Five years and three months after this proposed Re:Sound “fitness” tariff was filed, and two years and two months after the hearing was finished, the Copyright Board has determined in its July 6, 2012 decision that none of the evidence submitted by a parade of expensive experts was sufficiently reliable to form the basis of a calculation for a tariff for fitness clubs, gyms, dance studios, etc. Still, the Board certified a tariff based upon a simple calculation flowing from some SOCAN agreements with various fitness centres and dance class providers, filed at the Board’s request. SOCAN represents composers, authors and publishers. Re:Sound (formerly NRCC) represents performers and record producers.
- A fitness club that plays sound recordings in Re:Sound’s repertoire during fitness classes will pay a fee of $105.74 per year.
- A fitness club that plays sound recordings in workout areas will pay according to the existing Re:Sound background music tariff, which is based on either attendance, capacity or floor area. Assuming attendance can be measured, it will pay 0.08¢ per attendee.
- A skating venue will pay 0.44 per cent of its revenues from admission, with a minimum fee of $38.18 per year. Venues with no admission revenues will pay the minimum fee
- A venue that offers dance instruction or any other physical activity will pay a fee of $23.42 per year.
- A small fitness centre with about 200 members and no fitness classes should pay about $16 per year if background music is played in its workout area.
- A large fitness centre with 2,000 members that plays sound recordings both in its classes and as background music in its workout areas should pay about $280 per year
- A dance instruction venue and any other physical activity venue will pay $23.42 per year
- Skating venues with admission revenues will pay on average royalties of $60 per year. Venues with no admission revenues will pay the minimum fee of $38.18 per year.
- According to the evidence filed, there are 5,047 fitness clubs in Canada. The total revenues of the fitness club industry were estimated at about $2 billion in 2008.
Is this a “tax”? Here’s what the Board says – in a quite unusual anticipatory defence in a “Fact Sheet” of the inevitable comparison to the dance and wedding “tax”, the now defeated and defunct “iPod tax”, as Ministers Moore and Clement called it: