SOCAN’s Digital Services team hosted a Twitter Spaces Q&A on our @socanmusic Twitter channel, about Music Licensing in the Metaverse, on July 28, 2022. The event was designed for event/concert promoters, indie developers, landowners, record labels, music publishers, game developers and/or metaverse developers and operators, and anyone else with an interest in Web3 and the metaverse, as the online world continues to evolve rapidly from websites to interactive spaces.

The Q&A featured virtual world industry leaders Matt Zanardo, of Metaverse Group; Deborah Mannis-Gardner, of DMG Clearances; Colin Murphy, of Decentral Games; and Corey Kovnats, of dapphaus. It was hosted by SOCAN’s Holly Fagan-Lacoste, Manager, Digital Business & Partner Relations; Tanner Jackson, Licensing Agent, Digital Business; and Houtan Hodania, Creative Executive.

More than 160 attendees heard from the experts, about music copyright, how music is being used in the virtual and augmented-reality worlds, how music licensing applies online, and why it’s important.

“Through this series of discussions, SOCAN hopes that we, as combined communities, will have collaborated with stakeholders to identify a clear path forward towards what an appropriate licensing model and fee structure might look like for the metaverse,” said SOCAN’s Tanner Jackson. “We need to ensure that amidst this technological transition, the value of music is not lost, and that music creators are receiving their well-deserved public performance royalties for the communication of their works inside of the metaverse.”

SOCAN’s Holly Fagan-Lacoste said, “SOCAN is all about supporting the health, wealth, and development of any ecosystem that involves music. We’re not in the business of getting in the way of business, only assuring the economics surrounding music in any digital space is acknowledged and fairly compensated.”

Colin Murphy defined the metaverse as “a digitally native open virtual space, whether it’s 2D or 3D, where users can interact with the environment and each other, allowing for social engagement and experiences.” Essentially, it explores new ways of building communities and gathering them in digital spaces. He said that licensing in the Metaverse is very challenging, because an activation might be going on in 40 countries, all of which have different licensing rules and protocols. These challenges are exacerbated by the wide use of VPNs (virtual private networks) for security and location masking, though the use and presence of VPNs dates back, and other digital platforms affected by VPNs have been licensed.

Corey Kovnats also said it’s hard to achieve international compliance, because a licence is required where the users are, not where the metaverse event originates from. He raised the question of who should pay for the licence: the platforms, the landowners, or the users? Matt Zanardo talked about working on immersive concert experiences globally, but figuring out the way to do it while complying with rules in various areas – booking, ticket sales, licensing, and so on. Deborah Mannis-Gardner said that the  metaverse is here to stay, and that it began to explode during pandemic lockdowns, which allowed us the opportunity to experience it first-hand – to still socialize and entertain while sitting at home.

Among the initial suggestions at this first discussion were a decentralized asset registry which contains the relevant contextual rights, as tied to a particular unique identifier – like an IP address, but for a particular work, whether that work is a song, or a stem, or a sample; a shared calendar for the participants documenting all upcoming discussion groups where stakeholders are working to determine solutions for licensing in the metaverse; and going with a blanket license for the metaverse use, then  dividing the collected fees into royalties, according to music use, as determined by hard data.

Eli Brown has won the 2022 Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award, presented by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), in recognition of outstanding songwriting achievements in his early career, as an emerging star in-the-making. (Singer-songwriter Lou-Adriane Cassidy was similarly honoured as the Francophone Winner; click here for French news item.) In addition to receiving a cash prize, Brown and Cassidy will be highlighted at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Sept. 24, 2022, at Massey Hall in Toronto.

“It’s a privilege to be recognized here at home,” said Brown. “Canada has been dominating the charts for the past few years, and it’s cool to have contributed to this new wave. Thank you to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Slaight Family.”

“From an innovative producer-songwriter who is making waves in hip hop, to a pop-alt singer-songwriter who has been twice shortlisted for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, this year’s winners of the Slaight Music Emerging Songwriters Award exemplify how talented and diverse the lexicon of Canadian songwriting truly is,” said Nick Fedor, Director, CSHF.  “Without songwriters, there would be no songs to sing — so it’s imperative that we support and foster the success of emerging songwriters today, so that we can continue the legacy of celebrating Canadian songwriting excellence tomorrow. On behalf of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, congratulations Eli and Lou-Adriane on this deserving recognition.”

Eli Brown is a Los Angeles-based, platinum-selling Canadian songwriter and record producer, originally from Brampton, Ont. He’s best known for his work on Drake’s “In The Bible,” with Lil Durk & Giveon, and Chris Brown & Young Thug’s “Big Slimes,” featuring Gunna and Lil Durk. Inspired by sounds of the analog era, Eli caught the attention of numerous established producers with his unique and creative sound designs and relentless work ethic. As a true creative and music business innovator, he recognized the need for his fresh approach to “soundscapes” in today’s music, and created Loophole Sounds, a ground-breaking music tech company that creates sound design tools now used and loved by many industry creatives. Eli has collaborated with major artists and producers including Tommy Brown, PARTYNEXTDOOR, No-ID, Rex Kudo, DaHeala, and London On Da Track. The primary focus of the next phase of his creative growth is strengthening his skills in executive production and artist development. In partnership with global hit-producer Wondagurl (Drake, Travi$ Scott, Jay Z), he’s co-developing emerging artist Rhyan Douglas with global domination being the only goal in mind.

Brown has recently signed a global co-publishing deal with Toronto-based music rights company Kilometre Music Group as part of a joint venture with multi-platinum hit producer Tommy Brown (Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber).

Established in 2017, the Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Award has shortlisted and bestowed the honour to songwriters who’ve gone on to have high-trajectory careers, including JUNO Alternative Album of the Year winner Mustafa; four-time 2022 JUNO winner Charlotte Cardin; and platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist Jessie Reyez.

The new school year is just around the corner and it dovetails, as it does every year, with a diversified training offer in the field of songwriting. The Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ) offers you a multitude of training courses to perfect your knowledge.

SPACQ is offering several new, interesting training sessions for songwriters, presented by expert trainers, who’ll share their experience and passion for creating music.

While some of the workshops offered in the fall are already full, there are still spaces available for the following workshops, but you should hurry:

– Musique à l’image – Savoir éviter les pièges avec Lucie Bourgouin
Atelier hip-hop d’écriture créative avec Webster
– Écrire pour l’autre: la mission du parolier avec Nelson Minville
Musique à l’image – Apprivoiser la création d’une trame sonore avec Jean-Olivier Bégin
Réalisation: musique électronique vs chansons avec Poirier

Happy learning to all!