Copyright FAQ – Music and Lyric Videos

Please respect the fact that each track consumed at least 60 hours of my life. 

All my life, I’ve been told that I had to use my musical gifts for the church, and trust God to provide. Even my teenage singing lessons were funded on that basis. Finally, at 60, I’ve decided to ask that those who benefit from my work should contribute at least the price of a cup of good coffee towards my costs and labour in creating and producing these products.

That said, I have not included any Digital Rights Management (DRM) in the files, because I want you to be able to share the file with your entire church, and supply copies to all your worship leaders and clergy. You may include my hymns in streamed and videoed services, and give copies to shut-in parishioners who will appreciate playing them at home. With the caveat that they shouldn’t share those files with other people. Remind them that I rely on sales data to decide what hymns I should publish, and if they give them away, I have no way of knowing they like my track.


About other people’s copyrights.
A few hymns use modern texts, like those of Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. ( These recordings are created at the request and with the permission of the authors. 

Carolyn’s permissions for me to share these hymns, and you to use them, is a temporary license only, a Covid-time gift to you and your congregation. When she withdraws her license, I will withdraw all her tracks from my store, and you will need to contact Carolyn directly or at for permission to continue using them. 

My musical arrangements and performances of Carolyn's Hymns are still covered by my personal copyright.

Hymns and Choruses from my childhood
A small but growing subset of hymns were written by unidentified people that may well be still alive. I and others have researched them extensively, and we cannot find anyone to whom to attribute copyright. This makes them available for me to produce and share as if they were in the Public Domain. 

If I have inadvertently published your hymn, please contact me with appropriate evidence. If you are not interested in granting me permission to continue to share your hymn, I will remove it from the store and notify all those who have purchased it from me to delete it. 

Traditional Hymns
The bulk of the hymns I incorporate in The Hymnody Project are in the Public Domain. 

The text authors and music composers have publicly recorded dates of death prior to 31st Dec 1950. (70 years.) I have not referred to any later copyrighted publications of text or arrangement while developing these orchestrations. 

Copyright on the tracks themselves, the arrangements, performance, and lyric videos is mine. © Chris Pitcher, as affirmed on the credits page in each lyric video.

While YouTube’s algorithms regularly flag some of my tracks as copyright to some other entity (generally publishing companies), I have challenged each claim, and in each case my rights have been upheld.  

“Moderised” Hymn Texts
In many cases I have made my own adaptions to the texts in the interests of clarity or inclusivity. All changes have been made with reference to the theology of the text and the author’s intent as displayed in the oldest versions of the texts that I can find, and in the original language where possible.

Please contact me if you own copyright on better interpretations of the texts that you would like me to use.

So that you can print the texts in your pew sheets and share them with your congregation, I have included the text that I have used in the audio downloads of recently published hymns. Updating older files is an ongoing project. If you need a copy of a modified text, please contact me and I will send it to you. 

These texts have been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Licence. (

Most of the images I use in the Lyric Videos are photos I have taken myself. A few are the creation of friends or family, and I have used them with their permission and acknowledged their copyright on the Credits page of the videos.

Some of Carolyn’s hymns feature images of relevant art from throughout the church’s history. I decided to do this on the basis that I have produced Carolyn’s hymns at no cost to her or you, so the rights holders are suffering no financial loss from my use of the image. If you represent an organisation that holds the original artwork or I have used your photograph of it, and you wish the image removed from the Lyric Video, or explicitly attributed, please contact me.


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