Annual Performance Licences

Whilst it is a legal requirement for churches to comply with copyright law, we know that staff and volunteers are busy so we try to make the process of compliance as simple as possible. The guidelines below explain the most common copyright and licensing issues.

Don't forget, if you have any questions we're more than happy to help. Contact us.

All of our Nativities include an Annual Performance Licence. 


Performance Rights Granted To The Annual Performance Licence Holder

An Annual Performance Licence will permit the holder to:

  • Perform the musical or nativity during the licence period. The licence will cover any number of performances (free or charging) within a specified time (maximum 12 months from the date of purchase or date of first performance if earlier).
  • Play the audio tracks (either backing or vocal tracks) at the performance.


Should you wish to perform the nativity outside of the 12 months after purchase, you must purchase a new Annual Performance Licence. This can be done by contacting Same Boat Music.


Photocopying Rights Granted To The Annual Performance Licence holder. Photocopying of the published material is permitted under licences issued by CCLI.

UK churches should report when requested any:

  • Copying of the lyrics and music on their CCLI returns.
  • Copying of the script, teachers' notes & staging instructions on their Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) returns, available from CCLI.


Churches that do not have a CCLI/CLA licence may under the terms of the Annual Performance Licence:

  • Make up to 2 photocopies or printed copies of the script for learning purposes. Copies must be destroyed after the performance.
  • Make up to 2 photocopies or printed copies of the music score for use by participating musicians on the performance dates.
  • Reproduce the song lyrics on printed paper, e.g. for programmes, to project the lyrics or to display the lyrics electronically, to make transparencies for overhead projection and to display the lyrics on a touchscreen, interactive whiteboard or other type of screen. The following credit should be included with the lyrics: 'Reproduced by kind permission © Out of the Ark Ltd'.

If the songs are used in a Church service then photocopying, printing, displaying or projecting the lyrics or music score are covered by the Church's CCLI licences and should be logged and reported as required by CCLI.

Digital Content Usage Rights Granted To The Annual Performance Licence Holder

In addition, where digital copies of the product have been purchased, a number of digital usage rights are granted to the licence holder, including:

  • Copying song files from an audio CD onto more than one computer or onto a network.
  • Copying MP3 audio files onto more than one computer or onto a network.
  • Uploading digital content to an intranet or learning platform.
  • Permitting usage of digital content at home for teachers/volunteers for preparation purposes.

Public Websites (including school or church's website, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, SoundCloud etc)

Uploading of audio or video files of children performing the work (Out of the Ark Ltd must be credited, plus inbound link to must be provided) 
Please note that Out of the Ark’s original recordings may not be posted to public websites except as an accompaniment to the children singing

An Out of the Ark Music Annual Performance Licence is required by customers worldwide, not just in the UK.