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History

How did we get our start?

Our story begins in 1984 when a Portland, Oregon pastor first learned of a pending $3.1 million copyright lawsuit against the Archdiocese in Chicago. The pastor asked his music minister, Howard Rachinski, to ensure that his own church was covered.

In January 1985, Howard began to develop a “permission of use” concept, whereby churches could obtain blanket permission for specific “non-commercial” copying activities. He called it Starpraise Ministries, which became CCLI’s predecessor.

It became abundantly clear that Copyright Licensing for a church and the songwriters and publishers creating music was an issue that needed to be addressed. The market agreed and by the end of the second year, 1,150 churches signed on with Starpraise.

In January 1988, Starpraise Ministries was incorporated and in April the corporation name was changed to Christian Copyright Licensing, Inc. (CCLI)

What we still believe. Our roots began as a ministry of the church and a service to the church, in order to better educate and equip the church about copyright laws, to protect the church from the consequences of copyright infringement and to encourage greater utilisation of copyrights in church services. As our products and service continue to expand and evolve, we remain evermore committed to that cause.

CCLI now serves more than 250,000 churches worldwide.

Our Founder, Howard Rachinski

Meet our founder, Howard Rachinski.

A History of CCLI

1984
  • Copyright suit filed against Archdiocese in Chicago

1985
  • Howard Rachinski establishes copyright "permission of use"

  • Starpraise Ministries is founded

  • 250 churches become licence-holding customers

CCLI Official Logo 1985
1986
  • 1,150 churches sign on as licence-holding customers

1987
  • Starpraise Ministries meets UK counterpart, CMA

  • Starpraise Ministries and CMA establish church copyright agreement

1988
  • Starpraise Ministries is incorporated

  • Starpraise changes name to Christian Copyright Licencing, Inc. (CCLI)

  • CCLI launches Church Copyright Licence

1990
  • CCLI expands to cover Canada

1991
  • CCLI assumes British CMA operations

1993
  • CCLI expands into the Asia Pacific region with the opening of an office in Sydney, Australia

1994
  • CCLI begins serving schools in UK under Collective Worship Act

1995
  • First SongSelect logo used on floppy discs in 1995

SongSelect Logo, circa 1995
1995
SongSelect Logo, circa 1995
1995
  • CCLI expands to cover South Africa

1997
  • CCLI expands to offer Photocopy licence in Australia and New Zealand

1998
  • CCLI expands to non-English Nordic Countries

2001
  • CCLI partnered with MPLC to establish CVLI in 2001, providing the Church Video licence

CVLI Logo, circa 2001
2001
SongSelect Logo 2001
2002
  • CCLI started to sell Copyright Licences to churches in Benelux

2004
ScreenVue Logo 2004
2006
  • CCLI expanded to Germany

2007
SongSelect Logo blue 2007
2008
  • CCLI started in Singapore

2009
  • CCLI expanded into Brazil

2012
  • CCLI started in The Republic of Korea

2012
SongSelect Logo 2012
2016
  • CCLI is now able to licence worldwide with the signing of Global agreements.

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