How it Works

Re:Sound files proposals and appears before the Copyright Board of Canada to establish royalty rates on behalf of artists and record companies for the different ways sound recordings are used in Canada. Rates are established by the Copyright Board and are based on the value of the music to the particular use.

How Tariffs Are Certified

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Tariff Application


Publication of Tariff Application


Interventions/ Objections


Preparation For Hearing




Agreement / Settlement


Additional Questions



Tariff Application

Re:Sound submits a tariff proposal to the Copyright Board by March 31 of the year preceding when the tariff will apply. Starting in 2019, tariffs will be filed by October 15 of the second year preceding when the tariff will apply.


The tariff application is published in the Canada Gazette, which provides official notice to prospective users who may object or participate in the proceedings to certify the tariff.

Interventions / Objections

Objectors have 60 days from the publication date to submit their objection. This will change to 30 days in 2019.

Preparation For Hearing

It takes approximately one year to prepare for a hearing in front of the Copyright Board. This includes activities such as exchanging documents, interrogatories, obtaining expert evidence, and filing cases. 


Hearings are open to the public. Interested parties and objectors are given an opportunity to file written responses or present arguments and evidence in favour of or against a proposed tariff. Re:Sound files economic evidence to support our tariff rate proposals. Objectors may present alternative proposals. Rate determinations consider many factors, including the financial realities of the relevant industry. Hearings typically last one to two weeks.

Agreement / Settlement

Whenever possible, Re:Sound works with Objectors to align on mutually-acceptable tariff terms which are then jointly presented to the Copyright Board for certification. Under this process, a full hearing is typically not required. The Board may have questions for the parties which are usually answered in writing. This avoids the time and expense of a full hearing and allows parties to work collaboratively on a tariff that addresses the needs of both rights holders and the industry it applies to.

Additional Questions

After the hearing or in response to a settlement proposal, the Board may have questions for the participants, or there may be legal issues in dispute. These are addressed in this phase.


Adjudicating a tariff can be lengthy, especially for new tariffs addressing a new music use for the first time. It can take 4-5 years for a rate certification after Re:Sound first files a proposed tariff. All Re:Sound tariffs must be approved and certified by the Copyright Board regardless of whether they went through the hearing or settlement process. For tariff renewals, the Copyright Act of Canada allows Re:Sound to continue to collect under the existing rates until a new tariff is proposed or certified. 

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These licenses allow broadcasters and business owners, among others, to use millions of tracks without needing to obtain clearance on a track-by-track basis for the specific ways they use music.

Tariff 1 - Broadcasting

Re:Sound issues licenses to all Canadian commercial radio stations (AM and FM radio) and the CBC.

1A: Commercial radio stations

1B: Non-Commercial Radio


Tariff 2 - Pay Audio

Applies to commercial-free music programming that’s been made available by direct-to-home satellite distribution and major cable distributors across Canada.

Tariff 3 - Background Music

Applies to the use of music in businesses such as retail stores, bars and restaurants.  This tariff applies to businesses that use music and to the companies that supply background music.

A: Background Music Suppliers

B: Use of Background Music

Tariff 4 - Satellite Radio

Applies to multi-channel subscription satellite radio services (such as SiriusXM Canada).

Tariff 5 - Live Events

This tariff can apply to a wide range of establishments, including hotels, bars, restaurants, banquet halls, golf and country clubs, municipalities, festivals, or fairs, that use sound recordings to accompany live events. It is subdivided into many categories:

A: Live Entertainment

B: Receptions, Conventions, Assemblies, Fashion Shows

C: Karaoke

D: Festivals, Exhibitions and Fairs

E: Circuses, Ice Shows, Fireworks, and Similar Events

F: Parades

G: Parks, Streets, and Other Public Areas

H: Sporting Events

I: Comedy and Magic Shows

J: Concerts

K: Theatrical, Dance, and Other Similar Live Performances 

Tariff 6

This tariff applies to the use of music for dance and fitness.  It can apply to gyms, dance schools, skating rinks, nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.

A: Dance 

B: Fitness Classes 

C: Adult Entertainment

Tariff 8 - Music Streaming

Covers non-commercial and commercial webcasters. If listeners have no control over the content of the service, it is referred to as non-interactive. However, if the listener has some control, it is referred to as semi-interactive. Tariff 8 doesn’t apply to podcasts or fully interactive services such as on-demand streams or downloads.

*Tariffs 7 and 9 were proposed to the Copyright Board of Canada but not certified.

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