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Under Canadian law, a musical work is copyrighted if its author is still living, or if the author died less than 50 years ago. In the language of copyright, "author" means both the composer of the music and the lyricist.
If you record your band, orchestra or choir and make copies of CDs, tapes, videos, DVDs etc. you must obtain a "mechanical license" from the copyright owner via Lifelong Music. Reproduction of copyrighted musical works either on a sound carrier (a record, tape, CD or other manufactured "contrivance") or in a film television program, commercial, or other program can only be made with the permission of the music publisher.
Obtaining a mechanical license from Lifelong is a quick easy process. You must make application for mechanical licenses for your product before you manufacture or import it. Submit the following information to Lifelong Music - contact information on Home page.
$0.083 (8.3 cents) for works 5 minutes in duration or less
$0.0166 (1.66 cents) per minute or fraction thereof, for all works over 5 minutes.
For example, music of 6 minutes and 22 seconds of duration would be calculated:
7 times $0.0166 = $0.1162 (11.62 cents) per copy produced.)
Mail the requested information along with your royalty payment which is payable at the time your license application is made. It's expedient to receive all requested material at the same time.
A mechanical license is an agreement between the user and the publisher/owner of the music that the user intends to reproduce on sound carriers manufactured or imported into Canada. The license is extremely specific: it is limited to a particular composition, as manufactured (or imported) by the user on a particular product. The license is also specific as to the catalogue number of the product, the playing time and the performer. Licenses are issued on a song-by-son basis.
As part of the copyright law, you are required to serve notice of intention to obtain a mechanical license from the copyright owner, before distributing recordings or within 30 days of doing so.