FAQs

Reprint Licenses & General Questions

Click here to learn how our various license types work!

ONE LICENSE offers a variety of license types to help you inspire congregational singing and worship.

Our Reprint Licenses allow you to reprint copyrighted music for congregational use. Some organizations take advantage of this Reprint License by placing words or melody lines in a worship aid, bulletin, leaflet, supplemental hymnal, or projection screen. Note that ONE LICENSE does not cover music reprints for the choir, cantor, ensemble, instrumentalists, or accompanists.

Our Podcast / Streaming Licenses allow you to post services to your organization’s website or social media page. Note that music used must be self-made / non-commercial in nature.

Licenses are available on an annual basis, a single-use basis, or for a special event up to seven days in length. ONE LICENSE also offers a Practice-Track License for those wishing to create tracks for rehearsal purposes.

ONE LICENSE works with an impressive list of Member Publishers to provide an unparalleled selection of popular congregational songs. Other licensing companies work with different publishers and may not share titles with ONE LICENSE.

A song is covered for use by ONE LICENSE if:

  1. The copyright holder / Member Publisher is a part of our service.
  2. The song is listed in the catalog.
  3. The song is approved for the specific license your organization holds.

Note that some Member Publishers host their entire catalogs on our service and some offer a limited catalog. Note also that while the vast majority of our Member Publishers participate in our Podcast / Streaming License and our Practice-Track License, copyright holders and Member Publishers still have the power to turn “on” or “off” a specific title or catalog for any of our license types. You can search titles here to verify if the title is covered for a certain license type.

You can reproduce the words (lyrics) and music (melody) used by a congregation or an organization in a religious service for songs owned or administered by ONE LICENSE Member Publishers. Reproduction may be in the form of a bulletin, program, worship aid, order of service, song sheet, songbook, transparency, or via an 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 songbooks not intended for sale, publishing, or sharing with other congregations is allowed. See our blog post on this topic.

Your Reprint License is intended for the reproduction of words and / or music for your congregation or those attending the event. Specifically excluded are choir and cantor 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 license price is based on the average weekly attendance of your organization / congregation and by school-wide student enrollment for schools. Please see the Options and Prices page for more information. If you would like to link your church and school attendance, contact our team at [email protected].

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 our tutorial videos on reporting or visit our blog to learn more.

With our Annual License options, weddings, funerals, and one-time events (e.g., Confirmation, baccalaureate service, etc.) are included as long as they are hosted by the License Holder / named organization on the account and do not exceed the category attendance range. These events are a part of typical parish life and are included.

If you are seeking a Single-Use License or an Event License for a one-off event that exceeds your attendance category (e.g., a joint Confirmation service with a neighboring church, a large funeral for a local dignitary, a diocesan-wide mission trip or spirit day, etc.), the fee is based on the number of participants in that one specific event. You are permitted to hold multiple types of licenses at once.

You will report each song just once and indicate the number of services it was used for. The total number of times a song is used is dependent on the number of services or Masses during a week that song is used. If you have three services and sing the gathering song three times, then you would report the gathering song once and indicate that it was used at three services (or three times).

If you produce a seasonal booklet that is used for multiple weeks or for a full liturgical season, you should report the number of services or Masses each song is used during each week. For planning purposes, you are able to report twelve weeks in the past and six weeks into the future. Keep in mind that extended-use booklets / hymnal supplements are valid only as long as your license is active. This means if you have an ongoing Annual License, you are more than welcome to use a previous year's worship aid for a celebration. If your license is no longer active, you will be required to destroy all reprinted material used under your former license.

Prompt reporting ensures royalties are properly distributed to publishers and composers who create the wonderful music we sing. Composers and Member Publishers depend on consistent reporting for their income. License Holders are required to report 100% of the music reprinted under the license, and convenient online reporting tools make reporting convenient and easy. For more information, you can view a tutorial video on usage reporting.

From the “Report Usage” page, click on the box next to the applicable week when you have nothing to report, scroll down, click on the drop-down menu on the left side of the screen, and look for “Mark as Nothing to Report.” Click on “Apply” and you are all set. Indicating that you have nothing to report is a helpful tool for your own reporting records, and you won't receive automated system reminders to report.

As with seasonal booklets, you will report the number of services or Masses each song is used during each week. The “Duplicate” feature may prove helpful for you as you repeat titles from week to week.

The Member Publisher page is updated regularly. If a publisher is not listed, then they are not currently a member of the service, or they are not covered in your regional territory. We also provide Member Publisher updates in our monthly educational newsletter. To subscribe, email us at [email protected].

