SOCAN has achieved an exclusive reproduction rights settlement with CBC that provides royalties to our clients for copies of their music made and used by the organization’s platforms. SOCAN reproduction rights clients have already benefitted from substantial royalties distributed for past uses, and will see additional royalties distributed on an ongoing basis.

The deal follows the 2020 decision by the Copyright Board of Canada for $1.5-million, further confirming the value of the right, and ensuring music creators and publishers are fairly compensated for reproductions of their work as “post-synchronization copies” made on all digital and broadcast platforms.

A “post-synchronization copy” occurs when a broadcaster uploads original video content containing copyright music to a digital content management system to make copies for internal use.

For example, video containing music is first received by a broadcaster as the original file. It is then copied as part of their broadcasting operations, to facilitate viewing on different digital or broadcast platforms, or for use in different regions.  The rightsholders are legally entitled to fair remuneration for any of these copies made by the broadcasters.

SOCAN is currently the only music rights organization in Canada licensing and distributing royalties on post-synchronization copies. The CBC agreement provides incremental value to reproduction rights holders, as SOCAN continues negotiations with other Canadian broadcasters that require the license.

The CBC agreement covers 2012-18, and extends to 2022. It follows a 2020 decision by the Copyright Board of Canada that awarded SOCAN clients $1.5 million, covering 2008-12.

“The new SOCAN post-synchronization copy agreement further illustrates SOCAN’s commitment to seeking out and demanding fair compensation for music creators,” said Martin Lavallée, Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Reproduction Rights at SOCAN. “After successfully advocating for the long-overlooked music use, SOCAN reproduction rights clients will reap the monetary rewards going forward.”

Recognizing the valuable work done between SOCAN and CBC on post-synchronization copy negotiations, CBC confirmed the same agreement would also be applied to CBC-owned ARTV. resolving an ongoing litigation concerning this channel.

Under the terms of the settlement agreements, financial details cannot be disclosed.

Compensation for this type of music use will evolve over time, as SOCAN continues to advocate for fair compensation for the work of its members. SOCAN has proposed a post-synchronization tariff to the Copyright Board of Canada which has not yet been certified. Without a certified tariff, SOCAN works with broadcasters to create licensing agreements that provide both fair value to the user and fair  compensation to the rightsholders.

SOCAN clients are already benefitting from agreements for television post-synchronization copies with Quebec-based broadcasters, and several English-speaking Bell and Corus channels.