CMB 025 : Understanding Copyrights With Susan Fontaine Godwin


If you’re like me, then you’ve been stressed out a time or two over the administrative side of songwriting, music making, and…

…copyright compliance.

Perhaps you’ve wondered about how to get permission to do an amazing cover for YouTube, or even a desire to release some cover songs and not worry about digital distribution.

If you’re a worship leader who writes songs for your church, and even a handful of other churches are doing your songs, you’ve probably had the thought of getting those songs registered with CCLI.

Copyrights, licensing, and publishing, can be incredibly complicated this day and age, and it’s more important than ever to do things right.

In session 25 of the podcast, I share with you an interview I had with Susan Fontaine Godwin, founder and CEO of Christian Copyright Solutions (CCS).

CCS is an amazing company and online service helping churches and artists everywhere. Understanding copyright is a very important piece of the puzzle – especially if you’re an artist looking to build a small business as an indie musician.

Listen to or download the podcast here, and check out the detailed show notes below….


Here are a few highlights…

  • Susan’s work with Integrity Communications in 1984
  • The Hosanna Music Explosion and Susan’s involvement in publishing
  • Started Righteous Oaks Music in 1996
  • Rick Muchow and Saddleback Church, and the launch of CCS
  • PRO = Performing Rights Organization (Ascap, BMI, SESAC, etc…)
  • The difference between CCS and CCLI
  • The WORSHIPcast license and PERFORMmusic license
  • INDIEadmin
  • Steps for protecting and publishing your songs
  • Stewardship for creative people
  • Don’t wait for a publisher to come to you
  • Ownership breakdown of a song
  • Letter of agreement between writers in a co-write
  • Some examples of the different kinds of publishing agreements
  • Truth about the US Copyright Office
  • Basic Steps for Publishing Fact Sheet
  • CCS is a different publishing admin model
  • Getting ready for YouTube
  • Getting licensing for covers
  • The reason CCS exists
  • Serving music entrepreneurs
  • Being clear in your calling and vocation
  • Being surrounded by other believers

Important Links for CCS


Other important links you should know