International Cowboy Church Alliance Network - ICCAN

Spreading the love of Jesus...the Cowboy Way!

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Great information, thanks for sharing. Many times, like you said, these type things are done without knowing the rules. I have found over many years of working with churches and ministries concerning their tax-exempt status, that pastors and ministers have made many mistakes in this area due to just not knowing.  Unfortunately what you don't know can hurt you. So it is always a good practice to seek advice.


Thanks Jan and this applies even if the person is useing no backing track or music whatsoever....Folks do not

realize that if they are just singing someone elses song and being paid to do it: then they in turn owe for the rights

to sing it...I Knew a fella who had his Christmas ruined for singing a bunch of country gospel tunes for a few dollars.

We after all are christians and should want to follow all of the Ten Comandments.....and I really don't think most

performers realize they are doing anything is okay to by a Christian sound track and sing it at your church...
that is what they are for....but not to be used in a paid performance or to record.

Also , when recording, you have to obtain a mechanical license to do a cover on someones copyright.
As I told you earlier today...I found a website on Google a couple weeks ago that was selling downloads of an entire

album of mine and I never heard of the people involved...We are called to be in the world but not of the

believers we ought not to be nieve...we need to be watchful and do the right things...Bro Steven

It is hard to get a legitimate performance license for an artist because
In order to do so you MUST be able to know the average attendance to get the license as they are sold
on a yearly bases. And even if you don’t get paid you have to have a license. It pretty much has to be a
private setting at home or just jam type sessions that don’t require a license.
The info below is a link from BMI, they will tell you that the venue is responsible for the license but as
we know not all of them have them.
Performance Music represents ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.
If you get a live performance license and they say nothing about attendance

The only comprehensive performance license
Concerts, social events, seminars, aerobics classes, music-on-hold & more.
You probably need a performance license
Churches and ministries are exempt from having to pay royalties for playing music during services. Royalties
do need to be paid for music played outside of services, including music played at camps, dances, picnics,
non-ticketed concerts or any other activity other than religious services.
Legally perform over 16 million songs
PERFORMmusic bundles together licenses from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, allowing you to perform the
16 million songs that make up those catalogs, including both Christian and secular songs. The license covers
both your performances and the playing of pre-recorded music such as CDs or MP3s.

Simple and affordable
PERFORMmusic requires no reporting and you can sign up online today and get your license immediately. Pricing is by average weekly attendance:


1 - 99 $199.00
200 - 499 $ 280
500 - 1,999 $ 520
2,000 - 5,999 $ 810
6,000 - 14,999 $ 1,899
15,000 - + $2,100

Get a discount when you also sign up for PERMISSIONSplus or WORSHIPcast.

Genevia Johnson
I forgot to mention that a Religious service as defined is normal church services, not concerts.

Genevia Johnson
Here is a link for churches:

Thank you Genevia for joining this discussion...your input is valuable and folks need to know this information not

have to wonder about the right or wrong of can only be one or the other and the Lord tells us to always do
the right thing......Bro.Steven

The copyrights even more strict on visual arts. If a piece has been copyright registered in Washington D.C. and someone copies the original design or modifies the design for profit you will be fined at least $150,000. A work of art is not registered it still carries a siest and desist copyright. That could lead to a lawsuit. The copyrights apply 50years after the death of the artist. I personally register all my work than I publish.

Thank you Toyah for adding another great area to this discussion...Originaly I was thinking about Music and Poetry but as a Western Artist myself: Art is another area of copyright that I am happy you touched upon....but would'nt you agree that it would be much harder to get away with reproducing someones art than singing another persons song?

I am glad you brought out the penalties for art fraud as most would not realize it to be so high...but then it should be..I know I

can write a song much faster than it takes me to paint one of my pictures.L.O.L....You just keep painting those great works of art that you do...Bro. Steven

Thats correct Toyah, and you can see a lot of clips from movies and also slide shows that uses art work at a lot of concerts now, when you do this because you have combined to types of copyrighted material the fines become even steeper. The courts are now even wanting to know how many concerts / shows you may average and fine you for all of them.
Not only is it wrong for use to use the material without a license or permission but as a Christian the message it sends when caught hurts us all when it comes to our Lord's work and our ministries suffer.
I truly think we all have known from the start of our ministries what we could and couldn't do when it comes to material belonging to others.
Also we need to understand that when we are a part of any event with other artist that we should have a contract or rider that states all performers or groups should be legal as for as their material goes because more often than not at some point everyone ends up on stage together and then you could also be out of compliance. This has been challanged in court but as of yet now fines have been levied aginst the licensed singers, but this could also change.

Genevia Johnson
The establishment or event must have a copyright contract that will cover the entertainment. Casino comply with this law. It is a law not a rule. You brought up a great point, Christian. "thou shalt not steal". However many of performers are not educated on the law. So, the  event manager is require the performers be in compliance of the law.

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