CMRRA would like to give you an update on our licensing activities on behalf of our music publisher clients. As you already know, we license a wide variety of reproduction activity, including traditional mechanical reproduction, digital distribution and subscriptions, radio broadcasting (both satellite and terrestrial), and background music supply. We license music users via a combination of tariffs filed before the Copyright Board of Canada, as well as privately negotiated agreements. CMRRA is also now licensing the broadcast mechanical reproduction of works embodied in audiovisual content, including by television broadcasters and online audiovisual services.
Copyright Board Tariffs
For many uses of music, CMRRA licenses companies and individuals via tariffs filed with the Copyright Board of Canada. Though CSI (CMRRA-SODRAC Inc., our joint-venture with SODRAC), CMRRA licences the use of music by online music services and radio broadcasters. Presently, there are certified rates for the years 2008-2010 for both online music services and commercial radio stations. CMRRA has continued to file updated rates each year for periods following 2010, and under the Copyright Act we are authorized to collect royalties at the previously certified rates until the Copyright Board certifies new tariffs. The new rates will apply retroactively to licensed services operating in Canada, and we are working with services to ensure that the transition to new royalty rates is smooth for music users and rights holders alike. CMRRA appeared before the Copyright Board in the fall of 2013 to make submissions for our proposed 2011-2013 tariffs, and we have been awaiting the Board’s decision on these rates ever since. We expect that the Copyright Board will certify new rates soon for both online music services and commercial radio broadcasters operating here in Canada, and we will notify you as soon as there are any updates from the Board!
Additionally, CMRRA has also filed tariffs independently of CSI to cover the reproduction of music contained in audiovisual content by television broadcasters and online services. Whether in a television program or movie or traditional music video, the reproduction of music contained in audiovisual content is a fundamentally important use of musical works today. This is a new line of business for CMRRA and we are very excited to license audiovisual broadcasting in much the same way we have for years with radio broadcasters. We have filed rates for 2015 and beyond, and will be working with broadcasters and online services in anticipation of certified tariffs from the Copyright Board. CMRRA is now able to work with all news types of music users to ensure that consumers enjoy all of the different ways music and audiovisual content complement each other.
Private Licensing Agreements
Although CMRRA files tariffs with the Copyright Board that set the legal royalty rates for different uses of music in Canada, we also work with music users to negotiate private agreements. This can be preferable where a service or broadcaster wants to offer unique and innovative ways to access and enjoy music that don’t fit within our tariff structure. CMRRA is committed to ensuring that we meet the needs of not only our music publisher clients but also our music user licensees, and, as a result we are always open to cooperating with services that want to negotiate private arrangements.
Over the last 10 years, CMRRA has worked with online music services that offer downloads and streams of music to end users in Canada. In licensing these services (either under our tariff or by private agreement), CMRRA receives reporting of all usage activity directly from these services. This has given us a complete picture of the online music market, and using this information we have developed an expansive database of matched musical work and sound recording information. This database allows us to identify the copyrighted works of our music publisher clients throughout the vast number of tracks available across multiple online music services doing business in Canada. CMRRA is able to match, invoice and license the vast majority of download and stream activity taking place in Canada. We will continue to work to ensure that all online music services are licensed and royalties are collected for the full scope of their usage.