Legal Services KW/DD Dec. 2013