Licensing only sells charts that are licensed and copyrights made on them to the print Publisher.

Why do you need charts to be licensed?

All charts sold by an arranger must be licenced by the composer(s) via their representatives.  The process of licensing can be very time-consuming and is often denied. The mechanical copyright belongs (generally speaking) to a song’s composer(s)/lyricist(s), it is their property and they can do what they want with it.

From the cost you pay for a band chart, the arranger has to pay (this can vary enormously between Publishers but is mostly) 50% (+20% VAT) goes to the publishers to be divided between the copyright owners.

This is a legal requirement when writing a chart. As an owner and performer of a chart it is worth appreciating the fact that half of the cost of the chart is your ONLY contribution to the copyright owners and gives you the right to use it as many times as you want.

This is an entirely different thing to Performing Rights, for which the venue/cruise line/theatre whose stage you perform on buys a Performance licence to give you the legal right to do so.

here are a couple of links to study:

If you’re tempted to buy cheaper from someone selling charts illegally, please stop & think. Publishers are more and more on the case with illegal use of, and illegal copying of charts. Selling (and buying) a chart that is not licensed and mechanical copyright not paid for (if applicable) is illegal in exactly the same way as if you copied and sold and Elton John CD. The difference is, copying a CD, no-one would know! Coversely you would be actually using a chart being played in public by real musicians in front of real people, which is far more obvious. All it takes is for an administrator from a major Print pubisher to be in your audience (in a theatre or cruise ship) to hear a song they know is in their catalogue and you are likely to be quizzed about it. They could easily warn you to stop using the chart altogether, and there can be huge fines for even a single non-compliance if you didn’t stop. Remember, Performing rights licences are paid for ‘in block’ by the venues in which you work, but PRINT licences are not.

Please only buy charts that are sold legally.