[cc-community] CC licenses and recording rights for music
denver at ossguy.com
Mon Dec 17 21:07:09 EST 2007
On Dec 17, 2007 4:16 PM, jonathon <jonathon.blake at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Dec 17, 2007 8:15 PM, Denver Gingerich wrote:
> > Of the CC licenses, BY-NC-ND seems to be the best for the alternate
> BY-NC-ND requires the church to pay royalties on the song when it is used.
I was under the impression that (for church performances) only the
copying of the song lyrics and music was protected by copyright.
Since the church is not making a public performance of the music
(perhaps it is; see below), it is similar to singing a song in your
home. If you don't make copies of legitimately-purchased song sheets
or you sing it from memory, you can do it without paying royalties.
The definition of "publicly" in US law is available at
By the definition here, it appears that church performances are in a
gray area. Licensing companies tend to not address the case where
music is sung in church but no lyrics or music are copied  ,
suggesting they don't believe it is enforceable. I would be happy to
hear other opinions or references to case law on this matter. What
other countries' laws say about public performance would also be
To clarify, when I say "performance" here, I mean the playing of a
song by a live band, not playing a CD or other media through the sound
> > but would allow churches to use it in their services as long as no recording was taking place.
> I think that you are confusing "recording rights' with "performance rights".
I think the assumption I'm making is that a church's performance of a
song does not count as a "public performance". See the above
> > could use BY-NC-SA, but that would allow anyone to make a free recording
> NC still requires that both performance and recording royalties be paid.
Thanks for the clarification. I suppose whether specific types of
performance are covered by copyright laws is another question (see my
first and second notes).
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