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JLicense Reporting Tutorial: How to Report Song Usage and Pro Tips

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. JLicense was created by clergy and professionals from within the organized Jewish world to serve as an all-encompassing licensing agency for Jewish communities, with the mission of helping to support the creation of new Jewish music by fairly compensating its composers and songwriters.

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, archiving, podcasting, making rehearsal recordings, projecting on-screen, making custom arrangements, sharing in social media, and printing in bulletins, handouts, dapei t’filah, and more. We work with an ever-growing list of member composers, songwriters, and publishers, in addition to the Transcontinental Music catalog, to provide a huge list of the Jewish world’s most 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 use copyrighted lyrics or music in a social media post or video, bulletin, handout, worship aid, on-screen projection, or daf t’filah , for example, you should be reporting to JLicense. If you ever make rehearsal recordings for a choir or band or to teach a copyrighted song to a teacher in your religious school, you need JLicense. If you make your own arrangement, adaptation, or edition of copyrighted music or lyrics for use in your community, you need JLicense.

In US (and most other countries’) copyright law, there is a “religious exemption” (Section 110 (3)), allowing you to use copyrighted works in live, in-person religious settings like worship services, without having to compensate the copyright owner. However, this exception does not extend to broadcasting, webcasting, transmitting, live-streaming, sharing, podcasting, or recording/archiving of the parts of worship services that include copyrighted works, all of which require a license or the written permission of each copyright holder. In addition, making 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 usages 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. If you would like further information on the legality of synagogues streaming services containing copyrighted music, please contact us.
As a JLicense licensee, you 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 composers and songwriters of JLicense. Reproduction may be in the form of an on screen projection, bulletin, email, newsletter, 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 permanent 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 sheet 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. Visit TranscontinentalMusic.com for the largest catalog of Jewish sheet music in the world.
If the title is owned by a JLicense member publisher, composer, or songwriter, then it is nearly always covered under your license. You can search titles from most pages on the site. 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 request that we add the song. Manually submitted titles are carefully reviewed by the JLicense team before being accepted into our database of covered music. Please be patient, this research takes time, but we will respond to your request directly. All of that said, our catalog is massive, and most tunes used in the organized Jewish world can be found on JLicense.
JLicense is a broadcast and performance license, and does not include the right to reprint in permanent congregational songbooks or to make photocopies of sheet music for performance. You are required by law to purchase the appropriate amount of music for your ensemble. For songbooks and sheet music, please visit TranscontinentalMusic.com.
The Artists page is updated regularly and new artists and songs are being added all the time. If a composer is not listed, then they are not currently a member of JLicense. You can always request that we add a certain song or artist’s catalog. We are continuously working together with artists, composers, and songwriters to add their complete Jewish catalogs.
Reporting is easy—but there is a learning curve. The best way to get the hang of reporting is to put it in your weekly routine. Start by watching our video on reporting, which includes most of the information you will need, and some pro tips to help you out. You can 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 assign that reporting to a specific week, as JLicense is a Shabbat-based system. For those who plan ahead or have fallen behind, you are able to report twelve weeks in the past and eight weeks into the future. If you have fallen significantly behind, it is better to report past titles in any available week than to not report them at all. This ensures that artists 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 as a licensee 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. See the Pro Tips section on this page for more detailed instructions.
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. JLicense is a weekly system built for a Shabbat service and religious school schedule. 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 to supplement their income. A JLicense license holder is required to report 100% of the music used under the license, with the exception of public domain and non-covered tunes, and our convenient online reporting tools make reporting convenient and easy. See our reporting video for some great tips.

When reporting the title, you will see the copyright statement as set by the composer. The standard copyright notice format is:

