Montréal’s Collège André-Grasset has become the first post-secondary educational institution to formally work with SOCAN to offer an enhanced copyright policy to its community. This inspiring agreement, which took effect Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, an example to follow in order to support creators, and contribute to the survival of art.

Thanks to this partnership, developed in the form of an innovation fund, the college, as well as the Institut Grasset, will from now on benefit from an execution right that encompasses 100% of the world’s catalogue, used during their academic and extracurricular activities and events.

Moreover, a reproduction right licence will allow the college to enrich their in-house audio and video productions. Staff and students alike will benefit from access to SOCAN’s reproduction rights music catalogue, which now also includes that of SODRAC, in the wake of SOCAN’s recent acquisition of the organization. This reproduction repertoire includes about 85% of Québec’s music, as well as a considerable number of international and Canadian musical works.

Geneviève Courcy, who teaches filmmaking and kickstarted this initiative, is convinced that this policy, doubled with an application guide, will facilitate the students’ task when they start looking for music to use in their film productions. Apart from educating people about the idea of intellectual property, this partnership will help them discover Québec artists, the teacher proudly believes. “It is our way of showing solidarity and encouraging our students to buy our local cultural products,” she says. “The music industry is suffering at a faster and faster pace.”

“Collège André-Grasset is leading the way, and sending a very strong signal, by standing up for music rights. They’re making it clear that we must fairly compensate songwriters, composers, and music publishers for their work. This kind of partnership is cause for applause, and will educate the new generation about the richness of SOCAN repertoire, and the importance of copyright and reproduction right,” said SOCAN Chief of Québec Affairs and Visual Arts, Geneviève Côté.

Grasset calls on all of Québec’s Cégeps and Universities to join them in this essential initiative defending the legal, fair, and ethical use of music. “The need for education is increasing,” said Emmanuelle Dupal, who’s in charge of the copyright at the college. “But that doesn’t mean we get a free pass to deny the work of artists, and turn a blind eye.”

SOCAN salutes the initiative of Collège André-Grasset, and is thrilled by this partnership, that will, hopefully, inspire other educational institutions to follow suit towards greater respect for the copyrights of music creators and publishers.

The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) has launched the “Save our Culture” campaign. SOCAN a member of the CDCE, supports this campaign.

For years, our national, regional and local culture flourished on radio, television, and in print. Our policies have enabled the development of dynamic and professional cultural ecosystems that nourish our identity, and our economy.

Technological developments and the arrival of web giants have greatly disrupted the cultural sector by bringing about changes in the way cultural content is produced, distributed, promoted, and accessed. Online platforms offer a wide choice of musical, audio-visual, and literary content. But can we really choose to see, listen to, and read our artists and creators on these platforms? Are our productions sufficiently present? Are they sufficiently supported and enhanced in this new environment?

The answer is no. Because our cultural policies don’t apply online.

As their market shares continue to grow, online platforms don’t have to comply with the same rules as our retailers, broadcasters, and cable operators. They’re not required to promote and finance local cultural content. In addition, foreign companies benefit from more favourable taxation! They accumulate valuable data on our habits and preferences, but they don’t provide any data on access to our culture!

Similarly, internet and mobile phone service providers are seeing their revenues increase thanks to access to online cultural content, but without being required to contribute to the financing of content creation.

Meanwhile, more and more artists, creators, professionals, and cultural entrepreneurs must make significant sacrifices. Some can no longer even make a living from their art or activities!

There is an urgent need to act to ensure that our cultural ecosystems remain alive and innovative, and continue to fuel our uniqueness, pride, and aspirations.

Let’s apply our policies to the web. Let’s put pressure on Ottawa.




SOCAN was pleased and proud to host a reception for six of our aspiring SOCAN #ComposersWhoScore participating in the Canadian Film Centre’s (CFC’s) 2019 Slaight Music Residency program. The residents, their program mentor, CFC staff, several established screen composers, members of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC), and various SOCAN Board members, executives, and staff all gathered in the Harmony Lounge of our Toronto offices in the early evening of Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, to mingle, connect, network, and enjoy some food and drink.

Canadian Film Centre, Slaight Music Residency, SOCAN

Left to right: SOCAN’s Aidan D’Aoust and Rodney Murphy; Hagler; and residency participant Kat Burns.

The Slaight Music Residency is a creative and business initiative for screen composers and songwriters. It encourages the complete integration of music creators into the onscreen process, while offering unique business opportunities to increase the use of Canadian music in film and TV. By providing participants with advanced knowledge on how to effectively translate their musical talent to onscreen applications, the program helps develop, package and launch their unique musical vision.

The six attending residents were Anthony Wallace, Casey Laforet, Iva Delic, Kat Burns, Simon Poole, and Tika Cato. They were joined by their CFC Slaight Music Residency mentor, screen composer Darren Fung, as well as CFC staff Erica Proudlock and Nancy Hu. Zoe Cunningham attended on behalf of the Songwriters Association of Canada, as did Tonya Dedrick of the SCGC. Established SOCAN #ComposersWhoScore Victor Davies, Glenn Morley (both members of SOCAN’s Board of Directors), Marvin Dolgay, John Rowley, and Janal Bechthold were there as well, as were Hagler and YM.

SOCAN was represented by CEO Eric Baptiste, Director of A&R Rodney Murphy, and the Membership Department’s Paul Stillo, Kathryn Hamilton, Melissa Cameron-Passley, Aidan D’Aoust, Racquel Villagante, and Olivia Cummings.

Eric Baptiste thanked everyone for attending; Rodney Murphy spoke about the importance of our screen composer community, and acknowledged all those in attendance; and mentor Darren Fung encouraged all the residents to mix and mingle with the music-industry people in attendance, at one point joking that they weren’t allowed to talk to each other, only new contacts.