Know your rights

A song becomes valuable the moment it’s created. If you write, create, compose or publish music and it’s used in any way, SOCAN can help you collect royalties for that work.
  • When your music is used including on TV, radio, streaming services, performed live or used as background music – or – when it is copied or reproduced on streaming services, as downloads, or on CD and vinyl records, royalties are owed to you.

     

    SOCAN has a team working for you that is uniquely equipped to collect and distribute the performance and reproduction royalties you have rightfully earned when your music is heard around the world.

     

    SOCAN works closely with music publishers, and if you have a publisher, we encourage you to have these very important rights conversations with them as they can provide additional insight, clarity, and value to your career.

Learn More about Rights Management
Arkells

Member Portal

When you sign up with SOCAN, you receive access to the SOCAN Member Portals and personal member accounts. It’s important to safeguard this access by not sharing your credentials. If you want to provide access to business managers or other professionals on your team, we can help coordinate their unique access. Within your account, you can:
  • View earnings e-statements
  • Register and modify works
  • Submit live performances
  • Update profile and banking information
  • Access 24/7 from any device

Music

Creative Services

The SOCAN Creative team supports the careers of our songwriter, screen composer and music publisher members across Canada and in major US music markets. They provide creative and business opportunities by supporting their craft development, providing information and education, and by providing networking opportunities to engage with fellow creators, music publishers and music business professionals.

With creative offices in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Los Angeles, they are focused on creating a community for our members and go to great lengths to connect with members and encourage their growth.

The SOCAN Creative team is the embodiment of the brand: Music.People.Connected.

Learn more
Marie-Mai

FAQ

  • Concert Performances
  • Copyright
  • Membership
  • Royalties
How am I paid for my live-music performances?
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To receive concert royalties, you must complete and submit a Notification of Live Performance (NLMP) form, along with proof of your performance (e.g., a ticket stub, program book, contract, etc.). SOCAN Members have up to one year from the date of the performance to submit this information to SOCAN. Once we receive the license fee payment from the promoter and/or venue, you can expect to be paid through SOCAN’s quarterly distribution.
Are there any tax implications for me if the concert occurred a few years ago and I’m being paid now?
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In Canada, you pay taxes only on income received in that time-period.
Where should I submit my set list/concert notification?
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There are a number of ways to do that, and SOCAN is here to help. Log into your account and check the Unidentified Concerts List. If you find a concert you’ve played that’s been filed with SOCAN but doesn’t have a set list, follow the steps to provide your set list in order to get paid. If you have “no shows” on the Unidentified Concerts List but have played a show within the past year, that you want to get paid for, visit our Creators’ Toolbox page to access and complete the “Notification of Live Music Performance” form. For more information, review our Concerts 101 document in the Creators’ Toolbox.
How long do I have to submit a concert?
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The sooner we can identify what was performed, the sooner we can get the royalties to the right people. But we will not distribute or release any funds until we know where they should rightfully go. You have one year to report a new show you performed if it's not on the Unidentified Concerts List. Once we know the titles of the music that was performed at the concert, the rights holders will receive their deserved shares of royalties for any performance of their music at any licensed event. The Unidentified Concerts List covers performances up to three years old.
What is a performing right?
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A performing right is the right to perform musical works in public or communicate them to the public by telecommunication. SOCAN members have assigned this right to SOCAN to administer (i.e., license and distribute royalties) and enforce on their behalf. Tariffs for performing rights are set by the Copyright Board of Canada.
How do I copyright my work?
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Copyright is inherent upon the creation of a musical work.
How long does a copyright last?
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In Canada, copyright generally lasts for 50 years after the author (or the last surviving author) dies. However, there are exceptions. Copyright laws are different in other countries and the term of copyright may vary.
How do I obtain permission to record a song?
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Anyone wishing to copy a song must first seek the permission of the copyright owner(s) by obtaining some mechanical or reproduction rights license.
How do I obtain permission to arrange or adapt a song?
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If you wish to arrange or adapt an original copyright-protected musical work, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder of that work.
How do I obtain permission to sample a song?
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Using any samples without permission of the original copyright owner may constitute copyright infringement. In that case, both the copyright owner of the recording of the song or composition, and the copyright owner of the song or composition itself, must grant permission.
What if I’m a member but my co-writer is not?
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You can register the song, indicating the division of ownership shares, and we’ll distribute your portion to you. Your co-writer will, unfortunately, not collect until they join SOCAN or an affiliated international performing rights society.
How does SOCAN pay its composer and publisher members?
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SOCAN collects license fees from businesses that use music in Canada. Revenues are also received from SOCAN’s international peers for the use of its members’ works around the world. All the royalties that we collect – less our operating costs – are passed on to our members and affiliated societies.
What does a music publisher do?
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The music publisher is the business partner in a musical composition. A good music publisher has the knowledge and contacts to promote a song or composition. Typically, a publisher enters into an agreement with the songwriter, whereby the songwriter assigns partial ownership and control of their songs to the publisher, in exchange for a percentage of the income derived from the exploitation of them. A reputable publisher never charges a fee for his/her service.
Does my membership with SOCAN expire?
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Your membership will be renewed every two years automatically, unless you notify us in accordance with your agreement in writing that you wish to terminate your SOCAN membership.
How much does it cost to become a member of SOCAN?
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There is no cost to become a SOCAN member.
How often are performing royalty payments made?
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SOCAN makes royalty payments of $0.25 or more to its members on a quarterly basis, beginning February 15 of each calendar year. Members earning less than $500 per distribution quarter will only be paid through direct deposit into their accounts. Members who earn more than $500 in a quarter have the option of receiving their earnings by direct deposit or cheque.
How are royalties divided among co-writers, band members, producers and others?
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Tell us how you want the royalties allocated, and we’ll make sure the royalties are sent in the percentages you’ve agreed to.
Does SOCAN issue advance royalty payments to members?
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Yes. SOCAN does offer advances to qualifying members upon request. Advances are based on a consideration of a member’s past earning history, and the confirmation of any significant amount of money expected to be earned in the very near future.
How do I know where my music was played?
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Your quarterly distribution statement includes information about the source of any domestic radio, television, internet, internet audio-visual, YouTube, and live (concert) music performance royalties as well as any international performance royalties.
Does SOCAN charge a processing fee on incoming international royalties?
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No processing fees are charged on incoming money received from international societies.
Do I pay GST / HST on my royalties?
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SOCAN members do not pay GST/HST on their SOCAN royalties. SOCAN collects the GST/HST from the music users (licensees) and remits it directly to the government. Therefore, no GST/HST is either paid with or deducted from your quarterly royalties. SOCAN is registered under the Artist Representative (GST/HST) Regulations of the Excise Tax Act, which means it is in charge of collecting and remitting GST/HST to the government on behalf of our members. If you are questioned by Revenue Canada personnel, you should remind the representative of subsection 177(2) and the “Artists’ Representative (GST) Regulations” (SOR/91-25) of the Excise Tax Act. If you have any other tax related questions, we recommend that you consult an accountant.
Savannah Ré

Benefits

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Berklee Online Education
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Music Books Plus
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GC Partners: Exchange rate services for the music industry
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Got Questions?

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We encourage all calls and emails to our Information Centre, however, SOCAN members are always welcome to visit our offices. We only ask that you schedule an appointment in advance to ensure we’re pairing you with the right person to address your specific needs.

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