Not-for-profit organization SOCAN made its first of a two-day appearance before the Supreme Court of Canada representing the interests of its members, Canadian music creators and publishers. This is the latest in three copyright cases related to the use of music on the internet by large telecommunications and broadcasting corporations.
SOCAN will appear before Canada’s highest court on behalf of the more than three million music creators and publishers it represents in Canada to support the decision made by the Copyright Board of Canada and confirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal to licence the use of music on the internet by several of these multi-billion dollar corporations, including Rogers, Bell, Telus, Apple, and Shaw.
“We have a situation right now in which businesses that are making large profits from the use of copyright-protected music on the internet don’t want to compensate the creators of that music,” said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. “In an earlier appeal, the Copyright Board and the Federal Court of Appeal confirmed the right to fair remuneration to music creators and publishers for such internet uses, and it is our hope that the Supreme Court will do the same.”
In Canada, much like across the world, composers, lyricists, songwriters, and publishers earn much of their living through royalties collected by music copyright collectives, such as SOCAN, in the form of licence fees paid by businesses in Canada that use music as part of their operations. The current case before the Supreme Court addresses the use of music online in the form of downloads and musical previews, as well as the use of music in online games. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected to be delivered in 2012.