SOCAN Applies for Webcasting Tariffs

SOCAN Applies for Webcasting Tariffs
Thanks to the internet, it's become harder than ever for musicians to get paid for their craft. As a result, the Society of Music Authors, Composers and Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) has a new strategy to help ensure that its members get fairly compensated for the work. Yesterday (June 14), the organization filed an application to the Copyright Board of Canada for an interim tariff that will increase its abilities to license music for online use.

SOCAN is seeking the creation of two separate tariffs. Tariff 22D concerns websites that generate profit through audiovisual webcasting, while Tariff 22G involves websites that rely on user-generated content. This means the tariffs would affect sites like YouTube, Netflix, Apple, Sony, Vimeo and others such sites offering up movies and television shows that contain their music.

If the application passes, it will mean that these for-profit websites will be able to license music much like a traditional broadcast. In an official announcement, SOCAN boss Eric Baptiste said, "Like many other small businesses in Canada, music creators and publishers have suffered financial losses associated with the current economic climate, as well as uncompensated music file sharing over the past decade."

He continued, "In addition to this, compensation for the use of their works by for-profit online broadcasting services has been delayed for years. Further delays in compensation would create further undue financial difficulties for them."

These tariffs could mean that over 100,000 SOCAN members will have new opportunities to earn money from their work, which is good news for Canadian musicians. It remains to be seen what impact this would have on internet services that help to spread the word about up-and-coming artists.