Screen composer and SOCAN member Cristobal Tapia de Veer may have become one of the most sought-after composers in the world – thanks in part to his outstanding work on the HBO series White Lotus and the hit film Smile – but he’s still taking the time to share his expertise and creative secrets with the participants of Les grandes rencontres SPACQ, an event to be held Feb. 23, 2023 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET. The Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ) has invited the multiple award winner – including two Emmys in 2022 for White Lotus, SOCAN’s International Award in 2017, and Screen Composer of the Year at the 2021 SOCAN Gala – to speak to its members during the conference.

Hosted by composers Anaïs Larocque and Éric Shaw, this intimate one-hour conference will cover the artist’s career path, tools, and inspirations, among other themes.

“The first time I came into contact with Cristobal’s music was with Série Noire,” says Shaw. “After the first notes of the soundtrack, I picked up my phone and searched who composed the music because I was amazed by it. Then, during Season 1 of Dirk Gently, I looked up the composer’s name again and realized it was the same one! I started feeling a bit nervous. And then, after hearing the theme for White Lotus, I’m considering quitting the trade. Cristobal inspires creativity, originality, and spontaneity in me and it’s an honour for me to meet him.”

Anaïs Larocque says, “Cristobal Tapia de Veer is a fine example of a contemporary composer whose authenticity shines through from the first notes of the music he composes. To me, he’s a refreshing voice in the fascinating landscape of screen music.”

Definitely a not-to-be-missed Masterclass! Reserved only for members of SPACQ. Mandatory registration on Zoom.



The SOCAN Foundation today announced the five recipients of the 2022 SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards, created to recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Black music creators: Adria Kain, AHI, Desarae Dee, Nonso Amadi and Zach Zoya, each of whom will receive $10,000 (double last year’s amount) to support their development.

Special distinctions and awards of $1,000 are also being made to City Fidelia, Haley Smalls, Leila Day, Promise, and Shreez.

To listen to the music of all of the 2022 winners, click here.

“What an honour to participate in amplifying Black creatives. So many of the submissions were incredible, making this the hardest jury process to date,” said Keziah Myers, Executive Director at ADVANCE Music Canada, and chair of the jury. “I learned of writers and composers that I didn’t know about, automatically looked up their projects, and it inspired me to think of ways to amplify them within the industry, and provide more vehicles for opportunity. Congratulations to the winners!” Myers was part of the SOCAN  Foundation committee that created the Black Canadian Music Awards, and has also served as a jury member for the last three years.

This year, the Awards had a record number of applications from artists across Canada, spanning a multitude of genres. Winners were selected by a jury and advisory council of prominent Black artists and industry leaders. Jury members include Keziah Myers (Executive Director at Advance), Nicolas Ouellet (Radio Host at Radio-Canada), Lord Quest (Executive Creative, Black Music, at SOCAN), Marika Siewert (Recording Artist) and Wayne Samuels (President and CEO at Wired Management Inc).

“We’re so proud to help bring this program to life for a third year, and to double the prize money for these incredibly talented and deserving recipients,” said Michelle Mearns, VP, Programming & Operations, SiriusXM Canada. “SiriusXM is committed to supporting Black Canadian artists, and I can’t wait to see what these artists create in the future.”

For more information about the SOCAN Foundation, please visit www.socanfoundation.ca.



If you’re a music-maker, at some point in your process, you may want to use other peoples’ music – whether via sampling, recording a cover version, or in academic study, for example. In all cases, there’s a legal way to do that while respecting the copyright of, and ensuring fair compensation for, the original songwriter, or composer, and music publisher. Usually, it’s a matter of obtaining permission first.

Sampling
If you’re sampling a song, then both the copyright owner(s) of the recording of the song, and the copyright owner(s) of the song itself, must grant permission. So, for example, if you wanted to sample the  solo from Blue Rodeo’s “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet,” you’d have to get permission for use of the recording from Warner Music Canada, and for the use of the song from its co-writers, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, and/or its publisher, Thunder Hawk Music.

Although in most cases when a music publisher is involved, they’ve been granted, by contract, the right to negotiate payment and provide permission on behalf of the songwriters or composers that they represent. If that’s the case with Cuddy and Keelor, then you’d obtain permission for all three rights holders in the song from Thunder Hawk Music.

Recording a Cover Version
If you wish to record a cover version of an original copyright-protected song, you have to get permission from the copyright holders of the song, but not the rights holders for the original recording of it. If, say, you want to re-arrange “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” – and possibly change where the solo of the song comes in, or add a verse – you’d have to get permission from the writers, Cuddy and Keelor, possibly via their publisher, Thunder Hawk Music, and from Thunder Hawk itself. The same is true if you want to record a cover version of the song.

Reproducing a Cover Version
Anyone wishing to copy their version of a copyright-protected song – on a pressing of 500 vinyl records, for instance, or an audio streaming service – must first seek the permission of the copyright owner(s) by obtaining a “mechanical” or reproduction rights license. For the same example of “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet,” you’d once again have to obtain permission for the song only, from its co-writers, possibly via their publisher, and from the publisher itself.

Third-Party Services
In all of the above cases, there are third-party services that can license songs on your behalf, for you to cover; but ultimately, permission must always be obtained from the copyright owners in the end – whether you yourself obtain it, or a third-party company obtains it for you. And you should always check thoroughly to ensure that any such company is operating legally and legitimately before engaging with them.

Fair Dealing
The Canadian term “fair dealing” is similar but not exactly the same as the American term “fair use.” In Canada, it means that copyright isn’t infringed when a part of a work is used for private study, research, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, or news reporting. Fair dealing is a case-by-case assessment, based on factors set out by the Canadian courts. So, for example, if you’re presenting a private seminar about songwriting, it’s possible that you could play “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” to illustrate or teach certain techniques – say, how to craft a great chorus – without having to obtain permission first.

Public Domain
In Canada, a song or composition enters the public domain 70 years after the year of the death of the last surviving writer, composer, lyricist, or author of the work. No fees are typically due if the song or composition in a performance are public domain. So, 70 years after the last surviving composer of “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” passes away – whether Jim Cuddy or Greg Keelor – the song will be in the public domain, and can then be recorded without any permission required.

For answers to other frequently asked questions about copyright, and how SOCAN works, have a look at our FAQs.