SODRAC and incidental copies: a long battle that pays off

One of the many battles that SODRAC is waging to gain recognition for your musical reproduction rights in the digital sector concerns “broadcast-incidental copies”. These incidental copies are used to produce programs shown on TV and on the Internet. As you know, back in 2010, CBC/Radio-Canada and the Astral Group questioned whether reproduction rights indeed exist for incidental copies.

Last fall, the Supreme Court issued a ruling confirming the validity of SODRAC’s business model, involving the requirement that compensation be paid for the production of broadcast-incidental copies − a policy we maintained since 1992. Beginning in 2014, after acquiring Astral Group’s specialty channels, Bell Media and Corus Media decided to enter into agreements with SODRAC, in line with all other Quebec broadcasters, instead of continuing with legal proceedings. We recently distributed the royalties collected under these agreements for 2009, 2010 and 2011 and will be distributing the royalties for 2012, 2013 and 2014 in December 2016.

We are pleased to announce that SODRAC and its business partners Bell Media and Corus Media recently renewed their respective agreements for three more years for reproductions of your works by Historia, Série Plus, Télétoon (English/French), La Chaîne Disney (formerly Télétoon Rétro/French), Cartoon Network (formerly Télétoon Rétro/English), VRAK, Canal D, Canal Vie and Z.

The only Copyright Board arbitration we have underway is thus with CBC/Radio-Canada, which involves a re-examination of the valuation of royalties payable by national broadcaster for incidental copies made from 2008 to 2012. An interim decision already imposed various requirements on CBC/Radio-Canada with respect to SODRAC. We are currently preparing for the re-examination hearing in June 2017.

In parallel with this process and amid ongoing negotiations, SODRAC decided to draw on the Supreme Court’s decision and to file its Tariff no. 8 with the Copyright Board focusing on reproductions of musical works by commercial TV stations. To date, SODRAC is the only organization that collects reproduction royalties from broadcasters for online programming. These initiatives attest to the great efforts that SODRAC has gone to for the recognition of your digital reproduction rights, in both audio and audiovisual sectors.

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