FAQs

What is Equitable Remuneration?

The rights to equitable remuneration are the rights of artists (including feature performers, background musicians, etc.) and record companies to be paid fairly for the broadcast and public performance of their works. For many years Canadian composers and authors have received royalties from the broadcast or public performance of their songs. These royalties are collected by SOCAN. In 1997 the Copyright Act of Canada was amended to acknowledge the essential contribution of artists and record companies in the creation of recorded music and to add a right to equitable remuneration for artists and record companies, which is in line with similar rights in the rest of the world. This right to equitable remuneration is sometimes also called a “neighbouring right”.

What is Re:Sound?

Established in 1997, Re:Sound, is an umbrella collective that collects money from various users of sound recordings in Canada including radio stations, restaurants, and cable subscriptions. RACS works closely with Re:Sound to distribute monies to the recording artists that we represent.

How can RACS pay me for the work I have recorded?

RACS is a division of ACTRA that collects and distributes equitable remuneration (aka neighbouring rights payments) to recording artists. For many years, Canadian composers and authors have received royalties from the broadcast or public performance of their songs. In 1997, the Copyright Act of Canada was amended to acknowledge the essential contribution of artists and record companies in the creation of recorded music and to add a right to equitable remuneration for artists and record companies, which is in line with similar rights in the rest of the world. At RACS, it is our responsibility to put these monies into the hands of artists. If your recorded work has received airplay, ends up in the sample used for distribution and is determined to be eligible (based on the criteria detailed in the Copyright Act), money will be payable to you.

How much does it cost to register with RACS?

Registration with RACS is free. However, there is a small administrative fee charged for all disbursement.

Do I have to become a member of ACTRA to get payments for neighbouring rights?

No. RACS distributes monies to all recording artist, regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with a union.

What is private copying?

Established in 1998, the private copying levy is a royalty for music rights holders, such as performers and songwriters, that is included in the price of blank CDs that you buy at your local store. The levy provides a way to compensate music creators when individuals copy music onto blank CDs for their own listening enjoyment. This additional use is referred to as private copying.

What is the CPCC?

Where does the private copying money come from?

Who is eligible to get money from private copying?

If you are a recording artist or record company you must be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident at the time of the recording. However, songwriters and music publishers are eligible regardless of nationality.

Where do the neighbouring rights monies come from?

What is a featured artist?

A featured artist is generally credited as the main artist, featured guest or member of the featured band on a recording. These performers have usually entered into an agreement with the label producing the recording (aka royalty artists) or have a contractual relationship with the other featured performers on the recording. A featured guest artist’s name is usually linked to the recording title (e.g., MY SONG by Steve Smith feat. JOHN JACKSON).

What is a non-featured artist?

A non-featured artist is any recording artist on a recording that is not a featured performer. A non-featured performer has usually been engaged for a fixed period of time to record one or more backing performances. Common examples of non-featured performers include session musicians and backing vocalists.

How does RACS distribute monies to the recording artists on each recording?

RACS distributes 80% of the monies to the featured performer(s) on a recording and 20% of the monies to the non-featured performer(s). For large ensembles creating classical or jazz recordings, slightly different splits are applied.

If I am a member of SOCAN, am I not already covered?

No. SOCAN distributes monies to the songwriters of a recording, whereas RACS distributes to the recording artists that perform on a recording. Each organization represents a unique right in the Copyright Act and are not mutually exclusive. Most songwriters who also record music collect from both SOCAN and RACS.

Can I still collect if I didn't write the song that was recorded?

If I record a cover song, can I still collect from RACS?

Yes. At RACS, we pay the performers on a recording regardless of who wrote the song.

What are the eligibility criteria for neighbouring rights and private copying payments?

Essentially, a sound recording is eligible if the maker is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or a Rome Convention country, or is a corporation headquartered in Canada or a Rome Convention country, or if the sound recording was made in Canada or a Rome Convention country. Artists who performed on an eligible sound recording are eligible for neighbouring rights, as is the record company who made the recording. In most cases, a recording is eligible if it is recorded outside of the US, or, if the maker is headquartered a country other than the United States. If the maker of the recording is a person, that person must be a citizen of a country other than the US. The eligibility for monies derived from private copying are based solely on your citizenship. You must hold a Canadian or Permanent Resident citizenship at the time of the recording in order to be eligible.

Does RACS collect for me if my recordings are played internationally?

Yes, RACS has agreements with various international societies and can collect in other countries on your behalf. For more info on our
reciprocal agreements, check out the list of reciprocal agreements. See International page for list.

