I’m a pianist living in Canada and I’m interested in recording (and making commercially available) solo classical piano music by living Canadian composers – music that is still under copyright. What are the legal requirements and, if applicable, industry norms to acquire the rights to record this music?
I have already recorded a small number such works and I’m prepared to begin the process of releasing these through iTunes. I own the scores to all the works, all of which are published and bear active copyrights still in effect today.
I’ve seen these two threads posted previously which deal with similar issues.
Legality of distributing free cover songs
Avoiding a chirpy 8-bit lawsuit
However, my work differs in that I'm not imitating another performance/recording of the work and my recordings will
be made available for sale.
My own initial research led me to conclude that I need to acquire a Mechanical License from the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA)
giving me the right to record and offer for commercial sale a specified number of copies of my recordings. I searched the CMRRA database and the works I wish to release are listed.
But, I was also directed to the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
by another colleague. Do I require an additional license from SOCAN or is a Mechanical License from CMRRA sufficient?
The other part of my question relates to whether anyone is aware of industry norms in this area. Contemporary classical solo piano music is a small niche market and will likely move in small volumes (well below the minimum quantity of 500 copies required by the CMRRA). Are private profit-sharing arrangements ever negotiated with composers directly and at what rates?