Corporate member blog: Printed Music Licensing Ltd

Printed Music Licensing Ltd. (PMLL) explain how their new license allows choirs to copy music legally

PMLL represents the rights of music publishers and, on their behalf, issues licenses to allow the photocopying and arranging of sheet music as part of education and beyond. 

The Amateur Choir Licence allows choir members to make photocopies of works and permits minor arrangements to suit the voices of the choir. The licence is intended to simplify the licensing process for choirs, whilst working with music publishers to ensure songwriters and composers are fairly paid. It allows choirs to make copies of music without having to seek permission directly from the publisher. 

Many choirs own the music needed to rehearse for concerts. The Amateur Choir Licence is not designed to replace buying books, but to make it easier when choirs wish to make photocopies of works for members of their group. The process for obtaining permission directly from the publisher to copy a song or work can be complicated and time consuming, particularly when there is more than one rightsowner involved. By providing a licence allowing choirs to legally make copies of works, PMLL is providing a simple solution to this problem.

'PMLL also wants to make sure that composers and writers are fairly paid when their works are copied under a licence.'

PMLL also wants to make sure that composers and writers are fairly paid when their works are copied under a licence. A condition of the licence is that choirs report what they have copied. This can be done quickly and easily via the PMLL portal. The money that PMLL collects in licence fees is then paid back to publishers, on the basis of the data reported, who onward pay the writers and composers of the music. We want to make sure composers and writers can earn a living from the use of their works, so they can continue to write and compose music for choirs and the wider public.

It is important to remember that copying or arranging a work written by someone else does need permission. This can be done either by contacting the publisher of the work directly or under a licensing scheme. The Amateur Choir Licence only covers minor arrangements of songs, such as changing the key to suit the voices of the choir. Any more substantive changes must be cleared directly by the publisher of the work, including any medleys.

PMLL is working with Mark De-Lisser to raise awareness and understanding of the licence. Mark is a renowned arranger, choral director, and vocal coach. He has worked with some of today's top talent including Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Beverley Knight. 

'The PMLL Amateur Choir Licence is a must have for choirs rehearsing and performing concerts all year round. It is an easy way to make copies of music and is simple for choirs, fair for composers and makes copying legally effortless.' - Mark De-Lisser

PMLL has a wonderful opportunity for choirs.

Could your choir win ‘PMLL Choir of the Year’ award and have your rehearsal space paid for a year?

In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, PMLL is hosting a competition, any choir that has purchased the new license in 2022 is eligible to enter this competition. This is a great chance to spotlight the talent and creativity of your group. 

The competition closes 30 September.

Visit their website to find out how to enter the competition.

To find out more about the Amateur Choir Licence or PMLL in general, visit their website.