~ Proactive Initiative Addresses Historical Mechanical Royalties ~

September 23, 2005 (Toronto, ON.) – Universal Music Canada (UMC), the country’s leading music company, today announced the implementation of a royalty recovery program for the benefit of compensating songwriters and song copyright owners. A newly developed program has been specifically created by UMC to address historical unpaid mechanical royalties and actively pursue royalty participants. The program includes the hiring of new staff, and the implementation of a web site (www.umcroyalty.ca), information telephone line (866 782 0484), and P.O. Box.

John Redmond, a former Vice President of Universal Music Publishing Canada, has been retained to oversee this program. John will work in tandem with UMC’s existing copyright royalty department, and three additional staff members who have been added to the group. John has an extensive history with song licensing and distribution issues as both a publisher and former board executive member of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) and The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). For over a decade, as head of the Canadian music publishing operations of PolyGram and Universal, John personally pursued, licensed and successfully captured millions of dollars of historical royalties for his songwriters.

Randy Lennox, President and CEO, Universal Music Canada commented: “We are pleased to offer our royalty recovery program as this will be of great benefit to many deserving songwriters.” “John Redmond is ideally suited to oversee this program, along with our copyright royalty department. This is an extensive project for us, requiring significant Company resources and we are committed to being proactive here by taking a no strings attached approach to ensuring the appropriate songwriters are paid.”

“This is all about the songwriters getting their money at the end of the day and nothing could make me happier!” says John Redmond. “I am proud to be a part of implementing this unprecedented program on behalf of my alma mater UMC and salute Randy Lennox and his team at the record company for spearheading this project. The initiative requires accurate song identification, verification, licensing and pay out to the copyright owner. It is a detail oriented and labour intensive task. I have always felt it was my duty to do whatever it takes to get songwriters their money. I still do!”

David Basskin, President of Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) says, “Universal’s commitment of additional personnel and resources to track down and pay songwriters and music publishers through this new program is a very welcome development.” “We look forward to working with them in helping to complete this large and important task.”

“This is an innovative solution made possible by a modern digital toolkit,” stated Graham Henderson, head of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). “Other proposals that have been floated to deal with what has been an intractable problem for decades, have all suffered from the same defect, there was no guarantee that the person entitled to the money would actually get the money. This is all about to change. Now a cutting edge website will assist songwriters and publishers in the endeavour. This is a major step forward for rights-holders in general and songwriters in particular.”

Songwriters who have had their historical works recorded and released by UMC and who have not received mechanical royalties can pursue such mechanical royalties by accessing the web site: www.umcroyalty.ca and completing the application. The form may also be printed and mailed to:

Universal Music Canada
P.O. Box 55159, Fairview Mall RPO
1800 Sheppard Avenue East
Toronto, Ontario
M2J 5B9

Songwriters may contact UMC for more information by calling 866 782 0484, or emailing umcroyalty@umusic.com.


Universal Music Canada, a unit of Universal Music Group, is Canada’s leading music organization maintaining an overall 36.5% year-to-date market share. For further information on Universal Music Canada, please visit www.umusic.ca.