Chapel at CTS
Copyrights – Essential Information

Prayers or Other Reprinted Texts:

 Prayers or other reprinted materials must be acknowledged in all formats used in chapel worship services. Columbia can only use materials that are covered under Fair Use assessment for nonprofit educational purposes; that are in the public domain; and/or for which express permission has been given by the copyright holder.

1. Copyright assessment or permission may not be needed when you have selected materials that are: freely available on the Web or through a licensed database; in the public domain (typically, this means published before 1923 and the copyright has expired); available freely under a Creative Commons license; or the materials are needed for accessibility purposes if accessible copies are not readily available.

2. Fair Use:  (More information can be found at the Stanford University Libraries Public Domain Resource Page,


1. Copyrights are intended to protect the rights of authors, composers, artists, performers, and other “creators” of print, published, and performed works to the legal and financial ownership of their work. Permission, unless otherwise granted by the copyright owner or through a licensing program like OneLicense or CCLI.

2. All copyright owners have the same rights over the use of their material; some may allow their works to be used with permission without the payment of royalties; others may have assigned their ownership to a publishing firm or recording company who may grant permission to reproduce the material; some must be contacted directly and supply the details for reproduction.

3. Generally, the duration of a copyright is the life of the owner (author, composer, etc.) plus 70 years (some works published since January 1, 1978, have their copyright duration extended to 95 years). Copyrights may be renewed, or reissued a publisher who may have made even minor revisions. Just remember, you can never assume that a particular work is or is not covered by the copyright law. At the very least, be sure that you have done your best to check the status.

4. Once a copyright has expired, the material is considered “Public Domain,” and may be freely reproduced.

5. Some publications, such as Glory to God, have an index of Copyright Holder Acknowledgments, so you can easily check to see who owns the copyright at the present time. Most publications have a note on the reverse of the title page, or referenced in the preface, regarding copyright permissions and infringements. Most hymnals and music resources for worship have notices accompanying each song. (Copyright notices include the symbol © followed by the year the copyright was issued and the name of the holder.)

6. Many resources grant permission to use copyrighted material in worship services, but this is something you can neither expect nor take for granted as you are selecting songs, prayers, etc. to include in your services. Most often there is no permission required for organ preludes and postludes, choir anthems, and vocal/instrumental pieces which are performed in the context of worship and only print titles and authors/composers in bulletins.

7. Several publishers issue copyright licenses through agencies like OneLicense and CCLI, through which the seminary has limited permission for an annual fee to copy for congregational use worship texts and musical resources.

a. To find out whether or not a particular song is covered under our OneLicense subscription, visit and enter the song information into the search bar. The publishers whose work is often covered by OneLicense include Abingdon Press, Augsburg Fortress, Concordia, Faith Alive Christian Resources, Hope Publishing, Presbyterian Publishing, United Methodist Publishing, and Westminster John Knox Press.

i.     For works covered by our OneLicense subscription, the permission note must include our membership number (A-712628) and read: “Reprinted under #A-712628.”

b. To find out whether or not a particular song is covered under our CCLI subscription, visit and enter the song information into the search bar. Many songs in the contemporary and gospel worshiping traditions are covered by this license.

i. For works covered by our SongSelect subscription, the permission note must include our membership number #11345580 and read: “Reprinted under CCLI #11345580.”

8. For works not covered by OneLicense or CCLI, the permission must be obtained through the copyright owner, and the note in the bulletin should read: “Copyright (year) by (owner). Used with permission.” Example: “Copyright 2016 by John Doe. Used with permission.”

9. Michael Morgan, Seminary Musician (, and Alexandra Mauney (, CTS Worship Life Intern, are available to help with copyright ownership verification and OneLicense or CCLI reprinting information.