The video recording of a live show comes with a few unavoidable obligations when it comes to obtaining permission from music right holders. The same applies to the release of the rights to the songs or compositions being recorded. Recently, APEM (Association des professionnels de l’édition musicale) published condensed instructions to help you find your way. With APEM’s permission, a text and a graphic explaining how to record and broadcast a live show are reproduced below.

When a show is being recorded, the person who’s financing the recording wears the hat of audiovisual producer, and he or she must obtain the permission of the work’s rights owners, and the release of the rights involved.

Identifying rights holders
The producer must contact the music publishers, or the songwriters themselves if they don’t have a publisher. It’s important to remember that performers aren’t necessarily the creators of the works they perform, and that, even if they actually are, they may have co-writers. To identify right holders, please view the public repertoire of SOCAN or CMRRA.

Music rights
APEM, Video Recordings, How-To

A variety of music rights are involved when a show is being recorded. There are public performing and reproduction rights, but also first fixation rights, commonly known as synchronization rights.

For synchronization (or “sync”) rights, the producer must secure a formal license for the use of the music work. Licenses are only valid for the contexts, territories, and extents, and durations that are explicitly agreed with rights holders.

Rates vary according to a variety of factors, including the context, the territory, the extent and duration of the use, as well as the notoriety of the song or composition, of the songwriter and of the work’s performer, etc. If at first you’re not sure of all the uses that will be made of your audiovisual content, just negotiate a base rate for the anticipated uses, and separate rates for the various possible use options.

Download instructions (in French only) to help you make a better synchronization request for a use in an audiovisual context.

Complete instructions on the process.


Are you trying to find out who the rights holders are for a song or composition? Or who the publisher is? Maybe you want to use it in TV show or commercial, or use a sample, and want to check if it’s registered with SOCAN?

The answers to those and similar questions can be found in our SOCAN Repertoire Search.

The repertoire search is public, open to anyone looking for information about any song that’s registered with SOCAN. Recent enhancements to the search mean a better user experience through expanded search functionality, more detailed information, and by providing an option for rights holders to share contact information.

You can easily search by entering the title of the song or composition, the name of any of its co-writers or music publishers, or by the work identifier number.

Once you’ve entered search information, the results will be more interactive, allowing searchers to click on the names of the writers, publishers, or titles, in order to find out more. Music publishers, especially those with extensive catalogues, will benefit from a greater ability to zero in the information they require.

The SOCAN repertoire is a valuable tool for the music industry; a source of music for commercials, television programs, and movies; and when a performer wants to cover a song, or use a sample in a new song, it provides necessary information.

The enhanced SOCAN repertoire offers its music publisher, composer, and songwriter members the opportunity to provide important information in the new “My Repertoire Contact” section in their SOCAN online accounts. When you, or your publisher, complete your repertoire contact information, you’re providing music supervisors, production companies, other music users, fellow SOCAN members, and the public an easy way to contact you, or your company, about your songs or compositions.

Check out our SOCAN Repertoire Search today!

On Aug. 11, 2023, Manifesto presented The Block Party, at Toronto’s Echo Beach, in honour and celebration of the 50th Anniversary of hip-hop. More than 15 acts performed across two stages, including a set by 30-year-career rapper Saukrates, who surprised the crowd by bringing out members of the Circle – Solitair, Choclair, and Jully Black – to join him. In her set, Keysha Freshh also stunned the audience with Haviah Mighty, Lex Leosis, and Phoenix Pagliacci, for a reunion of The Sorority – playing together again live for the first time since they broke up in 2019. The night also included powerful performances from Temia, DJ 4Korners, Vince the Messenger, Clairmont the Second, No Tourists, Sadboi, and Skiifall, and Aminé closed the night with an incendiary set. On Aug 8, as part of Manifesto 2023, SOCAN presented an educational “Cooking Beats” session with OG Parker, moderated by SOCAN Creative Executive Lord Quest. Check out our photos below.