SOCAN Takes XM Canada To Court For Non Payment Of Royalties
SOCAN (The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) today launched legal proceedings against satellite radio service XM Canada for non-payment of copyright royalties.
Despite the Copyright Board of Canada's approval of the performing right royalties to be paid by satellite radio services, XM Canada has failed to pay the required fees to SOCAN. The royalties, which cover the use of music by XM Canada and its competitor SIRIUS Satellite Radio, for the period beginning January 2005, were approved by the Copyright Board in April 2009 and were due to be paid by the services no later than July 31, 2009, and on a monthly basis going forward. Pursuant to the applicable tariff, XM Canada is required to pay SOCAN 4.26 percent of its service revenues. XM's failure to pay the royalties in accordance with the tariff has left SOCAN with no alternative but to claim payment of all royalties past due and, if necessary, to seek an injunction preventing XM from broadcasting music in the event that it remains in breach of its payment obligations.
"SOCAN finds XM's position untenable, particularly in light of the fact that satellite radio service operators knew of their requirement to pay SOCAN royalties well before they began operations in 2005, and after a lengthy Copyright Board hearing that took place in December 2007," says C. Paul Spurgeon, SOCAN's vice president Legal Services and general counsel. "XM's failure to pay the royalties, which are significant, deprives composers, lyricists, songwriters and music publishers from Canada and around the world of the compensation they deserve and to which they are entitled, for the use of the music they create and administer, particularly in the context of commercial undertakings that rely heavily on music for generating their own revenues. XM's nonpayment is also unfair to its competitors in the market."