SODRAC announces the distribution of the CBC’s internal production synchronization fees

After a lengthy legal debate with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which has been submitted to the Copyright Board, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, SODRAC is pleased to announce that it may finally begin to distribute the royalties collected for the 2008-2012 period from synchronization rights for the CBC’s internal productions.

Recognizing the importance and distinct value of integrating your works into audiovisual productions (commonly referred to as synchronization), we regularly issue, with the agreement of our members, synchronization licenses reflecting market prices to producers. This of course includes broadcasters such as the CBC who act as both broadcaster and producer of internal programs.

The CBC has been challenging the value of our claims since 2008, deeming it unreasonable and inaccurate, and instead arguing for a reduction of your right to mere technological reproduction that would be devoid of value. But the Federal Court of Appeal concluded that our model seeks only “to maximize the revenues of the artists it represents” 1 and the Supreme Court recognized “production and broadcasting as distinct activities, and thus as the valid subject of disaggregated licences “2.

As a result, SODRAC can now distribute synchronization royalties for our members’ works (both commissioned and pre-existing works) used in the CBC’s internal productions. This basic value is deemd competitive by the Copyright Board, who has recognized that the average rate of synchronization licenses issued by SODRAC is higher than that of licenses issued by non-member publishers.

We take this opportunity to thank our members for their trust, and we are pleased to allocate royalties rightly to them today.

1 : CBC v. SODRAC 2003 Inc., 2014 CAF 84, paragraph 16

2 : Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. SODRAC 2003 Inc., 2015 SCC 57, paragraph 63

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