SOCAN Seeks $60 Annual Podcaster Fee

Sara Bannerman reports from day one at the Copyright Board of Canada's Tariff 22 hearings (more on Tariff 22 in my recent column on webcasting) noting that SOCAN opened the proceedings by reducing proposed tariffs for amateur podcasters, community and campus radio stations, and simulcasters.  The new SOCAN proposals are:

  • for amateur podcasters whose programming is less than 20 percent music and who have no revenue, SOCAN proposed a $60 annual fee
  • they reduced their proposed $200 monthly fee for campus and community radio to a $90 monthly fee
  • they now propose that a low-use category be made available for simulcasters

The hearings run for the next couple of weeks with appearances from SOCAN, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, Apple, CRIA, and the Entertainment Software Alliance, among others. A decision on the tariff is not expected until later this year.


  1. Amazing…
    Wow…talk about a sense of entitlement.

    So I write my own podcast, record myself speaking, make no money from it, and somehow SOCAN thinks they’re entitled to a cut? Goodness, even if I make money, what business is it of theirs?

    I’m all for compensating the artist, but in this case the artist would be me, and I have to pay someone else? Yea, I don’t think so.

  2. Michael Geist says:

    No – the SOCAN fee would only be needed if you used music (20 percent or less) in your podcast.

  3. Just one of many fees
    Remember SOCAN is only responsible for _part_ of the licensing system. At the end of the day, there’s going to be a lot of fees from all the different branches — so its not like $60 bux and you’re off to the races.

  4. Ok, getting into the spirit of things– I propose that every corporate entity in Canada pay me an annual fee of $1200 for software I’ve written which they don’t use, provided they use any software at all in their operation.

  5. Alexandre Enkerli says:

    Podcasting Rights
    Do you have more details about what a podcaster paying those fees would be allowed to do? Play complete tracks from the whole CRIA catalogue as long as the podcast time is only 20% music? Does podsafe music count in the 20%? Are there restrictions on the sound quality or sample rate of the podcast? Are those rights associated with an individual podcast author or can a group of podcasters share those fees as long as they\’re hosted on the same service?

  6. Copyright licenses
    What about Creative Commons licensed music?