The royalties that MROC distributes to musicians and performers flow mainly from tariffs and levies certified by the Copyright Board of Canada. The Copyright Board is the economic regulatory body empowered to establish the royalties to be paid for using copyright works. There are two main streams of royalties available to musicians and vocalists flowing from the Copyright Board’s tariffs: neighbouring rights and private copying. The tariffs for neighbouring rights are collected by Re:Sound, while private copying levies are collected by the Canadian Private Copying Collective. For more information about the Copyright Board, visit their website at www.cb-cda.gc.ca.
MROC also distributes royalties received from its international counterparts for the use of MROC musicians’ and vocalists’ sound recordings outside of Canada.
Until 1997, only songwriters and music publishers received royalties for music broadcast or publicly performed because the law only recognized the value in the songs (musical works). Since 1997, when the neighbouring rights regime was established in the Canadian Copyright Act, musicians (performers) and record labels (makers of the sound recordings) also have a right to be remunerated for the broadcast and public performance of their sound recordings and of the performers’ performances on those sound recordings.
Neighbouring rights revenue is collected in Canada by Re:Sound www.resound.ca (formerly NRCC Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada) under the following tariffs certified by the Copyright Board:
- Commercial Radio
- Non-Commercial Radio (e.g., Community Radio, College Radio)
- CBC Radio
- Pay Audio (music programming channels such as Galaxie and Max-Trax delivered as part of cable TV packages)
- Satellite Radio (multi-channel subscription radio services like SiriusXM)
- Music Streaming (non-interactive and semi-interactive services only, which excludes downloads and on-demand streaming)
- Background Music (sound recordings played in businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, and hotels, whether programmed in-house or by a background music supplier)
- Dance and Fitness Studios
- Live Events (sound recordings played at the events)
Each tariff specifies the information that must be supplied about the sound recordings used. Businesses that are primarily focused on broadcasting sound recordings or supplying them to other businesses, must provide extensive usage information. Re:Sound then uses this information to identify the sound recordings for which musicians/vocalists and record labels can receive royalties, as long as the recordings meet the eligibility criteria established in the Copyright Act.
Re:Sound distributes the amounts collected in two equal royalty streams:
- The royalties for musicians and vocalists (performers) are disbursed to MROC as well as to two other collective societies, for distribution to their respective eligible performers.
- The royalties for record labels (makers) are disbursed to CONNECT www.connectmusic.ca and SOPROQ www.soproq.org for distribution to their respective eligible members.
To access royalties, musicians and vocalists must register with a collective representing performers. Musicians and vocalists who own their sound recordings are entitled to receive revenue from both streams but must register with both a collective representing musicians and a collective representing record labels. Sign with MROC.
Private Copying Levy
Under Canada’s Copyright Act, it is legal for individuals to copy recorded music for their own personal use. In exchange, rights holders, including musicians and vocalists, are entitled to receive remuneration in the form of private copying royalties from levies established by the Copyright Board. The levy is collected from manufacturers and importers of blank audio media including recordable CDs (but excluding digital storage devices like smart phones and iPods). The Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC) collects the levy and disburses the royalties to:
- Re:Sound – musicians and vocalists and “makers” (record companies)
- SOCAN – songwriters and music publishers
- SODRAC – songwriters and music publishers
- CMRRA – songwriters and music publishers
Re:Sound distributes the amounts collected to musicians and vocalists and record labels via collectives representing these groups of rightsholders. To access royalties, musicians and vocalists must register with a collective representing performers. Musicians and vocalists who own their sound recordings are entitled to receive revenue from both streams but must register with both a collective representing musicians and a collective representing record labels. Sign with MROC.
While songwriters and music publishers are eligible regardless of nationality, only Canadian musicians and vocalists and record labels may receive payments from the Canadian levy under current law.
Additional information about the private copying levy can be found at: www.cpcc.ca