MROC: Register for Royalties

CCMIA AND MROC JOINT STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT
July 5, 2011

The Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA) and Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC) are proud to announce the formation of a strategic partnership.

MROC is a Canadian federally incorporated not-for-profit collective society whose objectives include the collection and distribution of performer remuneration collected by Re:Sound (a music licensing company), formerly known as the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada.

This function was previously carried out by Musicians’ Neighbouring Rights Royalties, an adjunct to the Canadian Office of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). The AFM recently assigned that function to MROC, which was formed to be a stand-alone copyright collective. This is an important stride for Canadian musicians who now have working for them an independent organization governed exclusively by Canadian musician performers. In fact, MROC’s current directors include several musicians who were behind the establishment of neighbouring rights under the Copyright Act in 1997. Before then, unlike music composers and their publishers, performers were not entitled to be paid when there was airplay in Canada and elsewhere of the recordings on which they had played.

MROC’s sole function is to collect and distribute to musicians the performer’s share of neighbouring rights royalties stipulated under various tariffs approved by the Copyright Board of Canada.

“Who better to govern and manage the complexities of these newly established performer entitlements than the very music industry professionals (musicians) who helped fight for and promote the inclusion of neighbouring rights under the Copyright Act, throughout the early development of the concept and beyond,” stated Len Lytwyn, MROC’s Executive Director.

The CCMIA represents ten provincial, territorial or regional music industry associations. Their broad reach across the country will ensure that Canada’s musicians/performers are informed and educated about the benefits of signing with MROC. “The importance of the formation of MROC cannot be understated,” said CCMIA President, John-Paul Ellson. “In this modern era of the music industry, the more than 8000 individual members of the CCMIA must find new and expanded revenue streams. The creation of MROC puts the control of musician/performers’ neighbouring rights royalties in the hands of those performers. The CCMIA will bring the word about MROC to its memberships and communities directly. If you are a musician/performer in Canada you need to enrol with MROC.”

ABOUT MROC

As one of the five collectives who are members of Re:Sound, MROC receives from Re:Sound and distributes to musicians the performer’s share of royalties stipulated under various tariffs and levies approved by the Copyright Board of Canada. These performer royalties (also referred to as “neighbouring rights royalties”) are a relatively recent development. Prior to an amendment to the Canadian Copyright Act in 1997, performers were not paid when the recordings on which they had played were performed in Canada. Only composers and lyricists of music, and their publishers, received performing rights royalties (through SOCAN) when their music was performed. Since the amendment, however, performers also benefit from airplay and other public performances of the sound recordings on which they played. These new rights are called “neighbouring rights” because they “neighbour” the copyrights long enjoyed by songwriters.

Of course, performers who are signed as royalty artists with record labels receive artist royalties directly from their labels, but those royalties relate to the reproduction of their performances - i.e., the sale of CDs, downloads, placement in films and commercials, etc. The airplay and other public performances of the sound recordings containing their performances is handled by MROC. It is these performing rights that are a (relatively) new and separate source of revenue for musicians. And the performing/royalties are payable to all musicians who worked on that track, not just to the royalty artist/group.

Your registration with MROC will ensure that you, as a musician/performer, receive the royalties to which you are entitled. MROC will also go after your royalties retroactively as far back as 1998, as long as radio airplay of your recordings has been logged at any time since then.

At present, MROC collects and distributes royalties collected under tariffs, levies and international agreements as follows:

Why? As sources of revenue ebb and flow in the ever-changing music industry landscape, it has never been more important for musicians to participate in every revenue stream available to them. Performers’ rights and the private copying levy are relatively new sources of revenue that cushion the decrease in performers’ revenue from CD sales. MROC is here to administer the tracking and distribution of neighbouring rights royalties for entitled musician/performers. This is the very reason for MROC’s existence as an independent collective society.

How? When you fill out the MROC Appointment and Authorization Form you authorize MROC to be your exclusive agent for tracking, collecting and distributing the neighbouring rights royalties owed to you not only from airplay in Canada, but also in Rome Convention countries throughout the world. The form includes an authorization containing your contact information and the terms and conditions of the services we provide. It also contains the Repertoire Registration Form, on which you provide the information on the sound recordings on which you have played. This information is crucial in order for MROC to track down unpaid airplay.

To learn more, please visit www.musiciansrights.ca. If you have any questions, please contact Julia Train, Communication and Administrations Director, Musicians Rights Organization Canada (MROC), jtrain@musiciansrights.ca, phone 416-510-0279.