FAQs

Reprint Licenses & General Questions

Learn how our Reprint Licenses work.

ONE LICENSE (referred to as OL for the remainder of this page) offers copyright reprints for congregational music to help you inspire your congregational singing and worship. OL allows you to reprint music for congregational use, in a worship aid, bulletin, or projection with the purchase of a Reprint License. OL does not cover music reprints for the choir, cantor, ensemble, instrumentalists, or accompanists.

OL reprint licenses are available on an annual basis, a single-use basis, or for a special event up to seven days 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.

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

If the title is owned in its entirety by an OL Member Publisher, and is intended for congregational use, then it is covered under the license. You can search titles here. If you are certain 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 the OL database. Manually submitted titles are carefully reviewed by OL Member Publishers before being accepted into our database of covered music and require time to review. For more information, please visit our blog.

ou can reproduce the words (lyrics) and music (melody) used by a congregation or organization in a religious service for songs owned or administered by OL 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 song books 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.

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.

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 Reprint License, 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 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 mission trip or spirit day, etc.), the fee is based on the number of participants in each specific event. You are permitted to hold multiple types of licenses at once.

You may report each song 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 during a week that each song is used. If you have three services and sing the gathering song three times, then you would report it once and indicate that it was used at three services.

If you produce a seasonal booklet that is used for multiple weeks, you report the number of services or Masses each song is used in 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 so long as your license is in force.

Prompt reporting ensures that 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 reporting.

From the “Report Usage” page, click the box next to the applicable week, scroll down, click the drop-down menu on the left side of the screen and look for “Mark as Nothing to Report.” Click “Apply” and you are all set.

As with seasonal booklets, you will report the number of services or Masses each song is used in 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 newsletter. To subscribe, email us at [email protected].

Most copyright holders are amenable to making a lyric change for a particular reason (such as changing “He” or “His” to God), usually 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 as an 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, you may reprint that version under your license.

  • A melody is just that: a unison tune. This is what congregations typically print under this 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 claim to copyright 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 OL reprint license, however. Note: If the basic melody is not under copyright, it 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 this. If, however, the copyright harmony is for a public domain melody, and you are printing the melody only, the melody can be printed without permission.

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 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 a claim to copyright, such as “© 1998, ABC Music Co.” This indicates that there is a claim to copyright on this piece, but because of all the other dates listed, that copyright can only apply 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 the 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-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, slideshow, etc., but the location (after each song, beginning, end, etc.) is up to you. 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 any reprint or projection. Simply replace the “x” with the appropriate 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 (example: “Mass in E - Memorial Acclamation A”; “Mass of Creation - Glory to God”). For psalms, record the title as “Psalm x” along with any other title to be included (example: “Psalm 34: The Cry of the Poor”).

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 that 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.

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 license period.

Podcast/Streaming License Options

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. Note that use of the word “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. For convenience, in subsequent years the Podcast / Streaming License and Annual Reprint License may be renewed simultaneously.

Yes. Effective April 16, 2020, ONE LICENSE will be offering a “Limited Podcast / Streaming License” option that does not require the purchase of a Reprint License.

The Limited Podcast / Streaming License includes the right to podcast or stream worship services containing covered songs in their entirety. 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 OL website. (These additional rights are available by bundling an Annual License with a Podcast / Streaming License.)

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

  1. 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.
  2. All copyrighted content contained in the podcast / stream is reported through the OL reporting system.
  3. The podcast / stream is available to view on the internet for no more than one year, or the duration of the current paid license.

No. There are some publishers who participate in the Annual Reprint License that do not participate in the Podcast / Streaming License options. Please see the current list of Member Publishers.

he Podcast / Streaming License options cover music from our Member Publishers only if they are podcast / streaming participants. If a Member Publisher is a podcast / streaming participant, then all their songs are covered. Some denominations, however, retain rights to their liturgical content or scripture readings, so you would need to contact those denominations directly for policies relating to podcasting / streaming their materials.

The Podcast / Streaming License only covers video content of live worship services. No use of commercial masters or publisher-owned recordings is allowed. Commercial masters require the express consent of the copyright holder and/or publisher of the material. Often in sacred music, that is the same entity.

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

There are many simple-to-use technologies. Some congregations use the Apple GarageBand, which quickly and simply enables a PC or Mac to podcast services via iTunes. YouTube has similar options available. Facebook and Instagram Live are also common solutions.

The Bundle works together with your Annual 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 that they do 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 prerecorded 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 a practice track of any song copyrighted (owned entirely 100%) by participating ONE LICENSE Member Publishers (i.e., owned by a single publisher or combined publishers as long as they are all participants). You can also use any master of a song if the master is owned by OL Member Publisher(s).

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: 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 the intent is to have your 40 choir members all listen to the song.

Once you have made and paid for the track, it's yours for practice and rehearsal purposes as long as your Practice-Track License has not expired. Once your Practice-Track License expires, or has not been renewed, any copies made under the license 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 noncommercial recording. The ONE LICENSE website only offers the means to report them.

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 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 OL Practice-Track License is a convenient, cost-effective alternative to both the Mechanical License and Master-Use License, all administered quickly and easily online. As an example, a choral director can use the Practice-Track License to legally make copies of a recorded song from OL Member Publishers (or make their own recording) and then distribute that practice track to a choral group or ensemble for rehearsal purposes.