According to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, copyright is an intellectual property right that is given to the creators of original music, literary, artistic and dramatic works. Under copyright law a newly written song is protected from the moment that it is written down or recorded in some physical or tangible format.



Copyright provides the creator of the song with two main rights. The first is economic, giving the owner the right to charge any person who wishes to copy, perform or record their work for any commercial or non-commercial use. The second is a moral right protecting the work form anyone wishing to use or change the work in any way that is offensive or just not in line with the wishes of the copyright owner. For years churches have paid for copyright through the purchase of hymn books. When churches choose to project hymns and worship song words that they had reproduced rather than purchasing hymn books a system had to be put in place to ensure song owners were paid for the reproduction of their work.

Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) was formed to bridge this gap, and a number of licences are available at cost.

The Church Copyright Licence (CCL) and the Music Reproduction Licence (MRL)

When the Conference reproduces or photocopies any material protected by copyright it will need either a licence or direct permission from the copyright owner or administrator.Hoddesdon Conference needs a CCL/MRL where:

  • We are projecting hymns and worship song words onto a screen
  • Tutors and worship leaders are creating own song lyrics database on computer
  • We are creating our own service sheets that contain hymns and worship song words or music
  • We photocopy hymns and worship song words or music from popular authorised hymn books
  • We make audio / video recordings of music from our services for those unable to attend.


In order that the Hoddesdon Conference may comply with the relevant law concerning copyright, the Hoddesdon Committee has acquired a suitable CCL/MRL licence – but with it comes certain responsibilities!We would therefore ask that all tutors and worship leaders/band members work with the Committee by ensuring that the following requirements are met:


 1. Under the lyrics of each song reproduced on each screen or slide are included:

[author], © [year, owner] 1175610

e.g. Fred Smiley, © 2007 Happy Music Ltd. CCL Licence No. 1175610

2. At the bottom of each photocopy must be written:

Copied by permission, MRL Licence No 1175627

3. A summary of the relevant hymn and song details be emailed to the Committee member responsible (tim@hoddesdon.orgbefore Conference or immediately thereafter to enable the reporting requirements to be met


We would be pleased to receive your personal contribution to the work of the forthcoming Hoddesdon Conference as outlined above. If you have any questions please let us know as soon as possible.


For further information about the CCLI – please visit their website here.