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Showing Films or Film Scenes

Our church is hosting an event at a local conference centre and would like to show a DVD. Is this covered by our Church Video Licence?

You would be able to use the Church Video Licence (CVL) your church holds if the event is an outreach of the church. You would also need to ensure the film’s producer is covered by the CVL and no admission charge is made. The venue will also need to hold a PRS for Music licence (which is premises specific, so you can’t use your PRS for Music Church Licence). You would be able to charge for refreshments and you also could accept donations. You must not advertise the film publicly but can promote it within your church. If you don’t have a CVL, CCLI can still provide an Event Video Licence for a one-off screening. Please call us on 01323 436100 for further information.

Where can I find a full list of motion pictures covered under the CVL?

CCLI list every film producer covered by the licence, so any titles by that producer will be covered. You can view the full list of authorised film producers on our website.

Do we need Church Video Licence (CVL) to show a teaching DVD in church if the DVD is produced and sold as part of the course material ?

Check the information printed on the resource or at the beginning of the DVD. Please visit to check whether the producer is covered by the Church Video Licence. If you’re still not sure, you may need to contact the publisher to confirm the rights granted for use.

Can I use copyright music in the soundtrack of an amateur video to be shown in church and posted on the internet?

You would require licences from PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) - 0207 534 1030 and MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) - 0207 580 5544 to dub music onto a video.

Why does the list of film producers on your web site differ from the list at

Film producers do not always give permission for their films to be covered in every country. The default list found at is for the United States only.

Where can I find out the producer for a certain film?

The producer is usually listed on the packaging of the DVD, the disc itself and at the beginning and end of the film.

We record our sermons for our web-site on CD. If one includes a clip from a DVD soundtrack do we need to cut this bit out?

CCLI do not cover music on web-pages so would advise contacting PRS for Music's Online & Mobile Department on 0207 306 4991 or visiting their website for further information.

How can I get permission to show a film that is not included on the Church Video Licence (CVL) authorised producers list?

We would advise you contact the producer directly if they are not included on our authorised list. Remember, a PRS for Music Church Licence may also be required if showing the film outside of acts of worship.

Can we advertise a DVD we're showing in a church event? Can it be placed on the notice board outside of the church? Can leaflets be handed out?

You would require a Church Video Licence (CVL) and PRS for Music Church Licence to show a film in activities outside of your regular worship services. The CVL does not permit churches to charge for attendance or advertise the specific title to the general public. This would include a notice board outside of the church or leaflets distributed to the general public.

Do we need a licence to show DVDs or film clips only during our church services?

A Church Video Licence (CVL) is required to show authorised films/film scenes in any context within church. You would also need a PRS for Music Church Licence if showing a film or film scene outside of your regular worship services (Acts of Worship), but not if you only use film scenes during your regular worship services.

Which films are covered by the Church Video Licence (CVL)?

The CVL does not cover all films. To find out if the film you want to show is covered: 1) Look on the DVD/Video cover or search online to find out which studio(s) produced and/or distributed the film 2) Search for the film studios/distributors on our Producer List ( If at least one of them is included on the list then the film is covered by the CVL. If the studios or distributors are not listed, the film is not covered by the CVL. In such cases you could try contacting FilmBank ( to see if they license the film, or alternatively contact the film producer direct

Can we show films in church using a subscription streaming service such as Netflix?

Provided your church holds a Church Video Licence (CVL) and a PRS for Music Church Licence you can show films authorised under the CVL in church activities using a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. If you are only showing film scenes during your regular worship services, and not during any other church activities, you will not require the PRS for Music licence in addition to the CVL.

Can we use YouTube in church?

Unfortunately there is no simple answer. YouTube’s terms of service specify that its content is for ‘personal, non-commercial use’ (5.L.). However it goes on to make an exception where ‘prior written consent’ has been given by ‘YouTube or the respective licensors of the content’ (5.M.). If your church holds the Church Video Licence (CVL) from CCLI, you can legally show scenes from films covered by this licence provided the scene has been uploaded to YouTube by an authorised source. If a film scene has been uploaded to YouTube by an individual, e.g. a fan of the film, then it should not be deemed covered by the CVL and consequently it should not be shown during church activities. Showing ‘lyric videos’ Song videos that show the lyrics so that you can sing along to them are increasingly common on YouTube. However, CCLI recommends that you do not show them in a worship service or other public setting without the explicit consent of the publisher or copyright owner. If in doubt, it is usually possible to establish who owns the copyright. Seeking their direct permission is the safest way to ensure that you’re acting legally and doing the right thing.

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