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license needed to record in a church?

matt milton 01 Jun 12 - 06:09 AM
Jack Campin 01 Jun 12 - 07:03 AM
Will Fly 01 Jun 12 - 07:14 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Jun 12 - 07:52 AM
matt milton 01 Jun 12 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Geoff 01 Jun 12 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 01 Jun 12 - 08:52 AM
matt milton 01 Jun 12 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Jun 12 - 09:22 AM
Bernard 01 Jun 12 - 09:51 AM
matt milton 01 Jun 12 - 09:53 AM
Bernard 01 Jun 12 - 09:54 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Jun 12 - 02:43 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 12 - 03:54 PM
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Subject: license needed to record in a church?
From: matt milton
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 06:09 AM

the other day I emailed my nearest church to ask if I could hire it for a few hours to do some recording in. (Myself playing some folk songs on the guitar.)

They just replied saying "Unfortunately, we do not hold a Recording Licence which would be necessary for this purpose".

Can anyone tell me what they are referring to? (in the UK)

Had a look online but couldn't find any satisfactory answers.
CCLI (Christian copyright licensing website) is the site Google suggests, where you can buy various licenses. There are all very cheap - around the £20 mark - and if that was the sole impediment I would just treat my local church to one!

But I'm not sure that's the right thing: they all seem to do with PRS and copyright - i.e. broadcasting or recording performances of other people's music, as opposed to recording per se.

So can anyone tell me what sort of license they mean?


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 07:03 AM

Licenses are needed in the US - over here you need a licence.

They are probably just confused and think you mean a PRS/MCPS licence. You need to unconfuse them, that's all.


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 07:14 AM

Matt, our ceilidh band once made some recordings in a local Unitarian Chapel - they just asked permission and the church people said, "Fine - go ahead."

A small donation to the building repair fund didn't go amiss either.

I agree with Jack - looks like confusion on the church's part.


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 07:52 AM

I don't know what they mean either.


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: matt milton
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 08:05 AM

I did wonder if I was being given the brush-off.

However, I did find this:
www.churchofengland.org/media/41098/litcopy.rtf

...which does state "A PFFL Licence from CCLE is also required by an amateur making a recording in church. Details of the PFFL licence and fee should be obtained from CCLE"


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: GUEST,Geoff
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 08:42 AM

We do not hold a Recording Licence.... Can anyone tell me what they are referring to?

Have you thought of asking them?


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 08:52 AM

At a quick glance, these licences appear to be for recording church services eg weddings and are to cover copyright in the music and liturgy. It seems to me they shouldn't apply where you are simply using the church as a recording venue and where the public are not admitted.

Is the music you intend to record your own material? If so, you own the copyright and MCPS and CCLE aren't involved. If it is others' copyright that is normally something for the producer to sort out with MCPS,not the venue


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: matt milton
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 09:16 AM

"Have you thought of asking them?"

Yes, will do so, of course. But I just wanted to check first, in order to know how to reply.


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 09:22 AM

.. perhaps they're afraid you'll be singing the Devil's rock 'n' roll !!!???


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: Bernard
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 09:51 AM

A licence isn't needed to make a recording. You only need a licence to sell copies of the recording, which is a matter between you and the licencing authority, and nowt to do with the church.

As has already been suggested above, you may need a licence if the public are present - a concert, wedding service and the like, but most churches are already covered, so it wouldn't be any concern of yours.

The simplest way to reply is to politely ask that they send you a copy of the licence application form...!


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: matt milton
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 09:53 AM

I suspect it is simply the case that it's not something they're interested in, and something they don't want to encourage, and that this is simply their (frustrating) way of finding a way of saying no.

But I will try to craft the politest, most diplomatic way of asking them if they are 100% absolutely certain that they do indeed require a "Recording License". Which is harder to do than it sounds.


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: Bernard
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 09:54 AM

"You only need a licence to sell copies of the recording"

Sorry, I should have included 'broadcast the recording' - playing back the recording to an audience.


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 02:43 PM

No, Bernard, that is not true.

If you record a song you make a reproduction of the words (literary work) and the melody (musical work).

Those are acts restricted by copyright.

You need the licence of the copyright owner or relevant agent (usually MCPS) to record. If you plan to adapt either you will need something that is not in the MCPS standard licensing repertoire.


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Subject: RE: license needed to record in a church?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 03:54 PM

Dunno how things are done in the UK, but here in Seattle, in the U.S. and A.

In October of 2007, when Bob (Deckman) Nelson and I did our "Reunion Concert" (we worked as a duo in the late '50s-early 60s), we performed in Central Lutheran Church. No problem.

My wife and I are members of the church (she attends regularly, I attend fairly often). Central has superb acoustics. I simply asked the pastor if we could hold the concert in the church on the specified Sunday afternoon. Since Barbara and I are members, we are permitted to use the church when it is not otherwise being used, with the pastor's approval. And no charge!

Heck of a deal! It is customary to slip the custodian a gratuity because he has to turn the lights on and off and do any necessary cleaning up after the event.

I'm tentatively planning to record as much of my repertoire as I can (straight voice and guitar, no drum tracks, overdubbing, or other hanky-panky) and maybe issue some CDs. All public domain material, by the way. Central Lutheran has a nice natural reverb, and recordings I've heard made there sound excellent in terms of ambiance, without any electronic messing about. I have a bit of computer-centered recording equipment, and it would be no problem lugging it down to the church and setting it up.

No "recording license" necessary. And I'm sure Pastor Cindy would tell me to go ahead and use the church any time it's not otherwise in use.

As long as I don't leave a bunch of empty beer bottles sitting on the altar.

Don Firth


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