Calamus Licence

Helping you with © COPYRIGHT…

What are your copyright needs?

–  Special liturgies?

–  Introducing new songs on Sunday Bulletins?

–  Making your own hymnbook?

Calamus allows you to use a large number of new songs, or songs which are not in your  hymnbook, without worry over infringing copyright. And it’s very simple to use.

The Problem

The question ‘What can I print?’ causes anxiety and frustration. Hymn books can’t keep up with the constant output of new music, but people want to use it as soon as possible, and legally.  Maybe you have a special service coming up and want to use a piece which isn’t in your hymnbook. What next?


In most cases, you can copy words quite easily (sometimes music). But you must ask permission, and sometimes make a payment. Music and words written by living authors or those who died less than 70 years ago are copyright. In law they are someone’s property and for many writers and composers the royalties they bring in are their living. Don’t steal it!


To save some of the labour of writing round to a dozen people for permssion, even if you can find out who owns the copyright of a song, Licence Schemes have grown up. Calamus is one.

What is Calamus?

Calamus  administers copyrights of hymns, songs and other liturgical music. It represents many publishers and organisations, giving access to a large part of the repertoire used particularly, but not exclusively, in Catholic liturgy today. See the list on the back of the leaflet – you will find it covers many of today’s leading liturgical composers from Britain, Ireland, Australia and the USA. Hundreds of songs such as  ‘Here I am, Lord’, ‘Gather us in’, ‘Love is his word’, ‘Christ be our light’ and ‘Make me a channel of your peace’, and service music such as the Mass of Creation, are covered .


What it DOESN’T cover – 1 


• Music covered by the Christian Copyright Licence. CCLI, which covers Oxford University Press, Thankyou Music, Stainer & Bell  and many others is at: Chantry House, 22 Upperton Road,Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 1BF •

What does it offer?

Calamus allows you to reproduce the words and music (melody line*) of the pieces it covers. It offers two kinds of service; which one you use depends on whether you need copyright permission regularly or only occasionally.


1. An Annual Licence

You can take out a licence for your parish, school or community to reproduce hymns and songs (words and melody line*) for whatever purpose, during one year – service sheets, projections, bulletins, seasonal booklets (the sheets cannot be kept after the year is up). You don’t have to ask permission for individual songs, but you are asked to keep a record of the music you use and let us know, so that royalties can be distributed. Schools may take out an extension licence if the parish has a full one.

Prices for the Annual Licence are listed in the panel alongside.


2. Permissions for individual songs and one-time-use

Even if you don’t have an annual licence, you can get permission to use songs for a particular occasion, or to include them  in permanent collections.

You will almost certainly need to know where to find us at some stage.  In the case of some publishers Calamus is the exclusive UK and Ireland agent.  So keep our address handy, and let your parish musicians know about it.


What it DOESN’T cover – 2 

•  Choir, keyboard and instrument parts. You must ask  for these separately and the price charged is similar to what you would pay if you bought the music.

•  photocopying from certain books (because of  ‘Graphic copyright’ which covers printed pages.)

*THE LICENCE covers Taizé Publications and if you wish you can have a licence for Taizé alone.


SCHOOLS:  note that the CCLI school licence does not cover Calamus material.

Calamus Annual Licence Prices 2019

Calamus Annual  Licence prices 2019

All Prices  include VAT at 20%

On the left: full licence (including Taizé)

On the right: Taizé only licence


Up to 100 people* £48.00 £15.00

101-250 people* £72.00 £15.00

251- 500 people £96.00 £20.58

501- 1000 people £126.00 £30.00

Over 1000 people £150.00 £36.00

(*For churches: Total service attendance figures. )

Schools where parish has a licence:

Up to 250 pupils £48.00

251-500 pupils £54.00

501- 1000 pupils £72.00

Over 1000 pupils £90.00


Forms for the licences may be downloaded HERE. Print off both copies, if you are applying for the first time,  and return with the appropriate fee, made payable to CALAMUS.





& Schools

School Extensions

Taize Only

Composers & Publishers Covered by Calamus.




Calamus Annual
Return Form

Taize Only Return Form

Euro Calamus Licence