Copyright and Licensing

Tue 9 July 2019

The area of copyright and licensing can be complicated – there are lots of different licences, you might not be sure which licences you need or have!  So here – we hope – is a helpful email which should clarify a few details.   Do pass this onto your schools if you think it is helpful!

Putting On A Concert

If not staging a musical but performing any songs for the public on school premises (i.e. to anyone other than pupils or staff) then royalty payments become due and a licence is required from the publisher. Please note: There is no need to obtain a licence from the publisher if your school has an arrangement with the Performing Rights Society (PRS) either directly or through the local authority.

Singing Songs In The Classroom

You are free to use all of our material – including songs and scripts – in the classroom for teaching purposes. If photocopying any part of the book for teaching purposes, please record this usage on your Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) or Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA log) sheets when requested.

Singing Songs In Assembly Or Church

Songs may be sung in assembly without charge.  However the reproduction of the lyrics or musical scores for use in an assembly or church requires a licence. Out of the Ark Music register all their songs with Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI)  who are the collecting agency for royalty payments.

The following licences from Christian Copyright Licensing Limited ( permit the photocopying or reproduction of song lyrics or musical scores – for example to create song sheets, overhead transparencies or to display the lyrics or music using any electronic display medium:    For UK schools: A Collecting Worship Copyright Licence (CWCL) and a  Collective Worship Music Reproduction Licence  (CWMRL) Licence    For churches: A  Christian Copyright Licence (CCL) and  Music Reproduction Licence (MRL) Licence

The CWCL licence also grants you permission to display the song lyrics from Out of the Ark Music’s Words on Screen™ CD ROMs or the online Words on Screen™ Player via a whiteboard or other screen.  Simply log the song titles on your CCLI copy report.  (See below).  Organisations that do not hold one of the above licences should contact Out of the Ark Limited directly for permission.

Please note:  The DfE has bulk purchased the Collective Worship Copyright Licence from CCLI for state-funded schools in England.  Therefore, schools don’t have to pay for this licence, but they are required to log their song usage of hymns and assembly songs if they reproduce lyrics or music scores during assemblies/Collective Worship.

Where Can I Find Out More About CCLI Licensing

To see more information about licensing, schools & CCLI  –

Reporting/Logging Songs With CCLI

Under the terms of the licence agreement, it is necessary to report the songs you have used/reproduced.   All reporting is done using the CCLI’s online reporting website.   They recommend you do this on an ongoing basis,  perhaps weekly, so that songs aren’t forgotten.

Find out more here:

Printing And Photocopying Songbooks

Making printed copies or photocopies of songbooks for use in the classroom is covered by your Schools Printed Music Licence (SPML) and Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) licences.  You should report your usage when requested by the licence issuers.   Please note:  The DfE has bulk purchased SPML and CLA licences for state-funded schools in England. 

Putting On A Musical Or Nativity

WHAT is an Annual Performance Licence

An Annual Performance Licence is a licence that protects the interests of the writers who create musicals and nativities.   It ensures theat they receive the correct royalties that they are entitled to.  The performance of an Out of the Ark Music nativity or musical is not covered by any other licence a school may hold.

WHY do I need an Annual Performance Licence?

It is a legal requirement to have an Annual Performance Licence in order to perform a musical or nativity to an audience.  It covers your rights to perform the named musical or nativity during the licence period as well as covering your rights to play the audio tracks – both backing and vocal – at the performance.  An Annual Performance Licence is needed whether or not you are charging for tickets

WHEN do I need and Annual Performance Licence?

An Annual Performance Licence allows you to perform the musical or nativity named on the licence as many times as you want during the 12-month licence period.  There is a specific Annual Performance Licence for EACH musical or nativity.

HOW do I obtain an Annual Performance Licence?

You can purchase an Out of the Ark Music Annual Performance Licence online .   Or contact our Customer Services Team on 0208 481 7200.

Find out more about copyright and licensing on our website here