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CCLI understands that in the United Kingdom and Ireland copyright is automatic.

This means that once a work is put into tangible form (e.g. written words / music, or an audio recording), the copyright belongs to you and it is protected by copyright law.

You do not have to register your songs with any kind of authority in order for them to be protected.


CCLI cannot provide you with any ‘copyright protection’ or ‘copyright’ your works.

The UK Intellectual Property Office currently provides the following advice:

“To help protect your copyright work, it is advisable to mark it with the © symbol, the name of the copyright owner and the year in which the work was created. Although this is not essential, it will let others know when the term of protection started and it should then be possible to calculate whether it has ended or not. It will also indicate who the owner was at that time in case it is then necessary to approach them should you need to ask permission to use the work.”

Additionally, a creator could send himself or herself a copy by special delivery post (which gives a clear date stamp on the envelope), leaving the envelope unopened on its return (ensuring you also know what is inside each envelope in case you do this more than once). Alternatively you could lodge your work with a bank or solicitor. It is important to note, that this does not prove that a work is original or created by you. But it may be useful to be able to show the court that the work was in your possession at a particular date.”

For more information about copyright, please visit the website of the UK Intellectual Property Office or the Irish Patents Office.

Further Information

Fact File: Writing Songs for your Church

This printable PDF covers common questions about writing songs for your church.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about song writing