Amateur Choir Licence

An easy way to legally copy music for your choir

Amateur Choir Licence – Now available

The Amateur Choir Licence allows choir members to make photocopies of works and also permits minor arrangements (e.g. change of key) to suit the voices of the choir. The licence is intended to make access to music easier for choirs enabling them to make copies without having to seek permission directly from the publisher, while ensuring that songwriters and composers are fairly paid for the use of their works.

What can choirs do with the licence?
With the PMLL Amateur Choir Licence you can easily and legally make printed copies of licensed songs without contacting publishers individually (please check the publisher list to find out which publishers are included in this licence).

Why was the licence created?
We wanted to simplify the licensing process for choirs whilst working with music publishers to ensure songwriters and composers are fairly paid.

How much will it cost?
Pricing is tailored to the size of your choir and how many songs you want to sing.

£2.50 (+VAT) 1 copy per member of up to 5 Licensed Works

£5.00 (+VAT) 1 copy per member of up to 10 Licensed Works

£10.00 (+VAT) 1 copy per member of up to 25 Licensed Works

£15.00 (+VAT) 1 copy per member of up to 50 Licensed Works

Where can we find out more and sign up?
You can then visit hub.pmll.org.uk to sign up and be licensed in just a few clicks.

You can also contact pmllacl@mpagroup.com with any questions or queries.

Do I need to report what I have copied?
Yes, it is essential that we receive information on works copied under the licence. This ensures that we can pay the correct publishers who in turn pay monies to the writers and composers of the works.

What if I have already purchased a trial licence and want to renew this?
If you purchased a trial licence this expired on 31 December 2021, you can renew this via the PMLL portal.  As soon as the new licence has been launched we will transfer you over to the new terms and conditions.

Amateur Choir Licence

Apply now

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below a number of FAQs relating to the Amateur Choir Licence. Please contact PMLL if you would like to add any questions or feel something is missing.

What is an ‘Amateur Choir’?

An amateur choir is one that meets and sings for recreational purposes. Members of the choir do not get paid to perform with the group.

What is a ‘work’?

A work is a piece of music or song no longer than 16 pages in length represented by a publisher who participates in the scheme. For the avoidance of doubt, the licence does not allow for the copying of larger works or works made up of many individual pieces or movements e.g. an oratorio or other large-scale choral/orchestral work such as Poulenc’s Gloria, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem, etc , a song cycle, or a collection of pieces by a particular composer or artist. Permission to copy a work larger than 16 pages should be sought directly from the publisher or a licence purchased for each constituent piece (section or movement) within the larger work.

How can I purchase a licence?

You can buy a licence directly through the PMLL portal https://hub.pmll.org.uk/

What can I do under the Amateur Choir Licence?

You can make copies of a published piece of music (work), for as many members of the choir as you have paid for.

E.g., Your choir has 20 members, and you purchase a licence for each member. You can then make a copy of your chosen work for every member of the choir e.g., 20.

If the members of the choir increase you can purchase a supplementary licence to cover these.

You can also make a minor arrangement of the work, for example a change of key to suit the voices of the choir

What if the arrangement I want to make is more substantial than a change of key?

You must contact the publisher directly for permission to make and use such an arrangement. PMLL can help you with identifying the correct publisher and supply contact details.

Do I have to notate my arrangement made under the licence?

Yes. The arrangement made must be written down, and then annotated with the title of the musical work, the name of the composer of the work, the name of the author of any associated lyrics or other text, the name of the publisher(s), the name of the arranger, and a note as follows:

“Arrangement made under PMLL ACL for use by [name of Choir and post code]”

Do I need to own an original copy of the work?

Yes. You must own either a physical copy of the book or have paid for a pdf copy of the song/work from a legitimate website.

Are there any works I cannot copy?

Yes. Excluded works are in the ‘excluded list’. These are works that cannot be copied or arranged under the licence.

‘Larger works’ are also excluded from this licence.  These are works that are more than sixteen (16) pages in length.

You will also find a list on the PMLL website (publisher list) of publishers who have agreed for the music they represent to be included in the licence scheme. If the work you want to copy is owned by one of these publishers, you can make copies under the licence.
If you are unsure, please contact PMLL directly and we will be able to advise pmllacl@mpagroup.com

Does the licence only cover copies made from physical books?

No. You can also copy a pdf of a song that has been purchased for printing by you from a legitimate website. The licence does not cover the streaming of music to a device.

Can I share licensed copies or arrangements I have made with other choirs?

No. Each choir’s licence is personal to that choir and not transferable, so only the choir that has purchased the licence may use the copies or arrangements. Copies and arrangements must be annotated with the notice below
“Copy made under PMLL ACL for use by [name of Choir and post code]”

Do I need to report all of the copies and arrangements I make?

Yes. It is a condition of the licence that all copies or arrangements made under the licence must be reported to PMLL. You can do this via our portal https://hub.pmll.org.uk/

It is essential that you report everything you copy as we use this information to pay the publisher of the work who in turn will pay the composers and/or songwriters of the work used.  In order to accurately pay on the licence fees we need to know as much detail as possible about what you have copied.

How often do I have to report data?

You should report data on the works as soon as you have copied them. However, as long as you report the works you have copied you can do this at anytime convenient to you.

You must report what you have copied before your licence expires.

How can I report data?

PMLL has built a portal where you can purchase a licence and also report data quickly and easily. You will need to create an account, but once this has been done you can report data via the portal via a simple data submission page.

 

If I have paid for 5 works in year one and want to use these same works in year 2 do I have to pay for the same 5 works again?

Not immediately, but you must have a valid licence or you will need to destroy the copies previously made when you purchased a licence. If, for example, you purchase a licence for 10 works in Year 1 and you wish to use 5 new works in Year 2.  You only need to purchase a licence for the 5 new works, you can continue to use the previously copied 10 works for a further year (for maximum of 24 months), providing you hold a valid licence.

However, after 24 months if you wish to reuse copies previously made in Year 1 of your licence you must include them in the ‘total number of works’ when you renew/take out a new licence. You may keep these works in your library as long as you hold a licence and are not using them. If you wish to reuse them in rehearsals in later years, you must include these works in the total number of works you are buying a licence for.

 

If I have paid for 5 works in year 1 and want to keep these in the choir’s library, but want to use 5 new works in year 2 do I need to pay for 10 works?

No. The original 5 works can be retained and used again in Year 2, alongside the new works. You only pay for the new 5 works that you wish to use. You can keep copies of works made in previous years as long as you hold a valid licence.

However, if after 24 months you wish to reuse the previous works copied then you must include and pay for them when you purchase a new licence.

Do I need to destroy works that I have copied if I cancel my licence?

Yes . If you no longer hold a valid Amateur Choir Licence you would need to destroy all works copied under it. The licence allows you to copy and retain these works, if you no longer have a licence then you cannot retain works copied under it.

 

Does the Amateur Choir Licence cover the public performance by my choir of a copied work?

No. Public performance of copyright music is administered by PRS for Music and the venue within which you are performing (or your choir if the venue is not licensed) must be licensed by PRS for Music for the public performance by the choir. For further information please go to https://www.prsformusic.com/what-we-do/licensing-music/do-i-need-a-licence

Why are stickers provided with my licence?

Each year when you purchase an Amateur Choir Licence you will be provided with stickers for the number of works and choir members covered by your licence. The stickers should be placed on all copies of music made under the licence. The colour of the stickers will change each year to ensure that it is easy to see that a licence is valid.