on-line licencing of covers


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axemanchris
12-19-2010, 09:48 PM
Well, this is interesting. I might merge it with the copyright thread later, but thought I'd post this as it is so far.

We're a Green Day tribute band in Canada. We have recorded, and want to make available a demo so that talent buyers and other interested parties can hear us. Should be no problem.

But!

If we wanted to distribute a physical product - either for free or for sale - we would pay the standard mechanical rate of 8-ish cents per copy made, with a minimum order of 500 copies, costing us about $40 per song for a run of 500 discs or less. No problem... but we don't want to do a physical product. We want to make it available on line.

If we wanted to distribute the songs for sale on line, iTunes or whomever would pay the appropriate licencing out of their cut of the transaction. No problem.... but we don't want to sell them. No talent buyer would buy a tribute band's demo. We want it to be free. We NEED it to be free.

If we wanted to stream the original recording of the song by the original artist through Facebook, Myspace, etc., we could do so, being covered by the site providers paying a blanket licence for the performing rights. No problem... but people need to hear what WE sound like. We need to post OUR versions of the songs.

But ironically, if we want to distribute our own recordings of the songs for free on line (including streaming through Facebook, or direct download from our own site), we're out of luck until CSI (parent organization of CMRRA) finalizes their deal with the publishers groups.

Go figure.

Now, I'm still in contact with the CMRRA and I have even initiated contact with Warner Brothers Publishing (who is the publisher for the Green Day songs).

I'll keep you posted on how this goes.

Silly, isn't it?

CT

Quintex
12-20-2010, 05:52 PM
Just as a side question on this:

Doesn't SOCAN Tariff 22A "Online Music Services" cover this, or just actual Green Day recordings?

It would seem to me that if you had the mechanical rights to record the song, SOCAN and the other PROs would cover off the Online distribution portion. That particular tariff just confuses me.

axemanchris
12-23-2010, 12:17 AM
The SOCAN tariff covers performances of the song. By "performances", the meaning is understood to include both live performances, and the use of the recording itself being broadcast publicly. So, to answer your question, if someone streams the *actual* Green Day recording on their Myspace or YouTube or whatever, that's fine, because they are paying a blanket licence to allow this, much like campus radio does, or your local bar.

SOCAN deals with performance royalties.

Mechanical licences are covered by the CMRRA, and effectively are what is required to allow you to reproduce the work of another artist. (the work of... not the actual sound recording itself, which would require a different license again)

CT

Quintex
12-23-2010, 04:53 AM
Excerpt from Canada Gazette Part I November 24, 2007 Page 4 - 7
STATEMENT OF ROYALTIES TO BE COLLECTED BY THE SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS AND MUSIC PUBLISHERS OF CANADA (SOCAN) FOR THE COMMUNICATION TO THE PUBLIC BY TELECOMMUNICATION, IN CANADA, OF MUSICAL OR DRAMATICO-MUSICAL WORKS FOR THE YEARS 1996 TO 2006

Tariff No. 22
INTERNET
A. Online Music Services

...
(4) Subject to subsection (5), the payment of an online music service that offers permanent downloads shall be accompanied by a report showing, with respect to the relevant quarter,
(a) the total number of permanent downloads supplied;
(b) the total number of permanent downloads requiring a SOCAN licence supplied and the total amount payable by subscribers for those downloads; and
(c) with respect to each permanent download requiring a SOCAN licence,
(i) the number of times each file was downloaded as part of a bundle, the amount paid by consumers for each bundle and a description of the manner in which the service assigned a share of that amount to the file,
(ii) the total number of time the download was supplied at a particular price, and
(iii) any other available information - such as the title of the work, the name of the author, the name of the performer, the Universal Product Code (UPC) and the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC)-that may help SOCAN determine the owner of copyright in the work used in the download.
...
This is where I get confused.

I understand that SOCAN provides performance rights (the fact that I have to pay $32.55 a day to play my originals as a walking musician just irks me) but this tariff specifically states "permanent downloads" and is asking for performer information as well. This to me is outside the realm of broadcast/performance rights.

Never mind, now I understand why I have to pay people to deal with these things.

axemanchris
12-23-2010, 10:32 AM
Hmmm..... interesting.

Well, it seems there are a couple of factors at play. From not reading, but scanning pages and pages of documents, it seems that the crux of the matter may be here:

"When you make a song available on line, are you broadcasting it, or are you reproducing it?"

Consider:

SOCAN controls broadcast/performing rights. Seems intuitive.

But!

CMRRA/SODRAC (aka CSI) seems to say that it is a reproduction issue. Your computer, when you download music - even for streaming - creates a copy (though only temporary) of the work or a part of the work.

They're both competing for the same royalty rights, it seems. Now, I don't know why, because I think both of them claim to be non-profit, and the money seems to wind up at the same source (the publisher) anyways.

Here are a couple of links:
http://www.mccarthy.ca/article_detail.aspx?id=4355
http://www.fasken.com/en/cmrra-sodrac-inc-tariff-proposals-for-2011/

CT