SOCAN Working to Make Sure Payments to Members Aren't Disrupted During Pandemic Response

Canadian Musician reached out today to SOCAN to ask what it is doing for its songwriter, publisher, and composer members during this unprecedented distribution in the music industry brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the performing rights organization says it’s currently considering a number of options.

“SOCAN is considering numerous options. The first order of business has been to ensure that our operations are running well, which they are. With almost the entire staff of more than 270 teleworking so that we can deliver the March reproduction rights distribution – now complete – and deliver the May performing rights distribution, which is on track, and those that follow if the crisis continues. These distributions are even more important now to our members,” says SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste in response to Canadian Musician.

SOCAN says it’s actively working with all levels of government to make sure that music publishers and music creators benefit from the general economic relief packages being put forward by the federal and provincial governments.

“Government decisions are hitting the music business like many other industries, and the same approach should be followed. This is on a scale that requires government intervention. So far, we are optimistic that the governments we have talked to, federal and some provinces, understand,” says Baptiste.

Baptiste also says SOCAN is reviewing how else to support its members and that it will adjust its approach to circumstances once the full impact of the public health measures on the music industry are clearer.

Baptiste also said to expect SOCAN Foundation Executive Director Charlie Wall-Andrews to announce newdevelopments from her organization that are designed to assist working music creators.

“SOCAN is in close contact with peer music rights organizations around the world. Most are approaching this in much the same way that we are, with a focus on continuing operations first, since that is the most important thing we can provide to our members, as well as ensuring that governments remember the music sector,” Baptiste said in closing.

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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