However many churches also to perform or play music outside of a worship service, eg in the foyer over coffee, as background muzak in the telephone system, at wedding receptions, etc. In most countries, churches need to buy a performance licence to do this legally, just like any other community group or business.
Church-copyright-organisations do not usually manage performance licences.
Instead, these licenses are handed by Performance Rights Organizations (PROs). A list of these organisations for English-speaking countries is below.
- American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
- Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI)
- SESAC (Originally the Society of European Stage Authors & Composers, now just SESAC)
- Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada - SOCAN (formerly PROCAN and CAPAC)
- Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) (Australian site)
- Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) (New Zealand site)
Others:For information about other countries, consult the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC): this is an umrella organisation for various copyright organisations, across various formats ( music, drama, literature, audio-visual, graphic and visual arts), so their directory include performance rights organisations and various other rights groups.
Note that this is a list of performance rights organisations, and that performance usually includes playing CDs, DVDs, etc in public places.
Permission to make recordings or to use music in other works is usually handled by reproduction-rights organisations.
Advice on LiturgyTools.net is general only: for specific legal advice, consult a lawyer.