Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency

Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA). A wholly owned subsidiary of the CMPA formed in 1975 to issue mechanical licences for copyrighted music to record companies and other users. This licensing had previously been administered by The Harry Fox Agency in New York.

Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency

Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA). A wholly owned subsidiary of the CMPA formed in 1975 to issue mechanical licences for copyrighted music to record companies and other users. This licensing had previously been administered by The Harry Fox Agency in New York.

The agency issues mechanical licenses (licences to record music in an audio recording) to most Canadian record companies and synchronization licences (licences to record music in an audio visual recording) to broadcasters, film, and television producers. By 1990 CMRRA was issuing more than 60,000 licences per year. It also undertakes litigation on behalf of its publishers and in 1990 won a court case (Bishop voices Telemetropole) before the Supreme Court of Canada which established the independent existence of synchronization rights as distinct from performing rights. This decision affirmed that broadcaster-created television programs would be subject to the same requirements as those produced by independent program producers.

In addition to its licensing and litigation functions, CMRRA collects royalties and distributes them to copyright holders, conducts audits of record companies to find unpaid royalties, collect and distribute them, and represents Canadian music publishers in Great Britain, Europe, Japan, the USA, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand. The agency also acts as a lobby group for copyright reform.

CMRRA is a founding member of the Coalition of Canadian Copyright Creator and Owners. Its offices are in Toronto. In 1991 its directors included John Bird, Mark Altman of Morning Music Ltd., George Ullmann of Boosey & Hawkes (Canada) Ltd, and Jerry Renewych of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd; the general manager was David Basskin.

In francophone Canada, similar responsibilities are looked after by SODRAC. This agency was founded in 1970 as SDRM Canada Inc, a subsidiary of the French rights agency SDEM. In 1985 the Canadian agency became independent of the parent group and changed its name to SODRAC.


Further Reading

  • Berry, Paul 'CMRRA takes stock as it celebrates first decade,' CanComp, 216, Dec 1986