How do I register?

Registering with RACS is quite easy and can be achieved by registering online or by downloading our forms and registering by hand. Our forms can be returned by mail, fax or scan. If you’d like to have our forms mailed or faxed to you, please contact us directly via RACS’ contact page.

When will I receive a payment?

In most cases payment can occur relatively quickly, however there are a variety of factors that can influence the timing of your payment. Please contact us directly for the specifics that apply to your situation.

How do I contact RACS?

Feel free to contact us by phone, email, mail or fax. Visit our “Contact Us” page for specific details.

Does RACS only represent Canadian artists?

Artists from all over the world have registered with RACS.

How do I submit information about the recordings I appeared on?

Submitting repertoire can be done by downloading and completing our repertoire reporting form found on our “Documents” page. In lieu of our repertoire form, recording artists can also submit information using an Excel spreadsheet, email, liner notes, label copy, recording contract, etc. The only thing we ask is that you provide us with the same information requested in our repertoire reporting form.

How do I update my address?

Recording artists can update addresses by contacting us directly through our “Contact Us” page or by using our online address change form found under 'Have You Moved?'.

What is RACS?

Recording Artists’ Collecting Society (RACS) is a division of ACTRA that collects and distributes equitable remuneration (aka neighbouring rights and private copying monies) to recording artists.

When was RACS founded?

RACS was founded in 1997. It has formerly been known as ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society Neighbouring Rights (ACTRA PRSNR) and ACTRA Sound Recording Division (ACTRA SRD) and was changed to RACS in 2007.

What counts as a ‘Performance’?

Generally all audible contributions (such as guitar and vocals) will be considered an eligible performance. In addition, certain inaudible contributions (such as conductor) will also be eligible. Other contributions on a recording, such as the recording engineer and mixer, are not eligible for remuneration.

Does RACS pay retroactively?

Yes. RACS pays retroactively to the date our tariffs were established. Our first tariffs were established in 1998. If you are on a recording that has been receiving airplay since 1998, RACS may have money for you.

Why am I subject to withholding tax?

What happens if my performance was not included on a recording?

In cases where a recording artists’ performance may have been missed or there is a dispute, we generally ask that the recording artist submit proof of their appearance on the recording. Proof of performance can come in a variety of forms, but the most common examples include label copy, liner notes, recording contract, or a confirmation from some of the other recording artists on the recording.

If I play more than one instrument on a recording, do I get paid extra?

We are only able to remunerate for one performance per recording.

How do I collect as the beneficiary of a deceased recording artist?

We have specific forms that allow you to establish your relation to the deceased performer. Please visit our ‘Documents‘ page or contact us directly for more information.

Can I register on behalf of my band?

Although each performer must register with RACS individually, it is possible to submit repertoire information on behalf of a band.

How does RACS issue payments to recording artists?

I can’t remember all the recordings that I have performed on. How do I submit repertoire?

If you are unable to recall all the recordings you have performed on, please submit as much information as you can. It is possible that we may have received information on the recordings that you cannot remember from other sources.

What if I can’t remember the names of the other recording artists on the recordings that I have performed on?

Please contact us and we will send you a list of recordings that we have you linked to our database.

How do I know what repertoire is already on file for me?

Please contact us and we will send you a list of recordings that we have you linked to our database.

How do I know what recordings I am linked to in RACS’ database?

Please contact us and we will send you a list of recordings that we have you linked to our database.

What is a Maker?

The ‘Maker’ is the party that paid to have the recording made.

How do I collect as the Maker of a sound recording?

How do I take advantage of the insurance benefits offered by RACS?

Are there other benefits offered to RACS Assignors?

Why is it important to register with RACS?

As the music industry continues to change and existing revenue streams continue to decline, artists are becoming more reliant on varied sources of revenue than ever before. Since performance royalties are a vital and growing part of this income mix, it is important for artists to understand where and how they can collect their share. At RACS, it is our job to get this money into the hands of recording artists. We believe that these monies help an artist’s long-term success by allowing them to focus more on their craft and less on looking for a part-time job.

Do you publish an annual report?

Yes. Our latest annual report can be downloaded here.

Why does my T5/NR4 total show that I made more money than the sum of my cheques?

RACS is required to report your gross income to Canada Revenue Agency. To reach the amount on your T5/NR4 add the net amount to the APRS Fees, GST/HST and, if applicable, withholding tax columns. After adding all figures together, you should reach the figure listed on your T5/NR4.