Copyright & Licensing

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Copyright and Licensing

Copyright matters because we want to honour God: to model integrity and best practise by respecting and honouring the creators of the material used to support worship activities.

This means being mindful of what content we use and how it is sourced. The right to decide how a work is used belongs to the creator and/or owner of that work, so it is important to respect this right and obtain permission before using it. This may require more than one license because works can exist in various forms which involve different rights management areas (e.g. performance, recording, reproduction, etc.).

IMPORTANT: Reporting Usage

As part of License terms & conditions, CCLI request that holders report on song usage in worship services, covered by Church Copyright Licenses, Streaming/Streaming Plus Licenses, and Music Reproduction Licenses. This allows CCLI to distribute royalties from license fees more accurately to the relevant song owners.

You can do this online at when you have created a CCLI Profile and logged in. For easy how-to steps see

You don’t currently have to report on video usage (CVL and Heritage), or on general public performances at activities other than worship services (PPL and OneMusic).

  • Some works are in the Public Domain if their creator died more than 70 years ago and their copyright was not otherwise renewed or purchased. These works may be used without licensing/permission.
  • Any works entirely created and owned by The Salvation Army (e.g. Songbook songs marked © The General of the Salvation Army) may also be used within The Salvation Army without requiring additional permission.
  • Anything that is your own original work may be used at your discretion (unless commissioned by or assigned to a third party).
  • Everything else is made or owned by a third party and permission must be granted to use it.

The Licences Available To You

Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) enables real-time access to licensed Christian music while easing the burden of administration in the many complex issues related to copyright. CCLI licences are a simple alternative to seeking direct permission from each copyright owner. These are the usual church licenses in use by most mission expressions:

  • Church Copyright Licence (CCL) – permits lyrics display and reproduction, service recording, customised translations and music arrangements. Prerequisite for all the other CCLI licenses.
  • Church Video Licence (CVL) – permits publicly showing commercial movies or excerpts of movies (not all studios).
  • Public Performance License (PPL) – permits public performance of music during church activities other than worship services, at the licensed church location.

This licence does not include performing music at locations other than your licensed mission location – see One Music CGP Licence.

Many expressions also benefit from:

  • Music Reproduction Licence (MRL) permits physical or digital reproduction of sheet music, including additional Song Select copies.

NB: Song Select is not a license, but Worship Arts manage a group purchase of Advanced category subscription plans as part of Group Licensing Agreements. For more information on Song Select please see the Resources page.

  • CCLI Streaming and Streaming Plus Licenses  - permits live, scheduled and on demand online streaming of music as part of worship services. To include commercial audio or video (e.g. backing tracks or instrumentals) the Plus tier is required.

These licenses are not available to DHQ or THQ locations or mobile ministries with a Mobile CCL.

For full terms & conditions and more information on each of these licenses see

Big Movie Studio Licence (BMSL) permits publicly showing commercial movies or excepts of movies from many production studios not covered by the CVL.

For corps (churches and worship centres), this is the only church licence that covers Disney, Roadshow, Sony, Marvel, Warner Bros, Pixar, eOne, Transmission and more.  For full details read more on the official site Big Movie Studio Licence

OneMusic Australia is a recent joint initiative between APRA AMCOS and PPCA. The 2 music rights bodies have come together to provide easy legal access for music customers.

Worship Arts has continued to work closely with One Music through this process. Recently, OneMusic have transferred administration of their Church Public Performance Licensing to CCLI, to be more easily managed alongside other church specific licenses – this is the PPL described above. It is group managed for all corps expressions requiring any public use of music.

However due to other changes in licensing structures, some locations and groups may now require additional licences:

  • Community Group Performance Licence –permits performance groups to publicly perform music at locations other than their mission expression site.
  • Background Music Licence (Retail) - Corps-managed Family Stores should hold this licence in order to publicly play background music in their premises. Please contact Worship Arts if you are not sure your Family Store has been included in the group arrangement.

