As noted in a previous blog post on Re:Sound tariffs, Re:Sound Tariff No. 6.B (Use of Recorded Music to Accompany Physical Activities), sets the royalties to be paid for the performance in public or communication to the public of published sound recordings in any indoor or outdoor venue for the purposes of fitness, training, skating, dance instruction or any other physical activity.  (To recap, Re:Sound obtains compensation for performers and makers (i.e. artists and record companies) through licenses and the collection of royalties, while SOCAN represents the performance rights of composers, authors, and music publishers – SOCAN covers the compositions while Re:Sound covers the recordings.)  When this Tariff was certified in July 2012 by the Copyright Board of Canada, it was retroactive for the years 2008 to 2012.

However, on February 24, 2014 the Federal Court of Appeal set aside the Tariff as it concerned fitness classes, dance instruction, and other physical activities.  The only part of the Tariff left untouched was the tariffs related to skating. 

This does not mean the Tariff is now dead.  In March 2014, Re:Sound informed the Copyright Board it was working on the terms of a new Tariff 6.B that would replace the one certified by the Copyright Board in 2012.  Re:Sound also asked the Copyright Board to issue an interim decision allowing the tariff to continue until the new wording could be certified.

The Copyright Board granted Re:Sound’s application and reinstated Tariff No. 6.B (backdated to January 1, 2008) until the Copyright Board issues a further interim or final decision on this Tariff.

What does this mean for you?  Tariff No. 6.B will continue to “B” for the time being.  If you operate an indoor/outdoor skating venue where sound recordings are played then Re:Sound will continue to be owed royalties under this Tariff, regardless of whether or not an admission fee is charged.  If you operate a venue which holds fitness or dance classes or other kinds of physical activities, and sound recordings are played, Re:Sound can collect royalties as the Tariff has been reinstated on an interim basis.  In the event the Copyright Board renders a final decision nullifying Tariff No. 6.B, Re:Sound may be required to refund royalties collected to date. 

It is likely that once the new wording of the tariff is agreed upon, the Copyright Board will certify new Re:Sound Tariff No. 6.B and tariffs will continue to be due to Re:Sound for the use of recorded music accompanying physical activities.