FAQs

JLicense, launched in June, 2017, is the only music-licensing agency primarily serving the entire international Jewish community. We are a non-profit organization owned and administered by Transcontinental Music Publications. Our primary mission is to encourage composers and authors of Jewish music and material to continue producing new works by compensating them fairly for institutional use of their compositions.

JLicense licenses are available on an annual basis, a 24-hour/single-use basis, or for a special event up to one week in length. What is included in the license is the same regardless of duration: our covered music and lyrics are licensed for streaming, podcasting, making rehearsal recordings, projecting on-screen, making custom arrangements, and printing in bulletins, handouts, dapei t’filah, and more.

We work with an ever-growing, impressive list of member composers and songwriters, in addition to the Transcontinental Music catalog, to provide a huge list of popular songs.

Depending on other media your congregation or organization employs, you likely do. The only other legal alternative is to seek permission and compensate copyright owners for each and every usage.

  • If you ever reprint copyrighted lyrics or music in a bulletin, handout, worship aid, on-screen projection, or daf t’filah, you need a JLicense.
  • If you ever make rehearsal recordings for a choir or band, or for example, to teach a copyrighted song to a teacher in your religious school, you need a JLicense.
  • If you make your own arrangement, adaptation, or edition of copyrighted music or lyrics for use in your congregation, you need a JLicense.

In US copyright law, there is a “religious exemption” (Section 110 (3)), allowing you to use copyrighted works in a religious setting (worship services, etc.) without having to compensate the copyright owner. However, this exception does not extend to broadcasting, webcasting, live-streaming, podcasting, or recording of the parts of worship services that include copyrighted works, all of which require a license or the written permission of the copyright holder. In addition, making rehearsal recordings (and distributing them), creating musical arrangements, or reprinting music and lyrics in bulletins or handouts all requires permission from the copyright holder of each work.

JLicense was designed to be a turnkey solution for you; it allows your organization to be copyright-compliant in all and more of the above settings and uses, as long as you report your usage of covered songs and lyrics. To read more about copyright law including from a Jewish perspective, please read Adrian Durlester’s A Practical Guide to Copyright.

TYou can reproduce the words (lyrics) and music (excerpted melody) used by a congregation or organization in a religious service or event for songs owned or administered by the member publishers, composers, and songwriters of JLicense. Reproduction may be in the form of a bulletin, program, daf t’filah, order of service (cue sheet), song sheet, transparency, or by electronic storage and retrieval system for the projection of words or music or both. Reproductions may not be permanently bound into a worship aid - if you are assembling a congregational songbook, for example, you will need a separate print license for each work.

JLicense does not include the right to make photocopies of sheet music for performance. Cantors, rabbis, soloists, service leaders, choirs, musical directors, songleaders, bands, and accompanists: you are required by law to purchase the appropriate amount of music for your ensemble. Your licensed reproduction rights are intended for the reproduction of words and/or music for the congregation or those attending the event.

If the title is owned by a JLicense member publisher, composer, or songwriter, then it is covered under the license. You can search titles here. Our list of available songs and composers is ever-growing. If you are certain that the work is owned or administered by a member composer, but do not find the title in our database, JLicense allows you to manually submit the song for inclusion in our license. Manually submitted titles are carefully reviewed by the JLicense team before being accepted into our database of covered music.

The member composer and publisher page is updated regularly and new artists are being added all the time. If a composer is not listed, then they are not currently a member of the service. You can always request that we add a certain song or artist’s catalog.

Reporting is easy! Simply search for the title or composer using the keyword search. Find the appropriate title, click “REPORT” and it will be added to your weekly usage. You will be prompted to enter the correct number of uses for the week.

For those who plan ahead or have fallen behind, you are able to report twelve weeks in the past and six weeks into the future. If you have fallen significantly behind, it is better to report past titles in the current week than to not report them at all. This ensures that authors, composers, and publishers are being paid for your use of their work.

Paying royalties to composers and songwriters depends on accurate reporting, and we trust that you will do everything in your power to report responsibly and frequently. Your song usage reporting ensures a fair and equitable distribution of royalties to our member composers who create the music you use in your services and events. You are required to report the usage of all titles used under your license, with the exception of public domain tunes.

You may report just once, but you will report the total number of times you used each song each week. This is very important and ensures that the composers are paid appropriate royalties for your usage.

As frequently as possible – we recommend weekly, on the same day each week, so that reporting becomes part of your or your staff’s routine. Prompt reporting ensures that royalties are properly distributed to publishers and composers who create the wonderful music we sing. Composers depend on consistent reporting by you for their income. A JLicense license holder is required to report 100% of the music reprinted under the license, with the exception of public domain tunes, and our convenient online reporting tools make reporting convenient and easy.

Yes. As long as the event occurs within your licensed community, it is covered, but again, you are required to report the covered titles for each service or event in which they occur.

When reporting the title, you will be provided with the appropriate copyright statement to use in your media. The copyright notice format when one copyright owner is responsible for the work is:

Words & Music: Jane Doe, © 1987 ABC Music Co.; All rights reserved. Reprinted under JLicense #A-000000.

The copyright notice format when two different copyright owners are responsible for the work is:

Words: John Doe, © 1988 ABC Music Co.; Music: Jim Brown, © 1990 XYZ Publications. All rights reserved. Reprinted under JLicense #A-000000.

In both of the above situations, you would replace the example JLicense license number with your own valid license number.

When you receive your next renewal notice, you will have the option to cancel your license. When you cancel your license you must destroy all material marked with your JLicense license number.
There are four license types: Annual Congregational, Annual Non-Congregational, 7-Day Event, and 24-Hour Event/Single-Use licenses. We endeavored to price each very affordably, so that your organization or event can easily integrate the cost into your budget. Cost within each license type is based on congregational membership (units) or anticipated event attendance. URJ congregations receive an extra discount on their licenses.
JLicense serves congregations and organizations across the world. Welcome!
Advances in technology have made it possible to podcast and stream worship services conveniently and inexpensively. Streaming is live-broadcasting, via video and usually audio, services or events. Cameras are often installed permanently in sanctuaries and technology is used to transmit these services over the internet, often embedded in institutional web sites. Community members and clergy have found that streaming is a perfect way to create broad awareness and support for the efforts of their institution. A podcast is a digital and/or video file made available on the Internet for downloading to watch at a future time. If an organization would like its viewers to watch the event live, they can do that by streaming the service.
JLicense only covers streams and podcasts of live worship services or events. No use of commercial masters or publisher/composer-owned recordings is covered. You will need to seek permission from the copyright owner.
Absolutely, as long as it is held in copyright. With JLicense, you should report any music of our member composers that is used.

For a legal and Jewish perspective on copyright and intellectual property, please see our A Practical Guide to Copyright, by Adrian Durlester.