Toronto reminds Calgary’s indie coffee shops that nothing comes for free

Toronto reminds Calgary’s indie coffee shops that nothing comes for free

The sweet, sweet sound of money (Image: Slideshow Bob) 

Re:Sound, a Toronto-based not-for-profit music-licensing company, is conjuring up icky feelings in Calgary—the same feelings its residents associate with parking police, vegetarians and central Canada. Recently, several of Calgary’s indie coffee shops have received bills from Re:Sound asking for royalties for playing music at their establishments. Michael Landry, the bearded owner of Ground Effect Café (apparently the scruffy barista look knows no borders), thought the notice was a joke; his shop has seven seats and plays mostly Icelandic folk music. Turns out a 2006 Canadian copyright law declared that recorded music is free only when played for personal, educational and religious use. Landry managed to wiggle his way out of paying the fee because he plays music in the kitchen and not in the sitting area. Businesses outside Stephen Harper’s zone of favouritism may not be so fortunate.

Pay up if you play music, stores told [CBC]
Playing music is costly for business [Fast Forward Weekly]