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March 13, 2019 11:36 am  #1


Copyright payments

I vaguely recall when I was at CIUT 89.5 programmers kept a logbook of music played so that SOCAN and other such organizations could be paid royalties. Someone recently told me of a situation where PBS filmed a documentary on stagehands, and in the background documentary editors spotted a TV screen airing The Simpsons. The shot that had that screen lasted all of three seconds, yet a royalty payment was expected. I had always thought a very brief clip  might possibly be exempt from copyright payment, perhaps akin to a book or film review quoting a very brief passage. Anyhow, in response to the PBS/Simpsons story, I replied - wondering - if radio bumper music might be subject to copyright payments or exempt if brief enough. Is a brief bit of music is exempt, how brief must this be?
 

 

March 13, 2019 1:10 pm  #2


Re: Copyright payments

A one time, the bumper music was free of vocals on Prime Time Sports on The Fan 590 and Bob McCown explained that the station would have to pay a copyright fee if they aired any of the lyrics.

For the past few years, the bumper music on PTS has included the lyrics.  With cost cutting being the rule on radio these days, I doubt Rogers has started paying fees for the musical intros.  I believe the rules have been loosened and you no longer are subject to a royalty fee as long as you only play a small portion of the song.

 

March 13, 2019 2:26 pm  #3


Re: Copyright payments

My understanding is that Bob was incorrect on that.  Instrumentals from a production library aired on the network and the podcast, while 590 got the regular bumper music for many years, which Bob heard in the studio and in his headphones.  I suspect this was to avoid network stations paying for having played real songs.

When TV picked up the show, 590, the network, the podcast and TV all got the production music until Bob complained and it was changed.  He was wrong about having to pay when lyrics play.  If you use any part of a song you have to pay.

 

March 13, 2019 4:35 pm  #4


Re: Copyright payments

Sorry guys, the Bobcat probably never studied copyright law.  First, Canadian copyright law and US are very different.  In Canada the Copyright Board sets the rates for performance of music by way of the "Commercial Radio Tariff".  Second....- CJCL which is predominately talk  should qualify as a low use station - which triggers a much lower copyright (tariff) rate..   Under the "low use" criteria in the Tariff, no more than 20% of broadcast time, can be devoted to performance of "sound recordings".  It doesn't matter whether there are lyrics...
Low use stations have to keep very precise records of their music use....here is the definition from the tariff “low-use station (sound recordings)” means a station that broadcasts published sound recordings of musical works for less than 20 per cent of its total broadcast time (excluding pro- duction music) during the reference month; and  keeps and makes available to Re:Sound, Connect/SOPROQ and Artisti complete recordings of its last 90 broadcast days; 

https://cb-cda.gc.ca/tariffs-tarifs/certified-homologues/2016/TAR-2016-04-23.pdf

 

Last edited by tvguy (March 13, 2019 4:36 pm)

 

March 13, 2019 5:34 pm  #5


Re: Copyright payments

tvguy wrote:

Sorry guys, the Bobcat probably never studied copyright law.  First, Canadian copyright law and US are very different.  In Canada the Copyright Board sets the rates for performance of music by way of the "Commercial Radio Tariff".  Second....- CJCL which is predominately talk  should qualify as a low use station - which triggers a much lower copyright (tariff) rate..   Under the "low use" criteria in the Tariff, no more than 20% of broadcast time, can be devoted to performance of "sound recordings".  It doesn't matter whether there are lyrics...
Low use stations have to keep very precise records of their music use....here is the definition from the tariff “low-use station (sound recordings)” means a station that broadcasts published sound recordings of musical works for less than 20 per cent of its total broadcast time (excluding pro- duction music) during the reference month; and  keeps and makes available to Re:Sound, Connect/SOPROQ and Artisti complete recordings of its last 90 broadcast days; 

https://cb-cda.gc.ca/tariffs-tarifs/certified-homologues/2016/TAR-2016-04-23.pdf

 

interesting.  i always thought there was a "5 second rule", similar to that which i apply to the  slice of cheese i drop in the kitchen.

anyway, i'm glad they keep the amounts owing simple.... reminds me of the CRTC formula for Canadian Content Development basic annual.  oh to be an accountant in radio....

in the US, remember the outcry when WKRP hit syndication and all the on-air music was replaced with generic licence free stuff?

 

March 13, 2019 6:38 pm  #6


Re: Copyright payments

No 5 second rule.  Also the "shooting off a screen" of TV content falls into the same "if it fell on the floor" category.  It doesn't exist as an exemption from copyright (infringement) liability in Canada, or for that matter in the USA.  I've known major production companies, Writers Guild, Directors Guild, and SAG to pursue documentary producers who use short film clips or "shoot from screen".   There are some l "fair use" exemptions in the USA for some types of content.  But in Canada the "fair use" doctrine does not exist in law.

Fascinating how these "myths" about what you can and cannot do with music, video clips etc, originate.  I suspect that as there is more and more blood-letting within broadcasting companies, and less qualified or less experienced employees will take the places of people with years of experience, these myths will continue to circulate via the Internet.