Not everything in the new Salvation Army Songbook is covered through CCLI, TSA or is Public Domain.  Coverage for the projection of lyrics and music for a number of pieces like I, the Lord of Sea and Sky is covered by and managed by Worship Arts.

If you cannot find a piece that you are using on CCLI’s Online Reporting Tool, please contact and we will seek clearance for you.

The FAQs

See the Mission Expression Copyright Checklist for a list of common worship and mission needs to help you confirm which are appropriate for your location.

  1. Standard Grouped licenses for almost all mission expressions include:
  • CCLI - Church Copyright License
  • CCLI - Church Public Performance License
  • CCLI - Church Video License
  • Heritage - Big Movie Studio License
  1. Standard Optional Grouped Licenses – to opt-in or out of these, please contact
  • CCLI - Song Select Advanced Subscription
  • CCLI - Music Reproduction License (required with above)
  • OneMusic - Community Group Performance License
  • OneMusic - Retail Background Music Licenses (Family Stores)
  • OneMusic - Retail licences for any commercial enterprise run by the corps other than Family Stores (e.g. Café)
  1. Self-managed Licenses - directly managed by expressions who require them:
  • CCLI - Streaming or Streaming Plus License
  • CCLI - Song Select Premium - please advise Worship Arts if changing to or from Advanced Level
  • OneMusic - Special event licences (e.g. musicals & ticketed events) – these should be organised by event owner in consultation with relevant leadership. Worship Arts and/or the Mission Event Support team may be able to assist with information and application.


Local Mission Expression events will often be covered by existing licenses if they are similar in scope to your usual activities – e.g. one-off worship night, a family concert with free admission/not ticketed.

Exceptions apply:

  • for Grand Rights (musicals, plays, operetta, cantata etc.)
  • for events generating a box office (events with priced tickets).
  • for some events at a different location to your licensed location

Please contact Worship Arts if you have questions about such events.

Please note:

Divisional or Territorial team events that are live or in person only may be covered by DHQ and THQ licenses. Some conditions still apply – please contact Worship Arts or Mission Event Support for more information.

Divisional or Territorial team events that involve live streaming or use of pre-recorded live performance may need additional permission for copyrighted works to be used - please contact Worship Arts or Mission Event Support for more information.

For more information about Streaming please click here


Not all songs in the Songbook are Public Domain or copyrighted to The Salvation Army. Our permission to publish such songs in Songbooks, Tune Books and other resources does not confer any additional rights of use such as recording, arranging, streaming etc. Most of these songs are covered for further use by our licensing arrangements with CCLI, APRA and other organizations.

This proviso also applies to recordings released by TSA – if the original work is not also entirely rights controlled by TSA, it may require additional permission for any public use and should be investigated first.

For a list of Salvation Army Song Book Songs by copyright type, click here


For more information click here


Check their song database

Yes, CCL and MRL Licence Terms & Conditions request you to report on your song usage. You can do this online at when you have created a CCLI Profile and logged in. For easy how to steps see

For full details of each of the CCLI licenses and their Terms & Conditions, visit their website:

For the OneMusic Licenses, head to

For CCLI - Log in to the CCLI Profile Page, under Account, choose View Licences and Services and press the Download Certificate button. For others, please contact Worship Arts.

This depends on several factors. Some licences are on a sliding scale based on congregational size while others may be a flat yearly fee. Also, not every location needs every licence. And the majority of TSA licences receive a significant discount as TSA group manages their purchase, approximately 15% on most licenses.

As a guide, a congregation of less than 50 attenders on average will pay less than $600 a year for the basic combination (discounted rate). A congregation of 200 and above is approximately $2000 a year, discounted rate.

While this might seem expensive, it is considerably less than many churches have (sadly) been sued for, after not considering this a matter worthy of attention.

Our licence agreements on average represent approximately $5-20 per year, per attender. This small cost allows Salvo congregations to minister with the freedom of knowing they are complying with Australia law, respecting the content creators supporting their activities, and honouring God.