Three actions churches must do to Livestream their gatherings

The lockdown of gathering has lead to Livestream of gatherings. Well, this is what it seems for now. Churches that have never done this or been living in the background have soon found themselves in the foreground trying to figure this online church thing out. I think there will be some legal infractions if churches are not careful. This is how you stream your music. The biggest obstacle in having church in 2020 is the music and considering if you are in jeopardy of facing a lawsuit.

Playing music live on camera is tricky. Nothing is covering a cover band. Most worship bands in churches are cover bands playing the music of others in their own way. They are at risk too. Everybody wants money, and everybody will sue first and ask questions later. Musicians, by nature, struggle for income, ask me how I know? If you don't get this right, your church stream can be shut-down, blocked, or unpublished (while it is streaming!).  I believe we have seen this with the blue company with the F logo. Besides, a small church faces legal violations of the copyright of another author's material.

Are you a traditional church? You want to sing Hymns? A hymn is only authorized for a church's local singing inside the building, not for live streaming.

If you want to do this legally correct, you must do these three actions first.

1. Check the copyright holder for the song you want to use.  You must check who the copyright holder is, or check the "Copyright and permissions" index published inside the book. If none, check with the publisher. Even If it is claimed to be public domain, check it anyway. Every copyright notice says who actually owns it, and it is the user's job to track the song down.

2. Get a license for that copyrighted material. For example, hymns are usually copyrighted by GIA publications in Chicago.  Many songs are covered with the top three license companies: One License, CCLI, CIVLI, or CCS,  Broadcasting Radio on-air is another set using ASCAP and BIMI. Trust me, This can add up really fast. You have to pay to play. Nothing is free, except for the music you write yourself in your car.

Try to stick to the licensed version of the song as much as possible. Some songs have different tunes mended inside of it like hymns, and somewhat churches called "special music" uses an array of arrangements that should also be honored. If you are unsure, contact the publisher directly.

3. Report the usage of music to the copyright holder (or bundled service). There are always stipulations to any given license and given permissions. A statement can require acknowledgments or a clearly written report that is sent back to the permissions platform or what Songs, hymns, or spiritual songs you used that Sunday.

The critical step is any material that is copyrighted must always be covered by either a license covering agreement that the content or by pre-obtained written permission by all copyright artists or authors.

Remember, you have to document every copyrighted material you Livestream either in a details order of service (The company Planning Center helps) and or an excel spreadsheet that protects the institution.

Do not be that church that claims Christ, and steals like the devil.
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