“Re:Sound” Class Action

The content of this page does not constitute legal advice. It is for the purpose of providing general information only.

Status of the Proceedings 

The parties have entered into an agreement to discontinue the proposed class action on certain terms which are beneficial to proposed class members (the “Terms of Discontinuance”).

More particularly, the action will be discontinued on a without costs basis and with no admission of liability of Re:Sound. Re:Sound has voluntarily agreed to undertake certain steps to further enhance its outreach and repertoire submissions processes for the benefit of rights holders who are entitled to equitable remuneration under s. 19 of the Copyright Act. These steps include that Re:Sound will:

  • Continue to update, and pursue reasonable expansion and enhancement of, its publically available, searchable, online database of recordings that are potentially eligible for royalties for a minimum of three years;
  • Facilitate mechanisms that will make it easier for rights holders to connect and register with Re:Sound through the database;
  • Publicize the existence of the database more prominently on its website and through social media and other outreach to rights holders;
  • Develop and implement additional communication tools and educational outreach targeted at unrepresented rights holders to further raise awareness of the existence of royalties under s. 19 of the Copyright Act; and
  • Solicit feedback from rights holders targeted at understanding how to enhance ongoing outreach efforts as well as the process for rights holders to submit their musical repertoires for the purpose of claiming royalties.

Click here to view a copy of the Terms of Discontinuance.

On November 8, 2016, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the Terms of Discontinuance and granted the plaintiff leave to discontinue his action. Click here to view a copy of the November 8, 2016 Court Order.

How Does This Affect You?

Re:Sound is a not-for-profit corporation carrying on business as the collective society collecting and distributing the statutory royalties that performers (singers, musicians) and makers (record labels) are entitled to be paid under s. 19 of the Copyright Act. Section 19 of the Copyright Act creates a statutory right of eligible performers and makers to be paid equitable remuneration when certain published sound recordings are performed in public (such as when they are played at a fitness centre) or communicated to the public by telecommunication (such as when they are played on the radio).

Individual right holders will benefit from the additional steps and further enhancements that Re:Sound has agreed to as outlined in the Terms of Discontinuance.

If you think you are entitled to equitable remuneration or have questions about your eligibility, please contact Re:Sound or one of Re:Sound’s member organizations. Information regarding Re:Sound and its member organizations can be found at www.resound.ca.

When the notice of discontinuance is filed on November 15, 2016, the time for bringing a civil lawsuit (the “limitation period”), if there is any time left within it, will recommence. On the expiry of a limitation period, a right to sue may be extinguished.  Click here to view a  copy of the notice of discontinuance which was filed with the Court on November 15, 2016. 

If you have any questions about the discontinuance, the recommencement of the running of the limitation period or about pursuing an individual claim, you should seek immediate legal advice from a lawyer of your choice.

Summary of the Proceedings

On October 17, 2012, Harrison Pensa LLP and Bates Barristers issued a statement of claim against Re:Sound Music Licensing Company (“Re:Sound”). The claim was issued on behalf of:

all performers and makers who are entitled to receive remuneration from the royalties collected from music users by Re:Sound Music Licensing Company in connection with the public performance or communication of published sound recordings and which are not distributed to the class members.

The proposed class action alleged that Re:Sound was unable to distribute a substantial portion of the royalties it has collected and that Re:Sound has breached its duties to unpaid rights holders, entitling proposed class members to monetary relief and equitable remedies.  Re:Sound denied these allegations.

 Further Questions

Inquiries should be directed to Anni Barry at 1-800-263-0489 ext. 759 or by email to