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New church music licensing partnership announced

By Ann Marie Foley - 30 September, 2020

USA-based ONE LICENSE, LLC, and Irish Church Support Group (CSG) have announced a new partnership to bring more than 80,000 songs and music from leading Christian composers and publishers to churches in Ireland and the UK.

Church communities that stream religious services via the CSG platform, and other churches that opt into a licence, will gain access to a repertoire from top sacred music publishers including The Taizé Community, The Iona Community, Oregon Catholic Press (OCP), GIA Publications, Inc. (GIA), the Royal School of Church Music, Oxford University Press, Hope Publishing, Kevin Mayhew and many more. In Ireland, well-known musicians who have various songs covered under the licence include Liam Lawton, Monica Brown and many more.

“We are thrilled to partner with CSG to make it easier for Christian communities to do more with the music they love, and at the same time ensure the composers and publishers of that repertoire are compensated and inspired to create even more wonderful music,” said Alec Harris, president of One LICENSE, LLC. “I’ve been excited to get to know the CSG team and be inspired by their mission to connect churches with their members, no matter where they are located.”

Tony Bolger, group CEO of CSG, also welcomed the new partnership and stated: “As a mission-focused organisation, we like the idea of everyone being treated fairly, especially artists, in this challenging part of our history. ONE LICENSE presents to us as a professional and fair body with similar aims and ideals to us in their specialised field. Our live-streaming services partners will be well served with this collaboration.”

Licensing is becoming increasingly important as new copyright protections for artists, including composers and singers, are introduced in the European Union. In addition, due to COVID-19, live-streaming and podcasting have seen a huge expansion in recent months. When churches or schools and other church and community groups live-stream or podcast church music they will need to ensure they have the correct licence(s) to do so. Likewise, when they reproduce sheet music or lyrics, for example by projecting them on a screen, they will need a licence.

“If your church or other religious organization is using reproduced copyrighted music, a license is required to use that music legally and justly,” Brenna C. Cronin, general manager of ONE LICENSE, told Catholicireland.net. “We provide access to over 80,000 titles from 300+ member publishers and their divisions, boasting the most comprehensive global catalog for Roman Catholic and Mainline Protestant churches. Our reporting process is easy and we have a variety of different types of licenses, including the ability to license works for worship aids, leaflets, projection screens, and posting your worship services online.”

She added that when looking to license a piece of music, it all starts with who the copyright holder is. There can be one-off scenarios where a song has changed copyright or is not approved for a certain reason, but those are very few and far between.

“We are very transparent on our website about what we cover. If you are an English-speaking Roman Catholic or Mainline Protestant church, ONE LICENSE is your one-stop shop for congregational liturgical music,” she explained.

Payment for a licence is on a sliding scale, and the good news is the licence money will help support hardworking musicians, composers and music publishers.

“Royalties help keep our artists’ ministries going and ensure that there is more wonderful music for generations to come,” said Ms Cronin.

Via onelicense.net, church musicians can download and report usage of thousands of hymns and songs in one convenient and easy-to-use location. ONE LICENSE offers Annual, Single-Use, Event, Practice-Track, and Podcast/Streaming Licences for music from leading worldwide sacred music publishers. ONE LICENSE currently serves 23,000 communities across the English-speaking world.

The Church Support Group began in 2002 with the launch of CatholicIreland.net. The founder of the group was (now Bishop) Alan McGuckian SJ, who was then director of communications for the Jesuits in Ireland. Through many phases of development in the intervening years and the addition of other main activities – Church Services TV, Church Telecom and Staffroom.ie – the group has grown under the leadership of Tony Bolger and a team of dedicated professionals to make a significant contribution to Christian Church support services.

ONE LICENSE is an online licensing service committed to making it easy to obtain reprint permissions for congregational music and permissions for online services. They have a licence that will meet every need. ONE LICENSE primarily serves Roman Catholic and traditional Protestant communities in English-speaking countries around the world.

For further details see onelicense.net and churchservices.tv.

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