Couples to wed this summer balk at extra music fees
Published Sunday, June 3, 2012 3:49PM EDT
Some couples looking to tie the knot this summer are balking at a new fee they'll have to pay to play recorded music at their wedding reception.
Couples expecting to wed should budget a little more for their big day, as the Copyright Board of Canada recently approved new fees to play recorded music at large gatherings, including weddings.
The fees -- which also apply to events and venues such as parades, festivals, and karaoke bars -- are being charged in an effort to protect and compensate performers and record labels for their work.
The fees range in price depending on the size of the event and how the music will be used. At events with fewer than one hundred people, the fees start at $9.25 per day.
For couples planning a wedding, a reception of 400 guests will cost them $27.76. If dancing is involved, that fee doubles to $55.52.
The announcement of the new fees didn't come as a surprise to Canadian businesses, as talks of implementing these tariffs began in 2007.
Similar tariffs are already in place for music composers and publishers.
Copyright lawyer Howard Knopf told CTV Winnipeg that the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) already collects about $275 million each year on behalf of composers and authors of music.
Re:Sound – the newer collective that represents record companies and performers benefiting from this latest "live events" tariff -- is attempting to match its tariff revenues with those of SOCAN wherever it can.
"This is just the record companies and performers catching up with the composers who've been doing this for years," said Knopf.
While news of the fees has pleased many in the music industry, it has left some event organizers and small businesses puzzled.
Paul Jordan is the chief operating officer at the Forks Renewal Corporation in Winnipeg. Jordan is in charge of organizing many of the events at the large waterfront park and marketplace.
He said the new fees may cause confusion for event organizers.
"The devil's going to be in the details," said Jordan. "If we've got 20,000 people here watching the fireworks show, and 20 people start to dance, are we suddenly in a new category?"
The new fees are retro-active to 2008, meaning people may receive a bill for an event they've thrown in the past. There will also be inspectors who will work to ensure the new rules are being followed.
With a report from CTV's Winnipeg Bureau Chief Jill Macyshon
Editor's note: An earlier version of this report has been edited to include information about Re:Sound and its tariff revenues.