SOCAN, SODRAC Consider Marriage

Canadian music rights bodies SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada) and SODRAC (Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada) are discussing the possibility of combining operations.

In a joint statement, the organizations said that any prospective merger would carry “the aim of creating an integrated approach to the management of both performing rights and reproduction rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers”.

The 'integrated approach' could result in substantial back-end operational cost reductions related to data processing and IT investments. An earlier initiative to integrate SOCAN with the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and SODRAC was abandoned after a year of discussions in 2013.

‘The integration of the management of public performance rights and reproduction rights could have many advantages and would reduce operating costs for rights holder members of each organization," a joint press release advised yesterday.

 Continuing, SODRAC and SOCAN said the integration "promises to increase efficiencies, leverage licensing relationships, and reduce operating costs, resulting in even more money to go to those who have earned royalties for their music and streamlined licensing for businesses using music."

It added: "For the time being, the talks are productive and suggest that subject to the approval of both boards, an agreement could be reached in the near future."

SOCAN claims nearly 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers amongst its direct members. SODRAC claims 9,000 Canadian authors, composers and publishers and also represents the rights of more than 600 members in visual arts and crafts and nearly 40,000 artists from around the world.

SOCAN acquired two businesses last year, B2B rights admin firm MediaNet and Audiam which specializes in metadata identification and digital platform royalty distributions.

The CMRRA declined to comment on the new round of negotiations between SOCAN and SODRAC.

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