The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) is a non-profit music licensing agency, which represents the vast majority of music copyright owners (usually called music publishers) doing business in Canada.
On their behalf, CMRRA issues licenses to users of the reproduction right in copyrighted music. These licenses authorize the reproduction of music in CD’s and cassettes (usually called ” mechanical licensing”) and in films, television programs and other audio-visual productions (“synchronization licensing”). Licensees pay royalties pursuant to these licenses to CMRRA and, in turn, CMRRA distributes the proceeds to its publisher clients. The publisher in turn distributes the songwriter’s portion of such revenues to the songwriter involved.
CMRRA was founded in 1975 by a group of Canadian music publishers who saw the need for a Canadian organization to take over the licensing of music in Canada. CMRRA led the fight to eliminate the 64-year-old “compulsory license” from Canada’s copyright laws in 1988, and has since negotiated with the record industry to strengthen its publishers’ rights and greatly increase mechanical and synchronization licensing revenue.
CMRRA is funded by commission on the proceeds of its licensing. Membership is open to any music publisher or copyright owner with respect to the Canadian use of the reproduction right in its music.