In Canada, prior to 1997, composers and music publishers received royalties for the broadcast and public performance of their works, while the people who created the recordings (artists, musicians and record companies) did not. This systemic inequity was addressed in 1997 when the Copyright Act of Canada was amended to acknowledge the essential role of artists and record companies in the creation of recorded music. With this amendment, Canada joined 85 countries that had already established the right for artists and record companies to be fairly compensated for the broadcast and public performance of their works.

The change in legislation necessitated a national organisation, authorized under the Copyright Act, to administer the performance rights of all artists and record companies in their sound recordings and to file tariffs on their behalf.

In 1997, Re:Sound (then the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada) was established. The founding members were the ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society (ACTRA PRS, now ACTRA RACS), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM, now MROC), La Société de gestion collective de l’Union des artistes (ArtistI), Audio-Video Licensing Agency (AVLA, now Connect Music Licensing) and La société de gestion collective des droits des producteurs de phonogrammes et de vidéogrammes du Québec (SOPROQ). Re:Sound membership has since expanded to include Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Warner Music Canada Co., and Universal Music Canada Inc.

Re:Sound’s first tariff was certified by the Copyright Board of Canada in 1999 for Commercial Radio. This was followed in 2000 by a tariff for CBC radio and in 2002 for Pay Audio Services. Over the next decade Re:Sound tariffs were certified for the use of music in restaurants, retail establishments, fitness facilities, nightclubs and most recently, for online music streaming services.

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