$2 million shortfall: Creators resist SOCAN

A $2 million shortfall of unpaid music creators and publishers in Quebec has prompted a music rights management firm to file a class-action lawsuit against SOCAN.

According to David Murphy et Cie, which intends to take the Society of Composers, Composers and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) before the courts, creators and publishers, collectively, have suffered a shortfall of 45% of the radio revenue distributed by Sokan. An unfair royalty distribution methodology, applied between 2019 and 2021, will be moot.

In other words, for the $1 paid by Quebec radio stations to SOCAN, the latter gave a total of $0.55 to the creators of works broadcast in Quebec, according to the royalty distribution method in place prior to November 2021,” said David Murphy.

SOCAN has since corrected its methodology for distributing royalties to works broadcast on radio, but it still fails to compensate creators and publishers. According to Mr. Murphy, SOCAN would have rejected the creators’ arbitration proposal, would not provide satisfactory answers and would not have been proactive on file.

An external analysis by the economists Clarice Thomas and François Delorme, who are associated with the head of the tax department at the University of Sherbrooke, showed that the hypotheses put forward by David Murphy and Co. regarding the deficit are reliable and well-founded.

SOCAN is the only public music group that collects royalties from radio stations in Canada.

We are still awaiting a response from SOCAN at the time of publication.

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