Playing recorded music at live events now costs more
Music may be mankind's universal language. But playing it is going to cost Canadians more at weddings, conventions, fairs and other live events across the country.
The Copyright Board of Canada has certified new tariffs that will apply to the use of recorded music at these live events, as well as assemblies, ice shows and fashions shows.
Karaoke bars will also be impacted by these new annual tariffs, which take effect immediately according to Matthew Fortier, the Director of Communications at Re:Sound.
"The first payments will be due on Oct. 1, 2012. But the tariff rates will vary depending on the venue," Fortier told CTVNews.ca on Friday.
Seven tariff rates will apply to different venues, according to Fortier.
For example, venues that hold weddings should expect to pay $9.25 per day to play recorded music if there are fewer than 100 guests in attendance.
In contrast, karaoke bars will pay an annual tariff of between $86 and $124, depending on how many days per week they permit amateurs to sing on their premises.
The bottom line, said Fortier, is that the venues, and not the consumers who use them will be responsible for paying.
"At the end of the day, this is annual blanket licence," said Fortier.
"By paying the tariff, these venues are buying the right to play as much music as they like on their premises. That's important for nightclubs, hotels, gyms, restaurants and other venues where the right music is crucial to their success," he said.
The announcement of these new tariffs will come as no surprise to Canadian businesses.
Discussions surrounding these tariffs began in 2007. Since then, Re:Sound has been an ongoing player in talks between businesses, artists, recording companies and the Copyright Board of Canada.
The not-for-profit music licensing company located in Toronto works to protect performance rights and seeks fair compensation for artists and record labels through royalties.
As a result of these negotiations, Re:Sound will collect tariff fees on behalf of record labels and performers who have contributed to the music played at live events outlined by the Copyright Board of Canada.
Over the next few months, Re:Sound will also reach out to companies across Canada to inform them of their business obligations.
But these new tariffs represent a milestone of sorts, according to Fortier.
"This was the first time that we were able to settle on tariff rates with relevant businesses and present this agreement to the Copyright Board," said Fortier.
Music creators are also supportive of the decision.
"Artists are delighted," said Fortier.
"For the first time they will be fairly compensated when their work is used at live events."