Request Use of Libby's Music

Using Libby’s Music

lib We receive hundreds and hundreds of requests each year for various uses of Libby’s songs. If you are interested in using one or more of her songs (on a recording, in a book, on a film or video soundtrack, in a sermon, slideshow, piece of visual art, etc.), please contact Turtle Island Records before doing so at:

5316 E. 41st Ave.


Our attorney handles all requests for uses of Libby’s songs. Please include a detailed description of your project and how you wish to use the song and Lauren will get back to you. We do our best to reply promptly, but sometimes it can take time to receive a reply.

The following information is provided to give general information on the requirements and issues involved in using a song or songs. The most common types of requests are covered here. Please feel free to contact us if you have another kind of use you’d like to discuss!

We do not grant permission to change or add to the lyrics to any of Libby’s songs.

First, a request…

Because we receive so many requests to use Libby’s music, we ask that you reflect on a few things before making a request for a donation of her music or performance. We receive literally thousands of requests for Libby to donate her song(s) and/or performances on behalf of various causes. We are thrilled that so many people wish to use Libby’s music, but we also have to find a way to pay the people who work to ensure that her music can continue (as well as Libby herself). Turtle Island Records is an independent record label. Simply responding to the volume of requests we receive takes a great deal of time, energy and money out of our business, in addition to the fact that Libby donates a phenomenal amount of her time, energy and music to support wonderful causes worldwide. When considering asking her to donate her music in any form, please make sure that a) it is absolutely necessary, b) you have requested donations from all other available sources, including non-music related ones, and c) you are not asking musicians to donate their work to the project while paying (or fundraising to pay for) the salaries of others involved. Artists need to eat too! :-> And artists are asked disproportionately to donate their time and energy to good causes while frequently making very little money themselves!

If, after taking these things into consideration, you truly need to request a donation, please go ahead and do so. But understand that your request will be received in the context of literally hundreds and hundreds of others. If we are unable to grant it, it will be because we have to draw the line in order to ensure that Libby’s music, activism and great work worldwide continues, not because she/we do not support your cause wholeheartedly! We do!

Thank you!

Performing one of Libby’s songs

At non-profit and private events

For example, concerts, benefits, protests, weddings, funerals.

If you are performing or playing a song at an event at which there is no money charged or all revenues are donated to a non-profit organization or cause, please feel free to perform a song or play a recording of the music. We just ask that you credit Libby as the author and, wherever possible, let people know where they can obtain her recordings. Thanks!

At for-profit events

For example, concerts, workshops, etc.

If you are a solo artist or workshop leader performing or playing a song at a for-profit event, technically there is a fee associated with the performance of an artist’s music. In nearly all of these cases, we don’t charge for these uses because most artists make so little money. But please do contact us beforehand, credit Libby as the author and let people know where they can find her music. Thanks!


We receive lots of requests from choirs to perform arrangements of many of Libby’s songs. We have a few arrangements on hand that people have used before, but mostly you will need to put together original arrangements. Please contact us beforehand to obtain permission. Generally the performance fee for singing one of the songs in paid public performances is $100/song for the performance cycle (usually 1-3 shows). This fee can go up or down depending on several factors. Credit, including copyright and recording information, should be included in all written programs.

Theater performances

If you wish to include one or more of Libby’s songs in a theatrical production, please contact us beforehand to obtain permission. There may be a fee for doing so, depending upon the nature of the performance. In addition, we will request that you send a description of the production and the context in which the song is used. Credit, including copyright and recording information, should be included in all written programs.


All requests to reprint lyrics in printed material require previous permission from the publisher and the inclusion of appropriate copyright and credit information. Please contact us and we will get back to you! Generally, we will ask you to send us a description of the book, article, sermon, etc. that you wish to publish the song in as well as a couple of pages and/or paragraphs that show the use of the song in context. Lyrics must be reprinted accurately.


Please contact us and we will get back to you! Generally, we will ask you to send us a description of the sermon or service that you wish to use the song in as well as a couple of paragraphs that show the use of the song in context. Lyrics must be reprinted accurately. Credit, including copyright and recording information, should be included in all written programs.


If you want to produce a recording of one of Libby’s songs (called a “cover” of the song), please write to us with a description of your project. In most cases, we will send you what is called a “Mechanical License Agreement.”

Once a song is published (recorded or published in written form), you are allowed to re-record it as long as you regularly pay the standard royalty rate to the artist and do not alter the lyrics, basic melody, length or fundamental character of the song as it was originally recorded. You are allowed to make a new musical arrangement to fit your own interpretation of the song.

The standard royalty rates are set by Congress and increase every two years. You are responsible for paying the current royalty rate at each stage.

Legally, you are required to make an accounting of the number of recordings made and sold every quarter (along with the royalty payments), but we are often agreeable to other arrangements that will reduce your accounting requirements (for example, many people simply pay the royalties for an entire run of CD’s at the beginning of each run).

Please contact us with your name, address, phone, email and fax, the title of the song you are interested in covering, the title and anticipated release date of your recording and we will send you an agreement in the mail. You can sign the agreement, keep a copy for your records and return a copy to us.

Please note that you are not allowed to make changes to the lyrics, basic melody, general length and fundamental character of the composition or to use it in a new or different context. If you have any questions about this, please contact us before you make a recording.


You may be interested in using a track or tracks of music already recorded by Libby on one of her five recordings, For example, you don’t want to make your own version of the song(s) but to use Libby’s version (on a compilation CD, film/video soundtrack, slide show, etc.). In this case, contact us well in advance of the start date of your project, so as to ensure that you get permission before investing time, energy and money into the project.

If you want to use prerecorded material by any artist, you must obtain a master recording license in addition to the mechanical license agreement described in a previous section. This is because whoever puts the time, energy and money into creating a particular recording owns a separate Sound Recording copyright. The sound recording copyright is separate from the copyrights to the songs on the recording, which may or may not be owned by the same person.

Whenever you wish to use a pre-recorded song, you need to obtain permission from not only the person who owns the copyright to the song itself, but also the person who owns the copyright to the sound recording. Sometimes, as in Libby’s case, the same person holds both copyrights.

Please send a very detailed description of your project, including such information as:

  • type and title of project
  • sponsoring organization and whether they/you are a non-profit or for-profit organization and project
  • context in which you propose to use the song, intended audience
  • requested rights (e.g. one-time, non-exclusive, for what period of time, over what geographic range, etc.)
  • here you expect the project/song to be seen/heard/sold. For example, on public TV, commercial radio, only as an educational tool for nursing students, by people who come to paid workshops, by children with disabilities at a special summer camp, etc.
  • anticipated profits, if any
  • and anything else you wish to share that will help us understand the nature of your project. We will get back to you!


For example, on quilts, cards, plaques, and so forth.

Please send us a detailed description of your proposed use and we will get back to you!