Music plays a vital role in Australian Catholic schools, fostering a sense of community and strengthening faith. From contemporary songs and popular hymns to Responsorial Psalms and Mass settings, music enriches hearts and minds and enables young people to draw closer to God. But ensuring the legal use of religious music and supporting the creators of sacred music is vital. 

Statutory Licenses Are Not Enough

Many Australian Catholic schools rely on Statutory Licenses like APRA/AMCOS’s School License for music coverage. While these licenses offer some protection, gaps in their coverage of religious music leave many prominent Catholic music publishers, like GIA Publications, Inc., and World Library Publications, out of reach. This means popular hymns could be unlicensed, putting your school at risk of copyright infringement.

Composers Are Not Fairly Compensated

Beyond legality, there’s another vital concern: fairness to composers. Statutory Licensing systems often fall short in accurately tracking and distributing royalties to the creators of Catholic music. Sampling systems that are activated in only a small percentage of schools throughout the country do not pick up seasonal church music repertoire or liturgical music that is used throughout the school year. This leaves many composers undercompensated for their work.


ONE LICENSE offers a wide range of church music licensing options for schools with an extensive catalogue of traditional and contemporary music, from over 200 international Member Publishers of religious music including OCP Publications, GIA Publications and Willow Publishing, plus favourite local composers such as Monica Brown, John Burland, Gen Bryant, Michael Mangan and Emmanuel Worship. ONE LICENSE ensures clear legal compliance and guarantees royalties reach the composers who inspire your school community.

A School License provides unlimited permission to reproduce music owned by all Member Publishers for an entire year. You can also opt in to add Podcast / Streaming to share your services via a live stream or to upload a pre-recorded video. You can include song lyrics and melody lines in your stream, share handouts online, and download songs or texts from the database.

Group Licenses

In addition to the Annual School Music License, ONE LICENSE provides a GROUP LICENSE for schools. Group Licenses are designed to support diocesan and regional offices and the individual schools within the area.  All Group Licenses feature the ability to centralise billing (with attractive discounts) and provide the account owner access to all the royalty reports within the group, providing valuable information about the music being used and ensuring reporting accountability for copyright law. The account manager receives one bill, and all individual schools process their own royalty reports and update their information. 


Here’s why every Australian Catholic school using sacred music needs a ONE LICENSE music license:

1. Plugging the Coverage Gap: Statutory Licenses cover a broad range of music, but prominent music publishers of popular Catholic music like GIA Publications, Inc. and World Library Publications are notably absent, meaning it is illegal to reprint their compositions. This puts schools at risk of copyright infringement, with potential legal and financial repercussions.

2. Reporting Fairness for Catholic Composers: Statutory Licenses utilise reporting systems that don’t adequately track and distribute royalties to many composers of Catholic music. ONE LICENSE, on the other hand, is specifically designed for church music, ensuring royalties reach the composers.

3. Online Convenience: ONE LICENSE offers a simple, accessible, and comprehensive solution, plus easy reporting of song usage. This ensures effective copyright compliance and justice for composers.

In conclusion, securing a ONE LICENSE school music license isn’t just about avoiding legal challenges; it’s about honouring the creators, supporting ethical practices, and safeguarding the music that nourishes your school’s spirit. It’s an investment in the well-being of your students, teachers, and the entire Catholic community. 

For information on how your school community can be comprehensively and legally covered for using church music please visit ONE LICENSE. For Group Licenses click here

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