Researching Copyright for Live Streaming

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If you read a poem, read an excerpt from a book, sing a hymn, have the choir perform, or play a CD in your worship space, for your worshiping congregation, you are exempt from the normal prohibitions in the copyright laws against public performances. But when you record or stream a service the rules change drastically.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Copyright Primer for Congregations. This is the primary UUA document for all things related to copyright.
  • The above page includes a curated list of all of the Hymns and Readings (PDF) that may be used in broadcast UU worship without special permission
  • The Association for UU Music Ministries has a crowd-sourced list of works that have temporary permissions granted by composers, etc. for live streaming during the COVID-19 social distancing protocol.
  • One option is to purchase a WorshipCast license from Christian Copyright Solution. A yearly fee covers singing and performing in church, and there is an additional cost for live streaming. This covers most music publishers, including ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, although it doesn't cover everything. Be sure to check whether it covers the music you plan to use in your service.
  • This is also an opportunity to encourage your members to write original pieces for worship.

Additional Resources from outside the UUA: