Martial Arts Gyms Targeted for Licence Fees for Music Played During Classes

Re:Sound, a not-for-profit collective society authorized under the Canadian Copyright Act to “administer the performance rights of performers and record labels in sound recordings“, is targeting martial arts gyms for payment of tariffs.

In short, Canada’s Copyright Board sets royalties which can be collected for “published sound recordings embodying musical works and performers’ performances of such works” in a variety of enterprises.  Tariff No. 6.B was created addressing royalties to be paid for the “Use of Recorded Music to Accompany Fitness Activities“.

Martial Arts gyms, who sometimes use music during classes, are finding they are not immune from this Tariff.  The Board includes martial arts under the umbrella of “fitness activities” with the following definition:

“fitness activity” means any form of physical exercise, sport or
dance, including, but not limited to, fitness classes, dance classes,
gymnasium workouts, weight training, circuit training, cardio
training, running, swimming, martial arts, gymnastics and rock
climbing

Gyms are now being targeted by Re:Sound for payment as evidenced by the below letter which was recently published by a gym operator on Facebook:

Resound letter screenshot

The strategy of unilaterally invoicing based on information found on gym owner’s websites can fairly be criticized as a crude and arguably inaccurate exercise.  Despite this, however, if gyms are using music during commercial ‘fitness activities’ Tariff No. 6.B can come into play.

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