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

Replace the example JLicense license number with your own valid license number. When possible and especially if listing individual copyrights is not possible, please include the PDF slide available to download from our web site footer in your broadcast.
There are four license types: Annual Congregational or Individual Performer, 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 annual budget. Cost within each license type is based on congregational membership (units) or anticipated event attendance. URJ and USCJ congregations (who are members in good standing) receive an extra discount on their licenses.
JLicense only covers broadcasts of live worship services or events, and recordings that you, the license holder, make. No use of original artist commercial masters or artist-owned or -made recordings is covered. To use these, you will need to seek permission from the copyright owner.
Report a song only once per week, no matter the frequency of performance.
Report this usage once, annually. Remember to add a reminder to yourself for next year to report the usage, if the recording is still in active use. We recommend reporting these recordings at the beginning of your b'nai mitzvah or religious school year if this applies. This answer also applies to ensemble (choir, band, etc.) rehearsal recordings, but you may choose to report those as they occur.
As long as the video is active and available, please make an effort to report its songs annually. An easy way to do this is to save a new list of the songs using our List tool, titled with the service’s date of broadcast. If possible. please add the following text either to the video itself and/or to the video's accompanying metadata: "Music at this event/service was licensed by JLicense."
Yes; whether or not your post or video is accessible to the greater public, you must report the usage. When in doubt, report.
If it's expressly and only broadcast in the context of worship for your community, JLicense covers it as long as you report the usage. If you intend to post it otherwise singularly, you'll need permission from the composer.
You can use JLicense-covered songs in your recordings and posts published on social media platforms as long as you report your song usages. If you keep the recordings active and available for more than a year, please make sure to report those songs in that video once annually. An easy way to remember to do this is to create a new list using our List Tool, titled with the date of event/service.
No—the 24-hour license only covers the live event itself (please make sure to report the usages!). To make it available after the event, you will need an annual license. Report the song usages once annually as long as the recording is active and available.
Technically, no, since it was not worship, educational, or available to others in your community. That said, we encourage people to report the usage anyway: if it's easy for you to report, it doesn't cost you any more, and artists will receive royalties. When in doubt, report.
Don’t worry—you can report up to 12 weeks retroactively and eight weeks into the future, if you happen to know what material you will be using in future broadcasts.
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. Inexpensive 24-hour or 7-day licenses are available for infrequent events. If you broadcast with any regularity, you should be an annual-license holder.
For any streamed worship, you will need a license. Our annual licenses are designed (and priced affordably) not only for weekly but intermittent usage. Also, annual licenses allow you to archive stream recordings and keep recordings of the services available online.
JLicense serves congregations and organizations across the world. Welcome!
Advances in technology have made it possible to archive 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 or archived stream is a digital and/or video file made available on the Internet or through file sharing for downloading or storage. If an organization would like its viewers to watch the event live, they can do that by streaming the service. JLicense covers these usages.
Often just one is registered, to reduce confusion. If there are multiple listings in the artist’s JLicense catalog, simply choose one. What ultimately matters here is that the usage is reported and that that artist will receive a royalty.
Absolutely, as long as it is held in copyright. With JLicense, you should report any music of our member composers that is used. If a piece of music is in public domain, there is no need to report it.
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. Please remember that if you continue to broadcast or otherwise use copyrighted Jewish music and lyrics involving most technologies, you will need an annually-renewing license.


Use this help reference section for tips on reporting and easing your JLicense routine. Many of these are explained in our handy tutorial videos shown above.



Lists allow you to easily create reporting templates that make your routine considerably easier! You can create lists from scratch, from a weekly report, from a single song, from search results, or from another report.


JLicense was created specifically to include common broadcast and performance usages of copyrighted music and lyrics in progressive synagogue life. This includes use of covered music and lyrics in these settings:


JLicense licensees often find that the best practice is to make reporting part of your weekly routine, since JLicense is a weekly, or, Shabbat-based system. Here are some tips to help ease your learning curve:


If you are a composer/songwriter/author of original music or lyrics used in the Jewish world, you can register to make your songs available for licensing. JLicense licenses copyrighted Jewish music and lyrics for broadcast and performance (and related) usages, similar to ASCAP or BMI in the secular world. Our license was specifically designed for Jewish synagogues and organizations, and includes unique usage rights that are not included in any other license, and a catalog most of which is not available elsewhere.

Listing your catalog of Jewish songs is a crucial step in making sure that you are fairly compensated for usages of your music. The most common example of music usage is the streaming of worship services. If you know of a synagogue using your music during their streamed services, they should be reporting to JLicense if they are not already.

While we are planning an artist access portal to the site, for now, please contact us to register. Here are some common questions about becoming a JLicense artist:

Contact us to get started on your registration. We will send you an agreement to sign and return along with artist info and an Excel sheet to list your catalog of Jewish songs and copyright information. After returning it to us, we will ingest and check the data, and make your listings live. It’s that simple!
As a JLicense artist, you will earn royalties when JLicense licensees report their usages of your music. The more that folks use your songs in their services, the more you will earn. We pay royalties twice every year.
No; you can register your entire Jewish catalog, as long as you wrote the material and own it, no matter if it has been recorded or published. As long as a licensee is even possibly using it, you should list it!
No; JLicense has nothing to do with sheet music. All that matters when it comes to what you can register is if you wrote (and own) the song.
JLicense introduced a new annual license, the Individual Performer’s license, for a very low cost. Independent musicians, freelancers, self-employed worship leaders, and others now have an easy way to be copyright-compliant when performing or posting to social media songs by other composers/songwriters. More info
That is entirely up to you; either choice is appropriate. There are many artists who are employed by various organizations who have the licensees report their music. It is not unethical in this case to receive royalties for these usages. Additionally, artists with their own Individual Performer’s licenses typically do not report their own usages of their music.
Yes—there is no exclusivity with performing rights agencies. Also, JLicense’s venues are typically not covered by these secular agencies, and the license itself covers a wider range of usages (standard to progressive synagogues) than the major performing rights agencies.
Please contact us us and we will send you the appropriate spreadsheet.