Tracking File Licenses

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Planning Center Services allows you to keep track of how many licenses you've purchased for copyrighted files and emails you when you've used them. You can get license information for each file on the page that it exists, or you can view all files in your account from the attachments page.

Only Editors have access to manage File Licenses.

Files will never become unavailable to your users just because you are out of licenses. No matter what the license state, users can still get to your files, and you'll be notified that you have overdrawn your licenses.

Adding Licenses

When you add or edit a file, you can enter the total number of licenses you've purchased.

  1. The number of licenses used is calculated based on the access log. Each person who has viewed or downloaded a file is treated as one used license. It doesn't matter how many times that person has viewed or downloaded the file, they are only counted once, so the number of licenses used is the number of unique people who have accessed that file.
  2. Enter the total number of licenses you've purchased.
  3. The number of licenses remaining subtracts the used licenses from the licenses purchased. If you see a negative number, then you've used more licenses than you've purchased and need to purchase more.
  4. The License Administrator is automatically set to the person who enters a number in the Purchased field, but you can change that. The License Administrator will be notified once this file needs more licenses.

Until you enter a number into the Purchased field, your file is ignored for licensing purposes. However, usage is always tracked, regardless of whether you enter a number into the Purchased column, so even if you don't need licenses for a file, you can see how many people have accessed it. That means you won't be notified in any way until you indicate you want to track licenses for a file by entering a number into the Purchased field.

License Overage Emails

Once a week, license overages emails are sent out to any License Administrators whose files need new licenses. These emails will list all files assigned to them and provide a link to log in to the attachments page where they can update their licenses.

Click the Update Licenses button to log in to the attachment page.

Managing Many Licenses at Once

You can see all the files in your entire account from the attachments page, which you can access from the link at the bottom of the license overage email.

Use the filter section on the left to see particular files. The Licenses dropdown allows you to filter by All files, Overdrawn files, or files with no licenses being tracked. You can also filter based on who the License Administrator is.

Only users with Editor or Administrator permission can access this page. However, if you are an Editor or Administrator that has a lower sub-permission for a specific folder or service type, you will only be able to view files for that service type, you won't be able to access or edit the files.

Why Track License Files?

Every distributor of music is different, so it's up to you to know if your purchase includes unlimited usage or if you receive a number of licenses with your purchase. Copyrights can be somewhat complicated, but Planning Center Services tries to give you many ways to make them a little easier, including License Tracking, and CCLi Reports.

Some places that you get files from include unlimited usage of those files or give you a bulk reporting tool that requires you to report the individual files, but you don't have to buy individual licenses.

Other places include a certain number of licenses with each file and require you to purchase more licenses once you've used the existing ones. For example, most files purchased through PraiseCharts.com include five licenses of each file. If you want more than five people to access the file, you need to contact them to purchases the additional licenses.

Individually purchased sheet music are probably the kind of files that need individual license tracking the most.

There are companies that can provide blanket licenses for some things. CCLI's Rehearsal License, for example, gives you a license that allows your users to access copyrighted audio files that would normally require individual licenses. If you don't have the Rehearsal License or something comparable, you would have to get individual permission from the publisher of each audio file in order to distribute it.

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