A workout just isn’t a workout without music
By Martin Gangnier, director of licensing, Re:Sound
For many Canadians, good music goes hand in hand with a good workout. The right music can energize, uplift, and even improve a workout. The combination of music and working out is hard to beat. With high intensity fitness classes choreographed around the right number of beats per minute to pump up gym-goers, you can’t deny the value music brings.
If you’re a fitness business owner or franchisee in Canada, you understand the value of recorded music. Whether you’re using recorded music in workout areas at your facility, in your classes, or both, you may be subject to music licensing fees you don’t know about.
Re:Sound is here to help you understand how music royalties work in Canada. We want to make it easier for fitness business owners/operators across Canada to understand how to meet licensing obligations, to understand the difference between background and in-class music, and to learn more about who the invoice is from, and how to pay it.
There are two pieces that make up music creation: the first is the sound recording, performed by musicians and produced by a record label. The second is the composition or song, which was created by a songwriter or composer. In Canada, there are two organizations that collect on behalf of different rights holders: Re:Sound and SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada).
Before 1997, artists and record labels did not receive royalties for the public performance and broadcast of their work—only songwriters and composers (represented by SOCAN) did. This amendment to the Copyright Act of Canada brought Canada in line with 85 other countries who had already established this right for artists and record labels to be fairly compensated for the public performance of their works. This change in legislation required a new organization to administer these rights on behalf of these rights holders, and that organization is Re:Sound.
Re:Sound is the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to providing fair compensation to artists and record labels for their public performance rights. Re:Sound advocates for music creators, educates music users, licenses businesses and distributes royalties to creators to help build a thriving and sustainable music industry in Canada. Currently, there are tariffs that cover a wide variety of music usage in Canada from fitness classes to adult entertainment to magic shows, and more.
One of Re:Sound’s roles is to propose tariffs with the Copyright Board of Canada to ensure that artists and record labels are being fairly compensated when their recorded music is being used. Re:Sound files economic and academic evidence to support our tariff proposals with full opportunity for objectors to present their own alternative proposals. After a decision by the Copyright Board has been made the tariff is certified and becomes legally enforceable, and Re:Sound is given the authority to collect royalties at a set rate for a set amount of time. The Copyright Board occasionally takes years to certify tariffs which leads to tariffs applying to years that have already past (for example our current fitness tariff was put before the board in 2007 for the 2008–2012 period and was only certified in 2012 with the ability to enforce the tariff back to 2008).
There are two tariffs that may apply to fitness facilities in Canada: Background Music (Tariff 3.B) and Fitness Activities (Tariff 6.B).
The Background Music Tariff covers the use of recorded music in the background of businesses including retail stores, bars, restaurants, hotel lobbies and in open workout areas. For fitness facilities specifically, this fee can be calculated in one of two ways: 1) by average daily attendance, multiplied by the number of days you’re open; or 2) by total capacity of the establishment, multiplied by the number of days that the facility is open. This fee is due on January 31 of each year for the same year.
The Fitness Activities Tariff covers the use of recorded music that accompanies fitness and dance classes and other fitness activities including barre, Pilates, yoga, and gymnastics.
At Re:Sound, two of our core values are transparency and fairness. That’s why when this tariff was re-determined by the Copyright Board in 2015 it moved from a flat rate where all sizes of venues paid the same annually to a usage model. Now businesses pay based on the number of classes they hold. This means that fitness facilities are paying a fee proportional to their use, as it is reflective of the number of classes. This fee is reported on and due January 31 for the previous year’s classes.
Artists and record labels worldwide entrust organizations like Re:Sound to license businesses that publicly use their recorded music and to collect fees on their behalf. This gives businesses and broadcasters a one-stop shop where they can be granted a license to use recorded music. Re:Sound collects licensing fees from businesses of all kinds across Canada and ensures that fees are distributed fairly and accurately to rights holders.
We look forward to working with you to understand the role recorded music plays in your business. If you’ve received an invoice from Re:Sound, rest assured that you aren’t the only one. Our goal is to license businesses of all kinds across Canada who use recorded music. Have a question about your fees? You can contact us any time to ask a question, or visit us online at www.resound.ca
Martin Gangnier is the director of licensing at Re:Sound. He has been with Re:Sound for over a decade and is responsible for all licensing activities and results. For more information visit Re:Sound at www.resound.ca or call our Licensing Team at 1-877-309-5770.