SOCAN is a Canadian organization formed for the purpose of giving commercial effect to the requirements of the Copyright Act that, whenever there is a public performance, royalties must be paid to the artists who wrote the music.
Although we support the general objectives of SOCAN, we refuse to participate in its royalty scheme, as implemented. We believe its model of tariff calculation is incompatible with our gift economy project and simply does not apply to our events. We are not attempting to avoid royalty obligations; we have no such obligations vis-a-vis SOCAN. We have explained all this forthrightly to SOCAN.
In the circumstances, we believe it would be unethical for performers to claim SOCAN royalties for performances in our space unless they are self-registered. Indeed, we advocate self-registration for musicians. It provides them with maximum benefit and effectuates the intent of the Copyright Act with far greater fidelity than SOCAN’s venue tariff structure.