Learn more about this exciting new platform, where Reform congregational leaders connect with colleagues and peers who have similar concerns, interests and responsibilities.
In an effort to encourage composers, songwriters, authors, and publishers of Jewish music and material to continue to produce new works, JLicense compensates them fairly for use of their compositions in synagogues and other institutions.
Here are five things your congregation should know about Jewish music and copyright laws:
Although U.S. copyright law includes a “religious exemption” (Section 110 (3)) that allows the use of copyrighted works in religious settings (worship services, etc.) without compensating the copyright owner, the exemption does not extend to broadcasting, webcasting, live-streaming, podcasting, or recording of the parts of worship services that include copyrighted works, all of which require a license or the written permission of the copyright holder.
If your congregation streams, podcasts, or stores recordings of services and events (concerts, lifecycle celebrations, etc.), posts services or events on YouTube, or broadcasts through Facebook Live or a similar service, you may be infringing on copyright laws.
Even if your congregation doesn’t stream or podcast services, copyright compliance is required for congregations that:
In addition to the works in the Transcontinental Music catalog, JLicense works with an ever-growing list of composers and songwriters to offer an extensive list of music and lyrics licensed for streaming, podcasting, rehearsal recordings, on-screen projecting, and making custom arrangements, as well as printing in bulletins, newsletters, handouts, and more. Three different licensing options are available:
JLicense does not include the right to reprint copyrighted material in permanent congregational songbooks or to make photocopies of sheet music. By law, congregations must purchase sheet music for each member of its choir, band, or ensemble.
As your congregation prepares its budget for the new fiscal year, consider adding JLicense to ensure the music your community uses in all facets of synagogue life complies with current copyright laws. It is the moral, ethical, and Jewish thing to do.
For information about copyright law from a Jewish perspective, check out A Practical Guide to Copyright. For more information about JLicense, including how Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) congregations can receive a 10 percent discount, visit JLicense.com or email Joe Eglash.