Canadians will soon have to pay more fees for listening to music at public events.
Effective Oct. 1, the Copyright Board of Canada has certified new tariffs on events held at venues that play recorded music, whether it’s convention centres, banquet halls, parades, ice shows, fairs, or weddings. The fees will be collected by not-for-profit agency Re: Sound, which distributes the money to performers and music labels. The fees are on top of those collected by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).
For events such as weddings, receptions, conventions and assemblies with fewer than 100 people, the Re: Sound fee is $9.25 per day. That increases to $13.30 for crowds of up to 300 people, $27.76 for 301-500 guests, and $39.33 for crowds of more than 500. Oddly, the fees double if there’s dancing.
If you simply listen to the music, there’s a fee. If you dance and enjoy yourself, the fees automatically double.
The fees will also apply to fashion shows, circuses, fireworks displays, cabarets and taverns.
Reporting works on the honour system — it’s up to venues to tell Re: Sound how much music they’ve used.
Meanwhile Karaoke bars will pay between $86.06 and $124 annually depending on how many days they operate per week. And parades will be charged a minimum daily fee of $32.55 and $4.39 thereafter for each participating float with recorded music.
These are not fees, they are extortion rates. If one DJ does shows every weekend for 500+ people, the DJ will be forced to pay $80 to Re: Sound ($160 for the weekend). That’s $640 per month and $7680 per year. That’s just to Re: Sound. Add in the SOCAN fee of $200 ($400 for the weekend), $1600 per month or $19,200 a year and you’ve got a nice little racket going. In case you’re counting, that’s $26,880 per year in these music fees.
These fees will surely be passed on to the people booking the event and, while some might not think it’s a big deal, how long will it be before these fees are increased and/or expanded?