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ACTRA RACS (Recording Artists’ Collecting Society) is a not-for-profit performer collective, dedicated to ensuring that all recording artists, from session musicians and background performers to featured vocalists, are paid for the use of their work. We collect royalties within Canada and from around the world, representing tens of thousands of recording artists (directly and through our agreements with international partners) across all genres of music.

Why does ACTRA RACS distribute these royalties?
ACTRA RACS was one of the organizations that helped secure these important rights for performers in Canada.   As a division of ACTRA we have a long history of protecting performers. Collectively, ACTRA and ACTRA RACS advocate on behalf of all performers to protect and extend their performance rights, and ensure fair payment for the use of recorded performances.

What is Equitable Remuneration?
The right to equitable remuneration are the rights of all recording artists – from session musicians and backing performers to featured vocalists – 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 recording artists 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” as it is a neighbour to rights that exist for composers and authors.

Doesn’t SOCAN collect these Royalties?
SOCAN collects royalties on behalf of composers and authors, but does not collect royalties for recording artists (session musicians, backing performers, featured vocalists etc.).  Many SOCAN members are also registered with ACTRA RACS so that they can receive payments for their work as performers appearing on sound recordings.

Why is it important to register with ACTRA 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’s important for artists to collect their share.  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.

Levies for Private Copying

What are Private Copying Royalties?
Private copying monies are collected from the manufacturers and importers of blank media. A percentage of these monies is then distributed to eligible artists. The percentage made available is decided by the Copyright Board and distribution samples are based on commercial radio logs and sales logs.


What is ReSound?
Established in 1997, Re:Sound, is an umbrella collective that collects money from users of sound recordings in Canada including radio stations, restaurants, and cable subscriptions. ACTRA RACS works closely with Re:Sound to ensure that these royalties are paid to recording artists.

What is the Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC)?
Established in 1999, The Canadian Private Copying Collective is the non-profit agency charged with collecting and distributing private copying royalties. The CPCC collects royalties on behalf of songwriters, recording artists, music publishers and record companies. ACTRA RACS works closely with the CPCC to ensure that these royalties are paid to recording artists.

What are Private Copying Royalties?
The private copying levy is a royalty for music rights holders, such as performers and songwriters, that is applied to certain forms of blank media and 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.


How do I register with ACTRA RACS?
The quickest and easiest way to registered with ACTRA RACS is to register online.  Alternatively, recording artists can also register by downloading and completing our forms.

Is there a fee to register with ACTRA RACS?
Registration with ACTRA RACS is free!  As a not-for-profit, we take a small administrative fee on any payments issued.

Do I have to become a member of a guild or union (ACTRA, AFM etc.) to get receive royalty payments?
ACTRA RACS distributes monies to all recording artists, regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with a union.

Does ACTRA RACS represent recording artists from outside of Canada?
ACTRA RACS represents performers and recording artists from all over the world.

Are there other benefits to registering with ACTRA RACS?
ACTRA RACS offers members a wide range of benefits, ranging from heath and instrument insurance, to discounts on useful products.


How does ACTRA RACS distribute royalties to the performers 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.

What is a featured performer?
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 feat. BETTY).

What is a non-featured performer?
A non-featured performer is any performer 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.

What is considered a performance on a recording?
Generally, all audible contributions (such as percussion or vocals) are considered eligible performances. In addition, certain inaudible contributions (such as a conductor) will also be eligible.  Other contributors to a recording, such as the recording engineer and mixer, are not eligible for remuneration.

Does ACTRA RACS Collect Royalties From Outside of Canada?
Yes, ACTRA RACS collects royalties for recorded performers in over 40 territories around the world.  So, if you’re getting airplay outside of Canada, ACTRA RACS has you covered.

Does ACTRA RACS Distribute Royalties Retroactively?
Yes, ACTRA RACS distributes royalties retroactively on all of our revenue streams. For more details on our schedule to closeout past royalty years, please review our closeout schedule.