An education campaign created in the U.S. to inform creators on the growing practice of copyright buyouts is being extended globally with a new online resource, Your Music Your Future International. The global education site explains creators’ remuneration options,  and the ramifications of accepting buyouts for their work.

Composers and songwriters for film, television and other audio-visual media have depended for more than a century on a “typical deal” which allows them to collect royalty income in exchange for granting their copyrights to broadcasters, digital streaming services, and other users of their works.

Today, across the globe, that 100-year precedent is increasingly being challenged by companies who insist that composers accept buyouts of their rights (including performing rights) as a condition of being employed or commissioned for a project. In this scenario, composers are expected to create music in exchange for a one-time fee, instead of receiving continuing income for their work.

The new website covers topics including the options of royalties vs. buyouts, the typical use of buyout clauses in contracts, and the different laws governing buyouts internationally. The initiative is also supported by CIAM, the International Council of Music Creators.

CISAC President, ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus says, “In the post-COVID world, the issue of copyright buyouts matters more to creators than ever before. Artists, composers, and authors have to be aware of their rights, understand their options, and make informed choices on the way they’re paid. Their future livelihoods depend on it.”

On Feb. 19, 2021, multi-platinum, award-winning country singer-songwriter Tim Hicks releases his single, “The Good, The Bad and The Pretty,” co-written with Deric Ruttan and Derek Hoffman during a Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA)/SOCAN Song Camp held in January of 2020.

Hicks’ first No. 1 hit, “What a Song Should Do,” was licensed to the NHL for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and was chosen as the goal song for Team Canada during the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Hicks has earned four JUNO Award nominations; won three CCMA Awards; achieved three Platinum-selling singles, nine Gold singles, one Gold album and no less than 18 Top Ten radio hits; and garnered 87 million collective streams, and multiple sold-out headlining dates on tour.

Since “The Good, The Bad and The Pretty” is his first song released in eight months, we sat down with him for a brief chat about it.


You may have been reading lately about the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) that launched on Jan. 1,  2021. Provided you’re a client of SOCAN for reproduction rights, and have granted us the right to collect in the U.S on your behalf, SOCAN has you covered.

The MLC was created to issue mechanical (also known as reproduction) licenses to eligible streaming and download services in the United States, and to distribute those royalties to stakeholders, like SOCAN, on behalf of their reproduction rights clients.  The MLC will be processing trillions of pieces of data, including data associated with significant monies in unclaimed royalties from performances that could not be matched previously to the correct rights holders. The centralized database is designed to make efficient matching and distribution of current and future royalties a reality.

SOCAN has been collecting international reproduction royalties for a long time through agencies such as Harry Fox Agency and MRI and has now added the MLC as a partner. If you’re a SOCAN reproduction rights client, we already have your data and are working closely with the MLC to ensure the smooth transition of your works information into their systems.

We’re excited by the new relationship with the MLC to get you the mechanical rights royalties you’ve earned. It will take time for the MLC to ingest all the data. They expect to process their first distribution in the second quarter of 2021.

It’s important that all music creators’ works are represented in the MLC database accurately and thoroughly so that they can receive all the money that they’ve earned, or will earn, in the U.S. from reproductions of their music. Provided you’re a client of SOCAN for reproduction rights and have granted SOCAN the right to collect in the U.S on your behalf, you’re covered.

What more can you do as a SOCAN member? 

  1. Make sure you’re a SOCAN Reproduction Rights client. If you’re a publisher or a self-published writer, and you aren’t yet a SOCAN reproduction rights client, contact us at to see if your catalogue, or part of your catalogue, is eligible for representation by SOCAN. **Important SOCAN can only represent you for works for which you are the copyright owner, whether in part or wholly-owned.
  2. Ensure all of your works are registered and up-to-date in SOCAN’s system here. If any of your works are missing or if you need access credentials, contact
  3. Check that you’ve granted SOCAN a license to collect your reproduction rights in the United States. If you’re not sure, or would like more information, or have any questions ,contact us at