I got my quarterly CCLI cheque today.
CCLI is the Christian Copyright organization that monitors the use of copyrighted music and lyrics. It has been around since 1984, and was actually founded by a family friend who attended our church back in the "hay day". This company created a way for writers, whose music was impacting the Christian community, to be compensated according to the demand of that song.
Now, I've heard the whole "It's God's song ... people shouldn't make money off of worship services," which is a valid point. But more so than worship services, it is also for recordings and the likes there-of. It is also a way of keeping record of what type of music is working and needed in local churches and such ... and also a way to see where one's song(s) have traveled to, if anywhere.
There are a few misconceptions about payouts with praise and worship songs. Churches typically fill out a survey of "songs sung" throughout a 6 month period. It isn't documented how many times each song is sung, just whether it has been used during that time. So, the conception of someone singing a chorus over and over again, earning more and more coin, is simply not true.
NOW - I'm certain that different churches may do things differently ... this is just how I understand it to be.
That being said ... I got my own CCLI cheque for the period of May-September 2008. Usually I see "Just As I Am" and "Highest Praise" on the list, as those are the songs that have been done locally - but it seems those churches haven't submitted during this time frame.
For me, what was a little shocking was seeing the name of a song that wasn't used on our church's 2006 CD and that hasn't been sung in our church for a very, very long time. So - somewhere, someone is singing "Amazed" and that, for me, is super cool.
The big cheque? $0.58.
I'll try not to spend it all at once *GRIN*.