When a copyrighted song is embodied on a sound carrier (such as a record, tape, CD) or in a digital file for the purpose of online music distribution or other use, that is an exercise of the reproduction right in the song. CMRRA is in the business of the granting such permission on behalf of the music publishers the collection of royalties in return for such reproduction and the distribution of such revenues to its publishers.
When a copyrighted song is played on the radio or television, or performed in a theatre or concert, that’s an exercise of the performance right in the song. In Canada, publishers and songwriters receive royalties for such use from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), a performing rights society which collects revenues from broadcasters and others for the public performance of musical works. For more information about SOCAN, visit their website at www.socan.ca.
It is also worth noting that the reproduction right is engaged whenever a copyrighted song is embodied in an audiovisual production (such as a film, television program, or commercial). This is sometimes known as a “synchronization” or “synch” since the song is synchronized to play along with visual content.
CMRRA does not administer synchronization licences, you need to get permission directly from the publisher(s) in order to use a song in an audiovisual production. For more information about how to find and contact music publishers, please see our Repertoire page.