Healthy Sector > What You Should Know

What You Should Know About Copyright and Neighbouring Rights

What is the difference between copyright and neighbouring rights?

Copyright refers to the intellectual property of the creator of an original work. For example, in the music domain, copyright applies to any musical work.

Neighbouring rights is a broad category of rights that includes the intellectual property of parties that create a work related to an original work. For example, in the music domain, neighbouring rights refer to the rights of performers and producers of sound recordings.

When a sound recording is used publicly, both copyright and neighbouring rights apply.

Collective licensing in Canada


The Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (“SOCAN”) is the Canadian not-for-profit collective licensing company that collects and distributes copyright royalties on behalf of the authors and publishers of music.


Re:Sound is the Canadian not-for-profit collective licensing company that collects and distributes neighbouring rights royalties on behalf of performers and producers of neighbouring rights royalties. Re:Sound was formed (as the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada – NRCC) following an amendment to the Copyright Act of Canada in 1997, and began collecting upon tariffs for broadcasters in that same year.


Entandem is a joint venture between Re:Sound and SOCAN. Since 2019, Entandem collects royalties on behalf of both collective licensing companies.

Re:Sound’s Tariffs

Re:Sound’s tariffs are certified by the Copyright Board of Canada, an independent regulatory body that establishes the rates to be paid for the use of copyrighted works. Re:Sound tariffs are subject to a transparent certification process. All tariffs are proposed in the year prior to the first year that royalties are owed. This process often takes a number of years in order to complete before tariffs are certified. However, once certified by the Copyright Board, tariffs are legally enforceable and become payable back to the first year for which they were proposed.

Re:Sound issues blanket licences for recorded music use. These licences are designed to account for all recorded music used, and prevent the need for individual agreements with every artist and record company whose recorded music is used. To this end, Re:Sound tariffs are both economical and efficient.

When a Licence is Required?

Anytime that a published sound recording is used in your venue or at events held by your organization, a Re:Sound licence is required. Re:Sound only licences the public performance of a published sound recording. No Re:Sound licence is necessary for the performance of live music. No Re:Sound license is necessary for the performance of a sound recording that was commissioned to accompany a live performance (i.e., incidental music composed and recorded specifically for a play) and that was not published by a record company.

Which Re:Sound licences may be required?

The following are tariffs that may apply to performing arts organizations:

  • Tariff 5.A, Recorded Music to Accompany Live Events
  • Tariff 5.B, Recorded Music to Accompany a Reception, Convention, Assembly, or Fashion Show
  • Tariff 5.D, Festivals, Exhibitions, and Fairs
  • Tariff 5.I, Comedy and Magic Shows
  • Tariff 5.J, Concerts

The above list does not represent an exhaustive list of applicable tariffs, just as a single organisation may not require licensing under all of the above.

While Re:Sound performs extensive outreach to inform businesses of their licensing obligations, it is the responsibility of the organization to obtain the proper licence(s) for the particular use of music in its course of business. All Re:Sound tariffs are certified by the Copyright Board of Canada, and are legally enforceable.

CAPACOA members and members of affiliate presenting networks are subject to special remittance conditions pursuant to an agreement between CAPACOA and Re:Sound. For more information, visit this page.