Post Tagged with: "cmrra"

Sony ATV Music Publishing by Jay Kogami (CC BY 2.0)

CMRRA Confirms Denial of Licences for Public Domain Recordings

CMRRA, the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, recently wrote to the Toronto Star and the Hill Times to respond to one of my columns which focused on the lobbying and denial of licensing effort to stop cheaper public domain recordings from entering the Canadian market. The column reported that CMRRA had issued a “pay as you press” licence for the recordings to ensure that creators were paid for the works still in copyright. CMRRA was later ordered to stop issuing the licence.

CMRRA writes that the column’s statement that record labels ordered the denial of licences is “patently false”. Dig deeper into the letter and it becomes clear that CMRRA confirms that it denied the licence, but takes issue with the claim that it was record labels that ordered it to do so. In the case of the Beatles recordings, it was Sony/ATV, which is jointly owned by Sony and the Michael Jackson Estate that ordered the denial of licence. Sony also owns one of the world’s largest record labels.

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May 12, 2015 2 comments News
The Battle Over Tariff 8: What the Recording Industry Isn’t Saying About Canada’s Internet Streaming Royalties

The Battle Over Tariff 8: What the Recording Industry Isn’t Saying About Canada’s Internet Streaming Royalties

Over the past month, Music Canada, the lead lobby group for the Canadian recording industry, has launched a social media campaign criticizing a recent Copyright Board of Canada decision that set some of the fees for Internet music streaming companies such as Pandora. The long-overdue decision seemingly paves the way for new online music services to enter the Canadian market, yet the industry is furious about rates it claims are among the worst in the world.

The Federal Court of Appeal will review the decision, but the industry has managed to get many musicians and music labels worked up over rates it labels 10 percent of nothing. While the Copyright Board has more than its fair share of faults, a closer examination of the Internet music streaming decision suggests that this is not one of them.

The Music Canada claim, which is supported by Re:Sound (the copyright collective that was seeking a tariff or fee for music streaming), is that the Canadian rates are only 10 percent of the equivalent rate in the United States. That has led to suggestions that decision devalues music and imperils artists’ livelihood.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues the reality is far more complex.

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July 29, 2014 6 comments Columns

Behind the Scenes of Bill C-32: Music Copyright Collectives Say Digital Locks Won’t Increase Revenue

Two of Canada’s largest music copyright collectives warned the Bill C-32 committee against digital locks, arguing that it was unrealistic to think that the implementation of digital lock rules would increase music industry revenues. While there is much to take issue with in the CMRRA and SODRAC submission, the following […]

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September 28, 2011 22 comments News

CMRRA and CRIA Strike New Licensing Deal

The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. and CRIA have entered into a new mechanical licensing agreement that runs until 2012.

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November 13, 2007 Comments are Disabled News

Internet Radio May Stream North to Canada

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the legal rules surrounding Internet radio. Internet radio consists of several types of "stations" including conventional radio stations that simulcast their signal on the Internet, community and college radio stations that use the Internet to extend their signals from small communities to the entire world, and Internet-only stations that broadcast exclusively online.  The Internet-only services are particularly intriguing as they include niche webcasters focused on content not found on mainstream AM/FM stations as well as customizable services such as Pandora and, which help users identify new music personalized to their tastes.

Despite their popularity, there is growing fear that a recent U.S. royalty decision could effectively shut down thousands of webcasting services.  The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board recently established a new royalty scheme that dramatically increases the fees that webcasters will be required to pay to stream music online. 

Given the concern about the future viability of Internet radio in the U.S., there has been mounting speculation that some webcasters may consider setting up shop in Canada, where the U.S. rates do not apply.  For example, Mercora, a service that allows individuals to launch their own webcasts, has established a Canadian site that falls outside U.S. regulatory and royalty rules.

Webcasters considering a move to Canada will find that the legal framework for Internet radio trades costs for complexity.  There are two main areas of concern from a Canadian perspective – broadcast regulation and copyright fees.

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April 9, 2007 10 comments Columns