Under the ONE LICENSE Podcast / Streaming License option, all music covered by ONE LICENSE that you use in a video must be reported. But when you search for certain titles, especially instrumental and choral repertoire for preludes, meditations, and the like, you may not always find the titles you are looking for in the database. So how can you be sure you are allowed to include those titles in your video?

ONE LICENSE began as a reprint / reproduction licensing service for congregational music. In recent years, posting worship services online has become more popular, and even more necessary in this time of COVID. Before the pandemic, when most of our license holders only had a congregational Reprint License, choral titles rarely needed to be reported and instrumental titles were not reported at all. Our Reprint License covers the printing of text and melodies in bulletins, programs, projection slides, etc., for congregational singing, but our license options have expanded significantly. Additionally, many congregations are using our service for more creative congregational engagement, like posting their services online, interacting via social media, and holding Zoom services.

Many of our Member Publishers are working on uploading their choral and instrumental catalog data, but it is a significant undertaking in an already stressful season. If you are not finding the title you are looking for in the ONE LICENSE system, here are some steps you can take:

1. First, confirm that the title is copyrighted by a ONE LICENSE Member Publisher. Examine the three-element © year, name claim to copyright at the bottom of the hymnal page (or at the bottom of the musical score); in some hymnals, the copyrights are indexed in the back of the book, so check carefully. 

Copyrights are associated with individual songs / works, and not with the book or hymnal in which they are published. The publisher’s copyright information in the first few pages of the book / collection belongs to the product as a whole. You are looking for the copyright information associated with the individual tune, text, or other musical work. Consider that “publisher” and “copyright holder” need not be the same entity. Also note that there may be multiple claims to copyright for a single title: text, tune, arranger, etc. You will need the permission of each and every copyright holder.

2. Visit our Member Publishers page and ensure that the copyright holder is listed as a participating Member Publisher and they participate in our Podcast / Streaming License. If either one of these is not the case, then the titles are not automatically covered. Look for the green image next to the company name as a starting point.

3. Once you have confirmed that the title is from one of our Member Publishers, start the manual submission process. Here is our guide for manual submissions: https://news.onelicense.net/2017/05/23/a-guide-to-manual-submissions/. Please include score details in the “Additional Information” comment box. This could include the publisher catalog number, a link to the piece from an online catalog, etc. The more information you provide a Member Publisher, the faster they will be able to confirm the data. If you don’t receive a response regarding your manual submission within three to four weeks, please let us know. We would be happy to contact the Member Publisher on your behalf. 

4. Remember that it is possible that a certain title might be excluded from these permissions for a one-off reason and, thus, would not appear in a database search. If that’s the case, the Member Publisher is best equipped to provide that information and help you secure a license directly. Many of our Member Publishers include their websites and contact information on our homepage, and you are welcome to contact them directly. 

Your Podcast / Streaming License presumes that you have first purchased a sufficient number of commercially published scores (that is, no photocopies) for all your musicians. When you purchase a score, some part of your purchase price is paid in royalties to the score’s composer, text author, publisher, etc. If you photocopy music, you circumvent the process by which royalties are distributed. It is a matter of justice that the artists who enable and inspire our prayer are duly compensated for the usage of their works. 

If you currently have any photocopied scores in your library, now is the time to discard them and make a plan to replace them with commercially published scores. Take a look at this great video and move your organization toward copyright compliance in 4 simple steps: 

There is a lot to consider with copyright permissions, and at ONE LICENSE, we are ready to help you and provide you with the educational tools to set you up for success. If you have questions about how to navigate the database, what your license permits, how to report your copyright usage, etc., please email the ONE LICENSE team directly at info@onelicense.net. We are happy to help.

Photo copyright: Viktor Mogilat. This image is available for download at www.pexels.com.