On May 30, 2015, the Copyright Board published the most recent tariff proposals of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) in the Canada Gazette. These tariff proposals outline the proposed royalties for the reproduction of musical works by online music services, commercial television stations and audiovisual services:

  • CMRRA Online Music Services Tariff (Music Videos), 2016

  • CMRRA Commercial Television Tariff, 2016
  • CMRRA CBC Television Tariff, 2016
  • CMRRA Audiovisual Services Tariff, 2016

CMRRA collects royalties on behalf of its members, who are songwriters and publishers, for the reproduction of their music.

The Objection Period

Objections to any of the proposed tariffs must be received by the Copyright Board no later than July 29, 2015. In accordance with section 70.14 of the Copyright Act, any person who wishes to object to it may file written objections with the Copyright Board within 60 days after publication.

I. CMRRA Online Music Services Tariff (Music Videos), 2016

This proposed tariff would entitle CMRRA to obtain royalties from online music services for the reproduction of musical works in music videos in the year 2016.

Proposed Rate

There are different proposed rates for on-demand streams, free on-demand streams, permanent downloads, and limited downloads:

Click here to view the table.

The rates are calculated on a monthly basis and late payments are subject to interest charges. There are also detailed reporting requirements, which vary depending on the service. Online music services should consult the tariff proposals to determine their potential liability.

Previous Tariff Proposals

CMRRA proposed tariffs for the same uses last year. The rate proposed last year used the same formula [(A x B) / C] as CMRRA's new proposal[3], but included significantly lower rates. Last year, CMRRA proposed that the rates of 4.5% for on-demand services, 6.53% for limited downloads, and 6.53% for permanent downloads. In 2015, CMRRA proposed an across-the-board rate of 11% for on-demand services, limited downloads, and permanent downloads. The proposed rate for free on-demand services has not changed.

Scope of Tariff

The tariff allows an online music service to reproduce musical works in music videos, to authorize certain individuals to reproduce musical works in music videos, and to authorize certain end users to further reproduce musical works in music videos. This tariff does not affect an online music service's liability for audio-only works under the CSI Online Music Services Tariff.[4]

The tariff outlines specific requirements related to the retention and production of certain records, documents, and information. CMRRA's proposed terms provide it with the ability to compel records or reports and audit a user's records in accordance with the tariff. CMRRA is entitled to a monetary adjustment if royalties have been incorrectly calculated. Music services should consult the tariff or legal counsel to determine their specific liability.

II. CMRRA Commercial Television Tariff, 2016

This proposed tariff would entitle CMRRA to obtain royalties from commercial television stations for the reproduction of musical works in its repertoire.

Proposed Rate

The rate charged depends on whether a commercial television station is classified "low-use" or not. The royalty for stations classified as low-use is 0.28% of gross income. The royalty for stations not classified as low-use is 0.66% of gross income. Rates are calculated and paid on a monthly basis. Late payments are subject to interest charges.

Previous Tariff Proposals

CMRRA proposed an identical tariff last year.

Scope of the Tariff

The tariff allows a commercial television station to reproduce musical works in connection with broadcasting or simulcasting. The tariff does not allow the reproduction of works in certain situations. Commercial television stations should consult the tariff proposal to determine their specific liability.

The tariff outlines specific requirements related to retention and production of certain records, documents, and information. CMRRA's proposed terms provide it with the ability to compel records or reports and audit a user's records in accordance with the tariff. CMRRA is entitled to a monetary adjustment if royalties have been incorrectly calculated. Commercial television stations should consult the tariff or legal counsel to determine their specific liability.

III. CMRRA CBC Television Tariff, 2016

This proposed tariff would entitle CMRRA to obtain royalties from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for the reproduction of musical works in its repertoire. This tariff only applies to the CBC. Interested parties should consult the tariff for additional information.

IV. CMRRA Audiovisual Services Tariff, 2016

This proposed tariff would entitle CMRRA to obtain royalties from "audiovisual services" of all types, for the reproduction of musical works in its repertoire.  "Audiovisual services" is very broadly defined and could include traditional cable and satellite companies' video on demand services as well as online services such as shomi or CraveTV. 

Proposed Rate

There are different proposed rates for streaming and downloads. The royalty for an audiovisual service that offers streaming (without downloads) is 2.70% of gross revenue subject to a minimum fee of the greater of 18¢ per subscriber or the amount listed in the table below. The royalty for an audiovisual service that offers downloads is 4.95% of gross revenue subject to a minimum fee of the greaterof 33¢ per subscriber or the amount listed in the table below.

Click here to view the tables

Scope of the Tariff

The tariff allows audiovisual services to reproduce musical works either through streaming or downloading. Rates are calculated and paid on a monthly basis, and late payments are subject to interest charges.

The tariff proposes specific requirements related to the retention and production of certain records, documents, and information. If certified, CMRRA's proposed tariff would give it the ability to compel records or reports and audit records or reports. CMRRA is entitled to a monetary adjustment if royalties have been incorrectly calculated. Audiovisual services should consult the tariff or legal counsel to determine their specific liability.