The Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC) is a Canadian federally incorporated not-for-profit collective society whose objectives include the collection and distribution of performer remuneration collected from radio stations and other music users by Re:Sound (formerly known as the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada).
As one of the five collectives who are members of Re:Sound, MROC receives from Re:Sound and distributes to musicians the performer’s share of royalties stipulated under various tariffs and levies approved by the Copyright Board of Canada.
These performer royalties (also referred to as neighbouring rights royalties) are a relatively recent development. Prior to an amendment to the Canadian Copyright Act in 1997, performers were not paid when the recordings on which they had played were performed in Canada. Only composers and lyricists of music (and their publishers) received performing rights royalties (through SOCAN) when their music was performed.
Since the amendment, however, performers also benefit from airplay and other public performances of the sound recordings on which they played. These new rights were called “neighbouring rights” because they “neighbour” the copyrights long enjoyed by songwriters.
Of course performers who are signed as royalty artists with record labels receive artist royalties directly from their labels, but those royalties relate to the reproduction of their performances - i.e., from the sale of CDs, downloads, placement in films and commercials, etc. The airplay and other public performance of the sound recordings containing their performances is handled by MROC. It is these performing rights that are a new and separate source of revenue for musicians. And the performing /royalties are payable to all musicians who worked on that track, not just to the royalty artist/group.
Neighbouring rights royalties were originally administered through the Canadian Office of the American Federation of Musicians under the authority of its Vice President from Canada. Recently that authority was transferred to MROC which was created to be a stand-alone copyright collective.
Your registration with MROC will ensure that you, as a musician/performer, receive the royalties to which you are entitled. MROC will also go after your royalties retroactively as far back as 1998, as long as radio airplay of your recordings has been logged at any time since then.
At present, MROC collects and distributes royalties collected under tariffs, levies and international agreements as follows:
- Commercial Radio (Tariff 1A)
- CBC Radio (Tariff 1C)
- Pay Audio (Tariff 17)
- Background Music (Tariff 3)
- Satellite Radio (Tariff 4)
- Private Copying Levy
- International Royalties
As sources of revenue ebb and flow in the ever-changing music industry landscape, it has never been more important for musicians to participate in every revenue stream available to them. Performers’ rights and the private copying levy are relatively new sources of revenue that cushion the decrease in performers’ revenue from CD sales.
MROC is here to administer the tracking and distribution of neighbouring rights royalties for entitled musician/performers. This is the very reason for MROC’s existence as an independent collective society.
When you fill out the MROC Appointment and Authorization Form you authorize MROC to be your exclusive agent for tracking, collecting and distributing the neighbouring rights royalties owed to you not only from airplay in Canada but also in Rome Convention countries throughout the world.
The four page form includes an authorization form containing all your contact information and the terms and conditions of the services we provide. It also contains the Repertoire Registration Form, on which you provide the information on the sound recordings on which you have played. This information is of course crucial in order for MROC to track down unpaid airplay.
If you have any questions, or if you would like to find out more, please contact:
Communication and Administrations Director
Musicians Rights Organization Canada (MROC)