12 Ways of Christmas…Doing Music Right

The popular song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English Christmas carol. Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly from 1558 until 1829. The carol was written during this era as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the Church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is in the public domain and requires no licensing or royalties in order to use it, but many popular Christmas songs are copyrighted, such as “White Christmas,” “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” and “Mary Did You Know,” and “Frosty the Snowman.”

In celebrating the 12 days of Christmas, we’d like to offer 12 ways (or code words) that will help you “do music right” during this holiday season.

On the first day…

One blanket license doesn’t cover everything…but when you obtain multiple blanket licenses and create a mosaic of copyright coverage, you maximize and simplify your pre-cleared approval for use of copyrighted material.

Blanket licenses provide churches with the simplest and most cost-efficient method to stay copyright compliant. These licenses allow different uses and cover different works. A blanket license allows licensees to use a catalog of copyrighted works for one fee.

Several blanket licenses have been created to meet the needs of churches and ministries. Here is a list of the best known of these, categorized according to their primary purpose:

Church Licensing

Learn more details about all of these licenses by downloading our FREE Blanket Licenses Fact Sheet. These licenses provide a mosaic of coverage, with very little overlap between catalog and rights granted. While considering which licenses are needed for your church, identifying these three key elements will help you analyze the coverage of rights each blanket license provides:

  1. Type of copyrights – Does this license allow me to use sound recordings, videos, or just music compositions? Find out about the eight works that can be copyrighted by downloading our FREE Copyrights 101 Fact Sheet.
  2. Type of rights granted – Will this license provide the rights I need to perform, reproduce, or make derivatives of a copyright?
  3. Copyrights covered – Are all the songs used in my church ministries included in the license catalog?

On the second day…

Tomorrow we will look at the benefit of two performance licenses.

CCS’s Founder and CVO, Susan Fontaine Godwin is an educator and long-time member of the Christian arts community with 30 years of experience in the Christian media industry, church copyright administration, and copyright management. Susan is an author and speaker and frequently writes for several Christian magazines and online publications. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Mobile.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.