This letter contains important information and
a deadline related to CMRRA’s distribution of COMMERCIAL RADIO BROADCAST MECHANICAL royalties.
YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY FEBRUARY 26, 2016.
Toronto, February 9, 2016
Dear CMRRA Client,
Re: March 2016 Commercial Radio Broadcast Mechanical Distribution
This coming March, CMRRA will undertake its distribution of Commercial Radio Broadcast Mechanical royalties for the period of January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. For the reasons explained below, CMRRA will only remit these royalties to you if you sign and return the enclosed Commercial Radio Broadcast Mechanical Repayment Undertaking Agreement by February 26, 2016.
On November 7, 2012, certain amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act came into force, introducing a number of new copyright exemptions which the radio broadcasters have claimed eliminate any legal basis for their payment of a reproduction tariff to music copyright owners. CMRRA strongly disagrees with these assertions and vehemently opposed the broadcasters’ argument at a hearing held before the Copyright Board of Canada (the “Copyright Board”) in October 2013, where the Copyright Board heard evidence from the participants on the applicability of the exemptions to radio broadcasters.
Until a decision is rendered by the Copyright Board, radio stations are required and have continued to pay the existing tariff. However, any decision ultimately made by the Copyright Board will have retroactive effect for the period of November 7, 2012 through until the end of 2013. Moreover, a further hearing before the Copyright Board and subsequent decision will be required before CMRRA can be certain of the legal basis for radio stations’ payment of royalties in 2014 and beyond. While we are confident that there is no basis for radio broadcasters to claim exemptions in relation to their reproduction activities, there is always an inherent risk in any legal proceeding. Furthermore, we cannot predict when a decision will be rendered.
Under the circumstances, CMRRA’s Board of Directors has agreed to distribute a portion of the royalties collected for the 2014 period on the condition that the music publisher who is entitled to receive such royalties provides a signed undertaking to repay those royalties to CMRRA if the tariff ultimately certified by the Copyright Board requires CMRRA to refund some portion of the royalties to the radio stations, and that amount is greater than the undistributed portion of the royalties collected. The undertaking applies to all royalties paid to the music publisher, including any royalties associated with musical works no longer owned or administered by the music publisher at the time the refund is required to be paid.
Accordingly, we ask that you provide us with your instructions by completing and signing the form below and, if applicable, the Repayment Undertaking Agreement. Before you provide us with your instructions, we recommend that you consult with a Certified Public Accountant regarding the extent to which you can recognize any royalties paid to you pursuant to the Commercial Radio Broadcast Mechanical Repayment Undertaking Agreement as earned income on your financial statement of operations. You may also choose to have CMRRA hold any Commercial Radio Broadcast Mechanical Royalties payable to you for 2014 until a decision is rendered by the Copyright Board.
Please note that we must receive your signed Commercial Radio Broadcast Mechanical Repayment Undertaking Agreement (either by email at [email protected] or by regular mail) by February 26, 2016 in order for CMRRA to process your royalty payment as part of our upcoming March 2016 distribution. Should you return your signed Commercial Radio Broadcast Mechanical Repayment Undertaking Agreement after that date, we will process your payment as part of our next distribution.
I thank you for your attention to this important matter. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. To expedite your inquiry, please use the subject line “Commercial Radio RUA Instructions” in the subject of your email. Telephone inquiries can be directed to Marianne Anderson, Manager of Client Relations, at 416-926-1966 ext. 261.
Caroline Rioux, CMRRA President