TORONTO – Money can’t buy love — but if you want some great tunes playing at your wedding, it’s going to cost you.
The Copyright Board of Canada has certified new tariffs that apply to recorded music used at live events including conventions, karaoke bars, ice shows, fairs and, yes, weddings. The fees will be collected by a not-for-profit called Re:Sound.
While the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (otherwise known as SOCAN) already collects money from many of these events for the songwriters, Re:Sound will represent the record labels and performers who contributed to the music.
“Recorded music is a vital part of the business model for many live events and, indeed, it is impossible to imagine a fashion show, festival, parade or karaoke bar without music,” Re:Sound’s director of licensing, Martin Gangnier, said in a statement.
It’s up to organizers of public events or owners of wedding venues or bars to pay those royalties, so it may be up to the business to decide whether to pass that cost on — for instance, to those happy newlyweds.
“Essentially it’s up the business that owes the royalty to decide exactly what their accounting will be, where it comes from,” said Re:Sound director of communications Matthew Fortier in a telephone interview.
The reporting process works on the honour system — it’s up to the businesses to tell Re:Sound how much music they’ve used — though Fortier said his organization has a team of licensing professionals across Canada to ensure the rules are being followed.
The fees vary depending on the size of the audience and the type of event.
For weddings, receptions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows, the fee is $9.25 per day if fewer than 100 people are present and goes up to $39.33 for crowds of more than 500 people. If there’s dancing, the fees double.
Karaoke bars will pay between $86.06 and $124 annually depending on how many days per week they permit the amateur crooning.
And parades, meanwhile, will be charged $4.39 for each float with recorded music participating in the parade, subject to a minimum fee of $32.55 per day.