Nov 29, 2006

SOCAN sues Air Canada Centre re: music performance fees

From the Toronto Star:
A trade group wants concerts barred at the Air Canada Centre until the arena's owners start paying music industry dues.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) is suing Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. in federal court over the company's refusal to pay tariffs related to concerts staged by artists such as Placido Domingo, Kim Mitchell and rapper Lil Bow Wow.

According to Canada's Copyright Act, concert promoters are obligated to pay a tariff to SOCAN based on money generated from ticket sales. Tariffs can be as much as 3 per cent of gross ticket sales, and much of the money paid to SOCAN by promoters is then distributed to its 80,000 members, who include composers, lyricists, songwriters and music publishers who own the copyright to the music in Canada.

SOCAN is requesting an injunction barring Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment from holding concerts at the ACC but it's unclear when a judge might rule on that. The trade group's allegations have not been proven in court.

In an interview, MLSE general counsel Robin Brudner argued the company isn't a concert promoter at all, merely a venue. "All we have received has been rent," Brudner said yesterday. In the instances where the company has paid SOCAN a tariff, it's been because it was directed to do so by concert promoters. "That came out of their share," she said.
Read the full article...

(via Digital Copyright Canada)

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