Buy a licence

We offer three licences to cover different usage of Alison Burns original material. Song licences may be purchased as a digital download when you buy a song, or retrospectively (for instance, when you have identified a song you would like to use with a choir).

Please review the licence options to make sure you choose a licence to suit your requirements, then select to purchase.

Small: You are licenced to teach, sing, perform, record with a group of up to 30 people.

Standard: You are licenced to teach, sing, perform, record with a group of up to 60 people.

Unlimited: You are licenced to teach, sing, perform, record with a group or groups of any number.

Licenses: an online honesty box

I love it that my songs are sung and shared and weave their way across the world and into singers’ repertoire. It’s a wonderful thing when I hear back from people whose lives have been touched by singing or listening to a song that I’ve written. But it’s hard to make a living as a songwriter in a genre that’s not set up to collect royalties!

My intention in setting up a license system isn’t to make people feel guilty for not having a license or to stop people from singing my songs. I’d always rather that my songs were sung than not sung. In setting up this system I’m trying to put choirs who learn aurally and mainstream choirs on an equal footing. In mainstream choirs – and by that I mean choirs who sing from scores rather than learning by ear – each score or photocopy permit has to be paid for. This money goes back to the publisher and to the composer as a royalty. So, likewise, if your group can afford to support my work by buying a license then please do. If you’re an individual who’s earning money from teaching my songs or arrangements in public workshops please see your way to buy a license. It all trickles down – I pay living writers when I set their text to music and I often pay literary executors to use the words of writers who have died but whose work is still in copyright.

Think of the license system as an online honesty box. I don’t keep tabs on what or who is buying a license for which song and I trust that if your group has money and you can afford to buy one you will, either currently or retrospectively. If you just sing a song or a round once as part of a choir session and don’t come back to it again then don’t worry about a license, but if you sing and perform it regularly and can afford it, please do. I would expect that in some cases it’s the choir that buy the license and in other cases it’s a song leader (who perhaps has several small groups none of which could afford a license on their own) or perhaps wants that song as part of their repertoire to teach at all kinds of singing events and workshops.

Where people are running groups for organisations it may be worth bringing up the fact that songs are resources that should be paid for by that organisation – just like clay is the resource needed for the pottery class, songs are the resource needed for the choir.

Just to be clear:

  • A choir or choir leader only need one license for each song no matter how many times it’s sung, recorded or performed.
  • You can buy a retrospective license.
  • You can buy a license as an individual and then go on to teach that song to as many small groups or in as many workshops as you like.
  • If you support my work by hosting me for a workshop I don’t expect you to buy a license for the songs we learn in that workshop.
  • If you learn my songs in a workshop from me or from another workshop leader but want to take them back to your choir to sing then ask your choir to buy a license if they can afford to. It may also be worth checking with me that the song has been taught ‘correctly’ – by that I mean the latest version of it (sometimes my songs acquire new verses or parts or variations as they age).

If you have any other questions, please get in touch… and enjoy the songs!