Do You Need a SOCAN License for Playing Music in Your Business?

If you have music playing in your place of business, then you might need to have a SOCAN music license.  This is true even if you just play CDs in your local store, or if you hire a private band to come in and play music from time to time.  Take a closer look and learn more about SOCAN.

What is SOCAN?

SOCAN is the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers.  It is a nonprofit organization that helps to ensure that the rights of music performers remain intact.  They use licensing to ensure that businesses are able to use music ethically without breaking any laws.  They use the fees they get from the licenses to distribute to musicians to help ensure that they are paid for their music that you are using.

You might wonder why it is important to pay these fees when performers are already getting paid for their music.  The performance side of music and the creation side of music are completely different.  The creators and the performers should be paid for their work.

How does a SOCAN license work?

SOCAN licenses have fees that are set forth by the Copyright Board of Canada.  This is an independent body that is appointed by the Canadian government.

These fees are given to songwriters, lyricists, publishers and composers.

Sometimes, you might find that you need more than one type of SOCAN license.  This will depend a lot on how you will be using the music.  If you use music while customers are on hold on the phone, then you will require a particular license.  The same goes for playing music in your place of business.

If you are unsure what you need, you will want to use the SOCAN license finder to find the type of license that you will need for your specific purposes.  You can also use their fee calculator to determine how much you will have to pay for your license.

If you don’t have a SOCAN license, you might find yourself in trouble for copyright infringement.  The company can take legal action against you.  This is true even if you are not using Canadian music.  Make sure that you are in compliance and have all of the licenses that you need.