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What is the Music Service Licence?

The Music Service Licence (MSL) enables music services to legally make copies of sheet music and arrangements, and ensures that composers and writers whose music is used under the licence are correctly paid. It helps music hubs and services make the best use of printed music resources whilst ensuring that they are copyright compliant.

The licence runs from 1st April to 31st March.

With the Music Service Licence, you will be able to:

  • Make copies or arrangements of entire works (or up to 10% of an anthology) which the music service already owns
  • Use score-writing software programs to arrange print music
  • Make notations by hand on copies of print music
  • Make new arrangements to suit any instrumentation your service has available
  • Upload copies of music to a password protected Virtual Learning Environment or similar secure network

Please note, the music service must own at least one original copy of the sheet music either in physical or PDF form (bought from a legitimate website).

The licence covers ‘area activities’ run by the music service which include small group vocal/instrumental music teaching and small and large ensembles. Copies made are permitted to be used in relation to performance events for which entrance fees or monetary collections are taken, provided such fees or collections are used entirely as a contribution towards the running costs of the music service. It does not cover private teaching, individual vocal or instrumental teaching, or any other commercial activities.

A list of publishers who have mandated their rights for this scheme is available here. There is also an exclusion list available here which details any publishers that have excluded all or some their works.

The terms and conditions of the Music Service Licence can be read here.

Reporting on your licence usage

Printed Music Licensing Limited (PMLL) is a non-profit organisation that provides licences on behalf of its music publisher members.

In order for PMLL to distribute monies received via the licences it provides, it is essential that you report all the works that you copy and arrange. The songs/works that are copied under the licence must be identifiable, so that the writers and composers receive the correct monies for the use of their works.

This data can be submitted quickly and easily using the PMLL Portal. Once you have created an account, there is a dedicated data submission page where you can input all the information PMLL needs about what you are using.

PMLL are happy to provide training on how to use the portal. If you would find this useful, please get in touch with us. For a six minute walkthrough of how to submit your data using the portal, click here.

Applying for a licence

To apply for a licence, please complete our application form. We will then email your nominated contact to confirm the details and you may then request a copy of the licence. From this point onwards your music service will be covered by the licence until 31st March. Your music service will then be invoiced and added to the PMLL database for Music Service Licences.

The licence will automatically renew on 31st March each year and your music service will receive an invoice. If you already hold a license, you do not need to re-submit the application form unless it is to notify us that your payment tier or contact email has changed.

If you wish to cancel your licence, Music Mark will require written confirmation by 1st March. In case of licence cancellation, all copies and arrangements made under the licence must be destroyed.

Any contact data (including personal data) provided to Music Mark will then be passed to PMLL and processed for the purposes of performance of the licence agreement.  PMLL’s privacy policy is available here.


Pricing is calculated by organisational income per year, as below:

Level Organisational Income per year Cost of Licence
Tier 1 Less than £500k £200 + VAT
Tier 2 £500k – £1.5m £300 + VAT
Tier 3 £1.5m + £400 + VAT


After completing the application form and selecting your payment tier, an invoice will be sent to your supplied finance details. If any of your details change, including nominated contact and payment details, please notify us by emailing

Find out more

For further information about the licence including FAQs, please visit the PMLL website. Additional FAQs arising in 2021/2022 are answered here.

On 24th February 2021, we held a Q&A webinar covering the Music Service Licence and the School’s Printed Music Licence led by Viki Smith, General Manager of Printed Music Licensing Limited, and Abigail D’Amore. After a brief overview of the licences, how they work and the reporting requirements, questions are taken from the webinar attendees. Watch the webinar here. A short article by Viki Smith on the Music Service License is available here.

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About the Provider

Printed Music Licensing Limited

Printed Music Licensing Limited (PMLL) represents the rights of music publishers. On their behalf, PMLL issues licences to allow the photocopying and arranging of sheet music as part of education and beyond.