Information about SOCAN and Re:Sound Fees at UBC

  1. Summary
  2. SOCAN Tariffs
  3. Re:Sound Tariffs
  4. Possible Exemptions
  5. Administration of SOCAN and Re:Sound Fees by UBC
  6. Further Help

Summary

The Copyright Act allows you to play a sound recording or live radio broadcasts in class as long as it is for educational or training purposes, not for profit, on UBC premises and before an audience consisting primarily of students, faculty or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for UBC. However, if you want to use music for non-educational purposes, for example, for background music at a conference or in an athletic facility, a licence must be obtained from the copyright collective SOCAN.

UBC is required to pay SOCAN tariffs when it rents out its facilities (e.g. rooms, gardens, halls, etc.) for events that play music.  If recorded music is played at these events, the organizations are also required to pay Re:Sound tariffs. The cost of such SOCAN and/or Re:Sound fees can be passed onto the renter of the premises.  This document provides some general information about SOCAN and Re:Sound fees and potential applicability of these fees to UBC facilities.

SOCAN Tariffs

SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) requires users of music to obtain a SOCAN licence to perform, or authorize others to perform, copyright music in public.  Depending on the category a music user falls under, if at all, license fee may be payable on a per-event or annual basis.  SOCAN currently monitors and imposes 49 different Tariffs, which have been approved by the Copyright Board of Canada.

The relevant tariff for the purposes of UBC facility rentals for weddings, events, meeting and conventions, is Tariff 8 – Receptions, Conventions, Assemblies and Fashion Shows.  This is a per-event fee and ranges from $20.56 to $87.40 (without dancing) and $41.13 to $174.79 (with dancing), based on room capacity (seating and standing) as follows:

Room Capacity
(Seating and Standing)

Fee Per Event

Without Dancing

With Dancing

1-100

$20.56

$41.13

101-300

$29.56

$59.17

301-500

$61.69

$123.38

>500

$87.40

$174.79

As stated on the SOCAN website and on its forms, the Room Capacity number to use should be the capacity authorized under the establishment’s liquor license or other document issued by a competent authority for that type of establishment (e.g. pursuant to fire & safety regulations).

There may be other SOCAN Tariffs that may be applicable to UBC facilities and related organizations or establishments depending on the way the music will be performed, for example:

Tariff 15A – Background Music: Annual fee: $1.23/m2 or 11.46¢ /ft2; 1/2 the annual rate for establishments operating less than six months per year. In all cases, minimum fee of $94.51.

Tariff 21 – Recreational Facilities Operated by a Municipality, School, College, University, Agricultural Society or Similar Community Organizations: Annual fee: $185.07 for each facility, if the total revenue does not exceed $15,422.88.

Re:Sound Tariffs

Re:Sound (Re:Sound Music Licensing Company, formerly known as the Neighbouring Rights Collective of Canada) is a Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights. While SOCAN collects fees on behalf of composers, authors and music publishers, Re:Sound collects fees on behalf of the rights owners of the sound recordings.

Re:Sound currently monitors and imposes 8 different tariffs, which have been approved by the Copyright Board of Canada. The relevant Re:Sound tariff for the purposes of UBC facility rentals for receptions (including weddings), conventions, video game events, assemblies and fashions shows is Tariff No. 5B – Receptions, Conventions, Assemblies and Fashion Shows. This is a per-event and per-day fee and ranges from $9.25 to $39.33 (without dancing) and $18.51 to $78.66 (with dancing), based on room capacity (seating and standing) as follows:

Room Capacity
(Seating and Standing)

Fee Per Event

Without Dancing

With Dancing

1-100

$9.25

$18.51

101-300

$13.30

$26.63

301-500

$27.76

$55.52

>500

$39.33

$78.66

Similar to the SOCAN tariffs, there may be other Re:Sound tariffs applicable to UBC facilities and related organizations or establishments depending on the way the music will be performed, for example:

Tariff No. 3 – Background Music: fee per attendee if can be estimated or determined after the event, otherwise, the fee is determined per square meter of the accessible area at the event.

Tariff No. 5.D – Festivals, Exhibitions and Fairs: fee per event is dependent on number of attendees and ranges from $8.39 to $42.05 (up to 75,000 persons; anything above 75,000, there’s a variable per-attendee fee).

