November 26, 2015 17:10 ET

SODRAC's Author, Composer and Music Publisher Members Will Have to Wait Despite a Supreme Court's Decision

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 26, 2015) - The Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (SODRAC) received with both satisfaction and disappointment the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court of Canada in connection with SODRAC's dispute with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC) and its English and French-language television networks.

As a positive aspect for SODRAC's members, the Supreme Court confirmed that broadcast-incidental copies of musical works for television and Internet are indeed reproductions protected by the Copyright Act that have a specific value, contrary to what CBC was claiming. The Supreme Court also unequivocally recognized the right for SODRAC to issue synchronization licenses and to reserve the rights for the subsequent reproductions. The court even stated that SODRAC was fully justified to do so, in order to improve its members' royalties.

However, the decision is also disappointing as the case must be returned to the Copyright Board of Canada. The Board will have to determine again the value of the royalties for the broadcast-incidental copies, this time taking into account certain principles that the Supreme Court has put forward in recent judgments.

"Several aspects of this decision confirm the legitimacy of our rights and of the actions we are taking to maximize our author, composer and music publisher members' royalties," said Jehan V. Valiquet, Chairman of SODRAC. "While recognizing the rights of music creators, the Supreme Court has also define the scope of our rights in the digital realm. However, we are disappointed to have to re-initiate a long and expensive process, so that these rights can translate into royalties."


Established in 1985, SODRAC oversees the collective management of reproduction rights for authors, composers and music publishers across Canada, together with the various copyrights for creators in the visual arts and crafts fields. SODRAC facilitates the use of music and artworks in its vast repertoire across all distribution platforms.

SODRAC is a non-profit organization that plays an active role by distributing royalties collected from users to its 6,000 Canadian members and those of affiliated rights management societies, based in over 100 countries, that SODRAC represents in Canada.

Contact Information

  • Gilles Lessard
    Manager, Communications Department
    (514) 845-3268, ext. 248