ONE LICENSE (OL) offers copyright reprints for congregational music to help you inspire singing and worship. OL allows you to reprint music for congregational use, in a worship aid, bulletin, or projection. OL does not cover music reprints for the choir, ensemble, instrumentalists, or accompanists.
OL licenses are available on an annual basis, a single-use basis, or for a special event up to one week in length. OL also has separate licenses for those wishing to podcast or stream a religious service, or for those wishing to create practice-tracks for rehearsal purposes.
We work with an impressive list of Member Publishers to provide an unparalleled list of popular congregational songs. Other licensing companies work with different publishers and do not share titles with ONE LICENSE.
If the title is owned by a OL Member Publisher, then it is covered under the license. You can search titles here. If you are certain that the work is owned or administered by a Member Publisher but do not find a title in our database, OL allows you to manually submit the song for inclusion in our reprint license. Manually submitted titles are carefully reviewed by our OL team before being accepted into our database of covered music and require time to review.
You can reproduce the words (lyrics) and music (melody) used by a congregation or organization in a religious service for songs owned or administered by the Member Publishers of OL. Reproduction may be in the form of a bulletin, program, order of service, song sheet, songbook, transparency, or by electronic storage and retrieval system for the projection of words or music or both. Reproductions may not be permanently bound into a worship aid that is sold, published, or shared with other congregations. Supplemental hymnals and reusable song books not intended for sale, publishing, or sharing with other congregations is allowed. See our blog post on this topic: https://news.onelicense.net/2017/10/24/supplemental-hymnals-reusable-song-books/
Your license is intended for the reproduction of words and/or music for the congregation or those attending the event. Specifically excluded are choir parts, accompaniments, full scores, and instrumental parts of any kind. Additionally, no choral music (octavos) may be reproduced, except that part of the work that may be identified in the score as intended for congregational singing (commonly called a music or reprint box).
The fee is based on the average weekly attendance of your organization/congregation and by student enrollment for schools. Please see the Options and Prices page for more information.
Reporting is easy via our online tools and ensures composers and artists are compensated for their music. License holders are required to report 100% of the music reprinted under the license. For more information, you can view a tutorial video on reporting.
You should report "Words and Music" because you are going to sing the tune, even if the music notes are not present on the reprint.
With an Annual License, weddings, funerals, and one-time events (confirmation, baccalaureate service, etc.) are included. Simply report the titles for each service or event in which they occur. If you are obtaining a Single-Use License for a wedding, funeral, etc., calculate the fee based on the number of participants in each specific event. A Single-Use License (24 hours) or Event License (one week) covers all Member Publisher congregational music.
You may report just once, but you will report the total number of times you used each song each week. The total number of times a song is used is dependent on the number of services or Masses each song is used at during a week. If you have three services and sang the gathering song three times, report it three times.
If you are planning to reprint a song, you must have a published copy of the congregational version of that song in your possession. Look for the copyright notice on the commercially published copy of the work (usually a hymnal, missal, song book or congregational sheet music). Public domain pieces will usually not include any claim of copyright on the page, either at the top or bottom of the piece of music.
When a text or music is under copyright, the copyright owner states their claim through the three-part notice: © (year) (name). In some cases, though, these notices are lumped either in the front or the back of the collection, so check carefully.
Other ways to tell are by examining the dates attached to author’s and composer’s names. For “Silent Night,” the printed page credits the text to Joseph Mohr, 1792–1849; the translation to John F. Young, 1820–1885, and the tune to Franz X. Gruber, 1787–1863. Since all died more than seventy years ago, it is a relatively firm conclusion that words and music are in the public domain.
But, if after Gruber’s name and dates were added “Arrangement, John Doe, 1998,” along with a claim to copyright, such as “© 1998, ABC Music Co.,” it would be clear that there is a claim to copyright on this piece, and because of all the other dates involved, that can only apply to the arrangement. For the purpose of reprinting the words and melody, both of which are clearly in the public domain, no permission is needed.
To summarize: If there is no claim to copyright on the printed page, or in the front or back of the particular collection or work, it is reasonably safe to assume that the work is in the public domain.
Use the following form to create your unique copyright line:
Words: John Doe, © 1988 ABC Music Co.; Music: Jane Doe, © 1990 XYZ Publications. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-xxxxxxx. All rights reserved.
If words and music are by the same composer, you may combine these lines. This information must be typed into your worship aid/bulletin/slide show/etc., but the location (after each song, beginning, end, etc.) is up to you and your formatting. The copyright symbol (circle with the C in the middle) can be created by typing (c) into your program or option G on your keyboard. You must include your ONE LICENSE license number with your reprint or projection - replace the “x” with the appropriate number.
Please record the song title as it appears in your source document. For Mass parts, we recommend listing the Mass setting first, then the part of the Mass setting; “Mass in E - Memorial Acclamation A”; “Mass of Creation - Glory to God.” For psalms, please record the title as “Psalm x - then any other title to be included”; example - “Psalm 34: The Cry of the Poor.”
Learn how the Podcast/Streaming License works.
The ONE LICENSE Podcast/Streaming License allows a congregation to podcast over the Internet recordings of live worship services that contain music and other content represented by one of the ONE LICENSE Member Publishers, provided three conditions are met:
Learn how the Practice-Track License works.
With the Practice-Track License you need to report each recording you decide to share with your ensemble. In the case of a new recording of individual parts, you should just report one use of the song.
Note that if you store your recordings on Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other web platform, you should report the number of intended uses. In this case, you would not report the song only once if it is intended to be listed to by 40 choir members.
No. A Mechanical License is a license that grants certain limited permissions to rerecord a piece of music that is under copyright. A Master-Use License covers a commercially available recorded track, but does not cover the underlying song. (In many cases, the publisher of a song can be different from the owner of a commercially available master, so in copying a master recording typically both a Mechanical License and a Master-Use License are required.)
The ONE LICENSE Practice-Track License is a convenient, cost-effective alternative to both the Mechanical License and Master-Use License, all administered quickly and easily online. A choral director can use the Practice-Track License to legally make copies of a recorded song from our Member Publishers (or make their own recording) and then distribute that practice track to a choral group or ensemble for rehearsal purposes.
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