Most copyright holders are usually amenable to making a lyric change for a particular reason (such as changing “He” or “His” to “God”), as long as the change is temporary and not for commercial purposes, and is kept within a specific location. Some copyright holders (the Taizé Community, for example) do NOT permit changes to their materials. Please contact the appropriate Member Publisher directly with any request to change lyrics.

Your license permits the reprinting of music for your congregation. If your congregation sings in parts and the item you wish to reprint is published in a typical four-part congregational version, then you may reprint that version under your license.

  • A melody is just that: a unison tune. This is what congregations typically print under their Reprint License.
  • An adaptation is often someone's reworking of a traditional or public domain hymn or folk melody. If the adapter has made significant changes, the “new” version may well be under copyright. Look at the printed version you have to determine if there is a copyright notice associated with the adaptation.
  • An arrangement may involve the accompaniment, choral parts, a descant, parts for instruments, and so on. None of these components are included in the
    ONE LICENSE reprint license. For permission, please contact the copyright holder directly. Note: If the basic melody is not under copyright, such as a public domain piece, then the melody may be reprinted without permission.
  • Harmonization usually refers to the four-part SATB setting. If a harmonization is under copyright and you are reprinting it for your congregation, your license permits you to print the harmonization. If the harmony is for a public domain melody and you are printing the melody only, you do not need permission to print the melody. You would, however, need permission to print the copyrighted harmonization.

If you are planning to reprint a song, look for the copyright notice on the commercially published copy of the work (usually a hymnal, missal, songbook, 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 of copyright holder). Note: In some cases these notices are only listed either in the front or the back of the collection and not on each page, so check carefully.

Also examine the dates attached to the composer or text author names. As an example, 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.

However, you also need to see if any other information follows the composer's name. For example, after Gruber's name and dates it reads, “Arrangement, John Doe, 1998,” along with “© 1998, ABC Music Co.” This indicates there is a claim to copyright on this piece, but that copyright only applies to the arrangement. Thus, to reprint only 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, then it is reasonably safe to assume that the work is in the public domain. Words like “Traditional,” “Spiritual,” and “Irish Folk Song” also imply that a piece 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-000000. All rights reserved.


If words and music are by the same composer, you may combine these lines. Copyright information must be typed into your worship aid, bulletin, slideshow, etc., but whether you include the copyright information after each song, at the beginning or end of the worship aid, etc. is up to you. The copyright symbol (©) can be created by typing “(c)” or using the shortcut Option + G on your keyboard. You must include your ONE LICENSE license number with any reprint or projection. Simply replace the “000000” with your unique license number.

Record the song title as it appears in your source document. For Mass parts, we recommend listing the Mass setting first, and then the part of the Mass setting (for example: “Mass in E - Memorial Acclamation A”; “Mass of Celebration - Glory to God”). For psalms, record the title as “Psalm #” along with any other title to be included.

If the tune name is known, use it. Otherwise, the common title or first line of the text with which the melody is associated may be used.

When you receive your next renewal notice, you will have the option to cancel your license. This means you will no longer have permission to use the reprint material, so you must destroy all of the resources that were copied under the ONE LICENSE license. Should you need to cancel your license at a different time, please contact the ONE LICENSE team at [email protected] to learn about your options.

When you receive your next renewal notice, you will have the option to increase or decrease your average weekly attendance category. Note that if your increase is significant, ONE LICENSE reserves the right to prorate the cost of your remaining current license period.

Podcast / Streaming License Questions

Learn how our Podcast / Streaming License Options works.

Advances in technology have made it possible to podcast and stream worship services conveniently and inexpensively. Congregation members and clergy have found that having a Podcast / Streaming License is a perfect way to create broad awareness and support for the efforts of their institution. “Podcast” refers to any pre-recorded video or audio content being distributed for congregational use. The Podcast / Streaming License permits both pre-recorded content and content that is streamed live. Content may be posted to your organization’s website, YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, Vimeo, Instagram, and other forms of internet-based communication.

Yes! If your congregation already has an existing Annual Reprint License, the additional Podcast / Streaming License price is prorated for the rest of the term of the Annual Reprint License. Then for convenience, in subsequent years the Podcast / Streaming License and Annual Reprint License may be renewed simultaneously.

Absolutely! ONE LICENSE offers a “Limited Podcast / Streaming License” option that does not require the purchase of an Annual Reprint License.

