One License takes over from Calamus

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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Nick Baty
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One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Nick Baty » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:31 pm

We'll soon no longer be able to buy an annual licence from Calamus as the service is being taken over by One License. And, for our small congregation, the difference is massive: from an annual £45 to £149. I'll have to put on my groveliest smile to get that one past the parish priest. More information about One License here: https://www.onelicense.net

I suspect that many parishes will simply stop producing service sheets because of the price hike. And this could have a knock-on for composers who benefit from Calamus.

JW
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by JW » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:34 pm

One License seems to have many more companies in its stable than Calamus but I'm not sure if this justifies a threefold increase in price. Churches could be paying organisations whose music they may never use - perhaps they could address this. It would be interesting to see One License's financials.

If the move towards screening words becomes universal, paying fees to a licensing firm will be unavoidable. And I'm not sure that One License has any competition?

On the other hand, we should be paying a fair price to composers for their music. Most liturgical composers receive scant financial reward for their efforts.
JW

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Nick Baty
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Nick Baty » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:40 pm

JW wrote: Churches could be paying organisations whose music they may never use
Not quite. The cash is paid to publishers pro rata according number of reported usages, as with Calamus.

Southern Comfort
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Southern Comfort » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:10 pm

It's vital that people do their returns, so that what money there is actually gets to the right people. The publishers take 50% of what they receive, before handing what little is left over to authors and composers.

Another problem with OneLicense is that it has no idea about pieces that are published in the UK but not in the US. A lot of people are going to have to undertake a large amount of work in order to get their music on to OneLicense's database records.

It's not looking hopeful. Many composers in the US have seen their revenues plummet by 50% and more since all the publishers over there went over to OneLicense, which has had drastic teething problems in registering thousands of works and getting them into their system. In theory, you can apply to OneLicense for permission to reproduce anything that they allegedly have. In practice, it's often simply impossible to find those works in the great morass..... :(

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Nick Baty
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Nick Baty » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:20 pm

SC, I knew you'd have a more international view. We can see that Decani/Calamus is winding down a little – and they've given us great service for many years – but I wish there was someone nearer home who could take over from them.

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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by JW » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:15 am

Just to clarify my point about paying for music we don't use. I understand that the fee that a church pays is the same whether you print off songs every week as Nick does, or just half a dozen times a year. And we tend to print off songs by a fairly limited range of composers. This just isn't fair. I assume the reason for increased fees is the amount of work involved in negotiating with so many composers.

For someone to take over from One License would require them to gain the confidence of all composers (assuming that One License doesn't include an exclusivity clause in it's agreement). That is not realistic. In effect, One License has a monopoly.
JW

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Nick Baty
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Nick Baty » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:39 am

JW post wrote:I understand that the fee that a church pays is the same whether you print off songs every week as Nick does, or just half a dozen times a year.
You can pay for one-off events but, if you're only producing a few a year, you could just go to publishers directly.

markyboy2000
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by markyboy2000 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:02 pm

We don't produce service sheets, successive PPs have been against them. We occasionally have diocesan services, which are covered by the diocese's license.
One of the reasons I took one out was to cover funerals, because undertakers told me they didn't have a license themselves, but expected the churches to have them. And as many people now opt for a service booklet, including hymn words, I wanted to be covered. I understand my local COfE parish has a CCL license. (I've never been sure of the difference or whether they overlap, but don't have one)
Any advice please? I'd be unhappy at paying more than the £72 I pay now.

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Nick Baty
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Nick Baty » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:20 pm

markyboy2000 post wrote:We occasionally have diocesan services, which are covered by the diocese's license.
How does that work? Calamus has always been site-specific.
markyboy2000 post wrote: One of the reasons I took one out was to cover funerals
Calamus never charged for funerals.

markyboy2000
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by markyboy2000 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:54 pm

Thanks, Nick; however, I can see no exclusion listed for funerals on the paperwork online or the licence itself.
The diocesan leaflet with a Calamus number on it was a priest's funeral.
I'll probably cancel at renewal in November, especially if the cost is rising so much

Southern Comfort
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Southern Comfort » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:09 pm

Nick Baty wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:20 pm
markyboy2000 post wrote:We occasionally have diocesan services, which are covered by the diocese's license.
How does that work? Calamus has always been site-specific.
Not so, Nick. Calamus licenced the pastoral team in some dioceses to enable the reproduction of material at diocesan events around the diocese (other than at the cathedral, which would have its own licence). The notional "site" of the licence was the diocesan pastoral centre, which would be deemed to be wherever the pastoral team happened to be, and a realistic notional maximum number of participants was used. It saved Calamus a lot of additional paperwork for one-off events.

What they were not able to do, however, because of their agreements with some publishers, was issue a diocese-wide licence covering all parishes in the diocese as a group.

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Nick Baty
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Nick Baty » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:06 pm

Thanks for that, SC. It's been a real pain working in a parish with three churches. Christmas and Easter have been very complicated – but only because we've always been honest!

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VML
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by VML » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:53 pm

It was bound to be American with that spelling.

justMary
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by justMary » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:45 am

Nick - did you receive an announcement from Decani about this? I looked on their website, but couldn't find anything about it.

I think that it is A Good Thing in the long run, although agree there is likely pain in the short term re getting catalogs loaded etc. Works by UK&I composers are used in lots of countries, not just the UK and US. In theory, at least a worldwide (or at least more-than-just-local) copyright management structure lets royalies by distributed on the basis of world-wide use. Freelink in Oz/NZ was a valiant effort for its time but it stagnated. And no one was even looking like they would go near licensing for the Philippines, Singapore, Nigeria etc

The fee needs to be viewed in perspective. Yes, it is trebling. But it's still very low - about £3 per week in the case quoted. Compare that to what your parish spends on other things. If your parish budget is so tight that £3 is make or break, then with respect you have more urgent things to be worrying about than copyright.

And the fact that OneLicense offers a web-streaming option, which I think Decani/Calamus didn't have, means that it's at least possible for all those web-cams in churches to be copyright-legal. That's a step forward.

Someone commented:
I understand my local COfE parish has a CCL license. (I've never been sure of the difference or whether they overlap)
Last time I looked, there was a little overlap but not much. Roughly speaking CCLI covered evangelical / charismatic / CCM style composers, while OneLicense (and the things it's included) covered the liturgical ones. The main exception to this is Kevin Mayhew Limited, who were covered by CCLI.

I've not researched this again lately. But in NZ, my parish found that to be 100% copyright legal we would have to buy both licenses. (We didn't - we just got the Calamus-equivalent one, and ahh, "didn't" use material from the other company :)

Southern Comfort
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Re: One License takes over from Calamus

Post by Southern Comfort » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:52 am

justMary wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:45 am
And the fact that OneLicense offers a web-streaming option, which I think Decani/Calamus didn't have, means that it's at least possible for all those web-cams in churches to be copyright-legal. That's a step forward.
There's a whole issue/debate/lawsuit there that is well overdue. The Irish company which seems to do most of the live-streaming and recording in the British Isles has been acting illegally ever since it began.
justMary wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:45 am
The main exception to this is Kevin Mayhew Limited, who were covered by CCLI.
Mayhew have also been covered by Calamus for several years.

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