Simple Steps Towards Copyright Compliance

Whether you are brand new in your position or just wanting to start the year on the right note, here are four simple steps that you can do today to ensure that your organization is copyright compliant for the coming year and beyond.



For those needing visual support, the script notes are printed below.  Thanks for reviewing this important information, and please share with your teams!

Another fantastic printed resource is the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Office for Divine Worship and Sacraments document on copyright, found here:


  1. Ensure that correct copyright and licensing information is listed on all materials that you reprint
    1. This includes the title, composer, copyright year, and any other information included in the reprint box of the given song as well as your ONE LICENSE reprint information.
    2. Be sure old company names are removed.  Only ONE LICENSE should be listed, and not any reference to OneLicense . net, Word of Life International, or LicenSingOnline.
    3. Be sure the phrase “Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #[insert letter-numbers]. All rights reserved.” is printed on your worship aids, bulletins, projection screens, YouTube videos, Facebook Lives, and anywhere else that reprinted or streamed music is used.
  2. View your present and download a copy of your twelve month reporting history
    1. From the “Report Usage” tab, account owners, sub users, and group managers can review the current quarterly reporting period, meaning what titles have been submitted for twelve weeks in the past and six weeks into the future, as well as their legacy reports and twelve month histories.
    2. To view past reports or download a copy of your twelve month reporting history, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the appropriate link. This is a great way to audit your usage and hold your team accountable for anything missing.
  3. Destroy photo copies of music you find
    1. Go through file cabinets, old book shelves, and even pay a visit to that dusty old storage room.  Non-congregational music that was photocopied without the express consent of the publisher is illegal and can carry debilitating fines. Even if you didn’t photocopy the music yourself, if your church or organization is in possession of or distributes illegal copies, you could be faced with a claim of copyright infringement.
    2. Before destroying the music, take note of the titles, composers, and publishers of the pieces so you can contact them for legal octavos or versions.  Protect your organization and prioritize this task.
  4. Confirm that your category size correctly matches your average weekly attendance.
    1. Every organization that has a license with us, is set into an average weekly attendance category.  This category indicates the range of people you have attending your services. These ranges ensure that whether you have a dip in summer attendance and a spike around the holidays, or if you have traveling college students or snow birds, your organization will be covered regardless of the season.  
    2. You can view your current category from the “Licenses” tab under “My Account”.  Visit the Options & Prices page to see the range of categories and make sure your organization is in the right one.  Typically, you can communicate increases or decreases when your invoice is up for renewal. If your category change is significant, please contact our office and we can assist in prorating your account.  

In summary, copyright compliance in four simple steps that you can do today:

  1. Display correct copyright and licensing information
  2. View and download your reporting history for auditing
  3. Destroy photo copied music
  4. Confirm category size

Thanks for taking a few minutes to review this information.  I hope you feel empowered to follow up with your team on these four important steps to ensure your organization is copyright compliant this year and beyond.  As always, please reach out to our team at if you have additional questions.  Have a great year, everyone!


Featured image copyright: mrgao and is available for purchase at