The Limited Podcast / Streaming License includes the right to podcast or stream worship services containing covered songs in their entirety as long as your license is active. The Limited Podcast / Streaming License DOES NOT include the right to (1) embed the melody line or words of covered songs as part of the content that is being podcast or streamed, (2) supplement the worship service with a download containing covered copyrighted content, or (3) download music or lyrics from the ONE LICENSE website. (For these additional rights, you would need to bundle an Annual Reprint License with a Podcast / Streaming License.)

The ONE LICENSE Podcast / Streaming License options allow a congregation to post or stream video content on the internet of worship services that contain music and other content represented by the ONE LICENSE Member Publishers, provided four conditions are met:

  1. The specific title must be approved for Podcast / Streaming License permissions. Look for the permissions icons next to the title to confirm.
  2. The number of downloads allowed under a Podcast / Streaming License is limited to three times the average weekly attendance, as established by a congregation's category size.
  3. All copyrighted content contained in the podcast / stream is reported through the ONE LICENSE reporting system.
  4. The podcast / stream is available to view on the internet for no more than the duration of the current paid license.

No. There are some publishers that participate in the Annual Reprint License but do not participate in the Podcast / Streaming License options. Always check the current list of Member Publishers. Note that Member Publishers always reserve the right to make a single title unavailable for a certain license type, depending on the permissions of that given title.

The Podcast / Streaming License options cover songs in our Member Publishers' catalogs that are approved for that specific use. First, a Member Publisher / copyright holder must participate in the Podcast / Streaming License, and second, the individual title must be approved for Podcast / Streaming License usage. Search titles here to verify the specific permissions for a given title. Note that our Member Publishers retain complete control of their catalog(s) and not every title will be approved for every usage type.

Note: Some denominations retain rights to their liturgical content or scripture readings, so please contact those entities directly for policies relating to podcast / streaming their liturgical or scripture material.

The Podcast / Streaming License only covers video content of live streamed or pre-recorded worship services with self-made / non-commercial recordings. Using commercial masters or publisher-owned recordings is not permitted. Commercial masters require the express consent of the copyright holder and / or publisher of the recorded material. Often in sacred music, that is the same entity.

Absolutely. With either of the Podcast / Streaming License options, you should report any copyrighted music from our Member Publishers that is used, even if the congregation is not participating / singing along.

There are many simple-to-use technologies. Some congregations record on their devices and upload to a service like YouTube or Vimeo. Apple GarageBand is an option for those who use a PC or Mac to podcast services via iTunes. Facebook and Instagram Live are also common solutions.

The Bundle works together with your Annual Reprint License. With the Bundle, you can podcast or stream services, display the words or melody lines of covered songs for your viewers, and share handouts with your viewers that contain covered songs. If you share handouts, we ask that you distribute them via email list or password protect the handouts so they do not live openly on the internet.

The Limited Podcast / Streaming License is perfect for those who wish to carry their worship service over a live stream or through pre-recorded means, but nothing more. The Limited license does not allow you to display song lyrics and melody lines, or to share handouts. Those with the Limited Podcast / Streaming License also do not have access to download songs from our database of thousands of song texts or melody lines.

Our License Holder support team is happy to help. The best way to contact us is via email at [email protected].

Practice-Track License Questions

Learn how the Practice-Track License works.

You can make self-recorded practice tracks for a large number of titles from our participating Member Publishers' catalogs, if those titles are approved for “non-commercial” use. Master recordings can also be shared under the Practice-Track License, but the title must be approved for “commercial” use. To determine which titles are permissible with the Practice-Track License, <search here and look for the Commercial and Non-Commercial Practice-Track permissions icons.

With the Practice-Track License, you need to report each recording you decide to share with your ensemble or cantor. In the case of a new recording of individual parts, you should just report one use of the song.

Note: If you store your recordings on Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other internet platform, you should report the number of intended uses. For example, if the intent is to have your 40 choir members all listen to the song, then you should report your usage as 40.

Once you have made and paid for the track, it is yours for practice and rehearsal purposes as long as your Practice-Track License is active. Once your Practice-Track License expires or is not renewed, any tracks made under the license are no longer valid for use and should be destroyed.

Practice-track masters must come from a master recording or demo recording of a Member Publisher or from a homemade / self-made non-commercial recording. The ONE LICENSE website typically only offers the means to report use of the recordings.

No. A Mechanical License is a license that grants certain limited permissions to re-record 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 is different from the owner of a commercially available master recording of the song, 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. For example, a choral director can use the Practice-Track License to legally make copies of a recorded song from a ONE LICENSE Member Publishers (or their own self-made recording) and then distribute the copies of that practice track to a choral group or ensemble for rehearsal purposes.