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Your funky wedding (and musical garage sale) just got a little more expensive.

The Copyright Board of Canada has, for the first time, decided to charge fees to anyone who uses recorded music as part of a public event. That means anyone who plans on using tunes to get the party started will need to dig a little deeper before hitting play on the iPod.

The new rules include any event in which music is played – weddings, ice shows, street parties, circuses, parades and karaoke bars are all named in the official notice from the country's copyright board.

"Recorded music is a vital part of the business model for many live events and, indeed, it is impossible to imagine a fashion show, festival, parade or karaoke bar without music," said Martin Gangnier, Re:Sound's director of licensing. "[It]ensures that the recording artists and record companies who create this music are fairly compensated when their work is used at these events."

While many of these events pay fees already, those fees compensate those who own publishing rights to songs. The tariff announced today is new and on top of what already exists, and will go toward compensating those who actually perform the music.

The notice from the Copyright Board sets out how much is to be charged for each sort of event.

  • Fees for receptions, conventions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows are determined by attendance. Less than 100 people costs, $9.25 per event. More than 500 is $39.33. Party animals be warned: if there’s dancing, the fee doubles.
  • Any business that offers karaoke must pay $86 for fewer than three days a week, or $124 for the entire week.
  • Festivals, exhibitions and fairs will pay up to $42 a day if there are fewer than 100,000 attendees. Any more than that, and the cost rises incrementally per 100,000.
  • Circuses, ice shows, fireworks displays and light shows are on the hook for at least $61 a day, or .8 per cent of all ticket sales.
  • Parades will want to count their floats carefully – each one that plays recorded music will cost oganizers $4, with a minimum fee of $32.55 per day.
  • Anyone playing music at an event on a street or in a park must kick out $16 a day, up to $111 every three months.
  • There won’t be any music police wandering through wedding halls and critically eyeing St. Patrick’s Day parade floats as they slowly make their way up the street to the strains of the Clancy Brothers – the system relies on the honesty of those playing the music.

Re:Sound does employ inspectors, but would only undertake an inspection if complaints were received.

"This is a self-reporting process but we have a team of licensing professionals who work with businesses across the country to answer questions and conduct outreach. This includes field inspectors who help to ensure understanding of and compliance with the tariff," said spokesman Matthew Fortier.

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