This section of the website will be updated as new information becomes available.

Podcast and Copyright
for Livestreamed and Pre-recorded Services
Myths and Truths


Scenario: Our church/organisation currently has a Podcast & Reprint license (e.g. OneLicense,
CCLI), so that we can live-stream AND/OR pre-record our service to share with our parishioners
and the general public.

Myth 1: We can use any music we like regardless of who wrote the tune, text or arrangement,
because we are currently live-streaming our service using Zoom (or another platform), but not
recording or uploading the video on the internet after the service has ended. The Zoom link is
provided only to members of our congregation.

  • TRUTH: once your live-streamed service leaves the church walls, you are required to
    comply with copyright and podcast rules. In Canada, most works pass into the public
    domain after fifty years following the end of the calendar year in which the creator
    (author, composer, editor, publisher) died. You are free to use and don’t need to report
    any hymns (text, tune, arrangement) and instrumental music to your licensing agent
    that are in public domain. If the creation is not in public domain, you must search and
    report all hymns (text, tune, arrangement) and instrumental music.

Myth 2: The hymn we are using is by a member publisher with OneLicense which means it’s
automatically covered OR the hymn is listed in one of the hymnals that’s included in the dropdown
menu.

  • TRUTH: copyright is song-specific, not publisher/book specific. You must search for
    each item separately as not all items are included by each publisher or in a hymnal. If you
    cannot find the piece you’re looking for, please complete a manual submission.

Myth 3: The hymn tune is in public domain, and the text is copyrighted (or vice versa) which
means I can still use the hymn regardless.

  • TRUTH: both the text, tune, and arrangement must be in public domain; if not, please
    check the OneLicense database to see if the copyrighted part is included.

Myth 4: It’s ok to use somebody else’s youtube video as part of our service.

  • TRUTH: you must receive permission from the person who has produced the video,
    and publish this information online during the service (slide); also ensure that the piece
    or arrangement you play is either in Public Domain, or covered by OneLicense.

Myth 5: It’s enough to publish the copyright information as well as the podcast license
disclaimer in the bulletin/service outline.

  • TRUTH: you must include both the copyright and podcast information in your livestreamed/
    pre-recorded material (slide) as well as in the service outline/bulletin. Always
    include your license # as well as “All rights reserved”.

*author - Susanne Reul-Zastre, president of Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO), Victoria Centre. 

Contact OneLicense for more information info@onelicense.net