Live Streaming and Copyright

The internet has brought the opportunity for churches to communicate with more people, more easily.  One of the ways they can do this is to put their services onto people’s computers and mobile devices, as they happen, through Live Streaming.

With the cost of cameras coming down and Live Streaming software available at no cost, more churches are taking advantage of the opportunity.  We have pages in our Tips section that show how you can set up your own Live Stream.

If you are Live Streaming the sermon only, then you can set up the software, set up your camera and start streaming.  However, if you are planning to stream the whole service, including the music, you will need to ensure you have the appropriate copyright license to ensure you are not broadcasting without being covered.  Live Streaming music without the appropriate licence can lead to a civil action for copyright infringement being brought and you being liable for damages and costs.

Most churches already have a CCLI licence which allows them to display the words to songs on screen, or to make printed copies for the congregation to use.  This licence, however, does not cover you for Live Streaming those songs.  For Live Streaming you will need a separate licence from PRS for Music.

Limited Online Music Licence

PRS for Music provide a Limited Online Music License (LOML) which includes an Interactive Webcast service allowing you to broadcast music as part of your Live Stream.  The licence has to be renewed annually and the cost will depend on how popular you think your Live Stream will be.  The cheapest option, Band A, will cover you for up to 115,000 Live Stream views per year at a cost of £133 + VAT.  If you believe you will get more views than this, a LOML has various bands covering up to a maximum of 1,150,000 Live Stream views, with the annual cost increasing for each band.

A LOML also covers other online facilities you may be using in your church, such as Podcasts.  You can find full details of the licence on the PRS for Music website:  From here you can download a guide to the LOML, download the full terms and conditions and purchase a licence.