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SOCAN Fees - ATTN Musicians!


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G'day all,

I had an interesting experience on Friday night after performing at the Rivoli in Toronto.

Following the show, the bartender asked me if I was registered with SOCAN. I let him know that indeed I was, however, I was unsure about the other performers. Then he told me that the bar is asking the bands to pay the SOCAN licensing fees, to which I responded flatly, "no!".

SOCAN charges establishments a fee in order to distribute royalties to artists. This fee is dependent on the seating capacities, the turnout, and many other variables and is THE VENUE'S RESPONSIBILITY. After speaking with a number of SOCAN reps, I have learned that it is not SOCAN's concern how the fee is paid, merely that it gets paid.

So, perhaps the Rivoli is pioneering a new method of "pay to play" in Toronto, asking the artists to pay the organization that pays the artists. Perhaps it was just this particular bartender looking to make a few extra bucks on the side.

Whatever the case, as a performer and composer, I feel that this was completely inappropriate. I urge any other musicians out there to refuse to absorb this fee on behalf of the venues you perform in.

I am still awaiting a return call from the downtown Toronto SOCAN representative for further info, but if anyone out there knows something more about this, please pitch in!

Musicians already have quite a struggle trying to be fairly compensated for their hard work. Let's put a stop to this madness before other venue's decide to try this out too!



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you need to have a socan clause in your contract or else other bars might screw you if you're not careful.

the socan fees are for the artists, so artists do not pay them...but if your'e registered under socan you'll get an extra fee at the end of the year for playing clubs, and if you have a recording on the radio you'll get royalties for airplay assuming the stations accurately log.

have it all in writing.

there's no reason for bands to not have contracts - well that is of course if they're not serious about being professionals.

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