Tariff 6.B – Use of Recorded Music to Accompany Physical Activities: Various annual or per admissions fee charged depending on the activity (e.g. fitness, skating, dance instruction, etc.).

If only live music (and not recorded music) is being played at the event in question, then Re:Sound tariffs would not be applicable.

Possible Exemptions

Educational institutions are not generally exempt from the tariffs imposed by SOCAN or Re:Sound. There are some limited exceptions that may apply to educational institutions, as described below.

The following performances (provided that they are not based on, or use, an infringing copy of the work) are allowed by educational institutions and persons acting under the authority of an educational institution, if performed on UBC premises for educational or training purposes and not for profit, before an audience consisting primarily of students, faculty or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for UBC:

  • the live performance in public, primarily by UBC students, of a work;
  • the performance in public of a sound recording of a work or performer’s performance that is embodied in a sound recording (e.g. playing music in a classroom setting);
  • the performance in public of a work at the time of its communication to the public by telecommunication and/or
  • the performance in public of a cinematographic work.

Also, pursuant to Section 69(2) of the current Copyright Act, if you have radio playing from a traditional radio receiving set, in any place other than a theatre for which admission is paid, you do not need to pay an additional tariff (as the radio station has paid SOCAN under SOCAN Tariff 1A or 1B and has paid Re:Sound under Re:Sound Tariff No. 1.A):

“Radio performances in places other than theatres

69(2) In respect of public performances by means of any radio receiving set in any place other than a theatre that is ordinarily and regularly used for entertainments to which an admission charge is made, no royalties shall be collectable from the owner or user of the radio receiving set, but the Board shall, in so far as possible, provide for the collection in advance from radio broadcasting stations of royalties appropriate to the conditions produced by the provisions of this subsection and shall fix the amount of the same.”

The exception under Section 69(2) is limited to traditional radio sets, and does not extend to internet radio. Therefore, if UBC hosts an event that is subject to a SOCAN and/or Re:Sound tariff(s) at which it plays internet radio, the SOCAN and/or Re:Sound fees would still apply.

There may also be exceptions for playing music at some types of charitable or religious events but specific conditions need to be met. These exemptions are set out in Section 32.2 and 32.3 of the current Copyright Act, which states:

32.2
(3) No religious organization or institution, educational institution and no charitable or fraternal organization shall be held liable to pay any compensation for doing any of the following acts in furtherance of a religious, educational or charitable object:

(a) the live performance in public of a musical work;
(b) the performance in public of a sound recording embodying a musical work or a performer’s performance of a musical work; or
(c) the performance in public of a communication signal carrying

(i) the live performance in public of a musical work, or
(ii) a sound recording embodying a musical work or a performer’s performance of a musical work.

INTERPRETATION
32.3 For the purposes of sections 29 to 32.2, an act that does not infringe copyright does not give rise to a right to remuneration conferred by section 19.”

Specifically, Section 19 of the current Copyright Act discusses right to equitable remuneration for sound recording performed in or communicated to the public by way of royalties or license fees paid (e.g. those administered by SOCAN or Re:Sound).

Therefore, playing music at a charitable event can be exempt from SOCAN or Re:Sound tariffs if the organization performing the music is a charitable organization and the performance furthers a charitable object. However, the performance of a musical work at a benefit where all profits go to charity does not necessarily constitute a performance in furtherance of a charitable object. There must be a closer link between the performance and the charitable object of the organization – they must be directly connected, or the performance must be incidental to the object. Some examples are performing music as part of a church service, an educational meeting with musical interpolations, and accompanying music of an orchestra at a Christmas dinner given to the poor.

Administration of SOCAN and Re:Sound Fees by UBC

UBC can pass the SOCAN and/or Re:Sound fees to the renter/users of the facilities by adding the SOCAN and Re:Sound fees to the final rental rate calculation, but UBC retains the responsibility to pay such fees to SOCAN and/or Re:Sound, as the case may be.  Within UBC facility rental forms, UBC should ask questions such as whether the event will include music, what the source of music is (e.g. live music, recorded music, radio music) and whether dancing is involved, so UBC can determine what the SOCAN and/or Re:Sound fees will be, and also include checkmarks for which facility or room is being rented, so that UBC can determine room capacity.

Further Help

If you have further information or questions relating to SOCAN and/or Re:Sound, please contact copyright.services@ubc.ca.