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Business News (more headlines) 05-12-2014

SOCAN, CSI Strike Licensing Deal With Google Play For Canada's Music Creators

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Canada's leading organizations for the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers, SOCAN and CMRRA-SODRAC Inc. (CSI) have completed a licensing agreement that clears a path to compensation for their more than 120,000 members and clients whose creative works are used in Google Play Music, which Google announced is now available in Canada. This includes a music locker, a cloud-based store for purchasing music and a streaming music subscription service.

The organizations had been negotiating for several months to establish initial licensing terms and conditions for the music streaming, music purchase, and cloud locker service that would enable its availability in Canada. SOCAN and CSI now look to build upon the success of the initial agreement as music rights holders increasingly depend on fair compensation for streaming music for their livelihood.

SOCAN is pleased that we have reached an initial licensing agreement with Google for Google Play Music," said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. "Legal and ethical streaming that compensates music creators is good for everyone, and especially fans of music and users of Google Play who can feel better that songwriters, composers and music publishers are sharing in the revenues from Canadian subscribers."

"This agreement with Google is an important step in ensuring that music streaming and downloading continues to gain popularity and revenues in Canada, to the benefit of music rights-holders and music fans alike," said Caroline Rioux, president of Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA).

"This agreement illustrates the benefits of working together to ensuring that music creators are remunerated: music fans, new digital music services like Google Play as well as the members we represent, regardless of size, all stand to benefit from these collective efforts," said Alain Lauzon, general manager, Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada (SODRAC).

On behalf of its member songwriters, composers and music publishers, SOCAN looks after public performances of live and recorded music. CSI licenses the rights for the reproduction of music in the joint repertoire of CMRRA and SODRAC, providing a convenient one-stop licensing shop to access a worldwide music repertoire for use in Canada. These collaborative licensing agreements are designed to benefit music rights holders and music users alike, so that music can be used and enjoyed legally and ethically, and the creators compensated fairly.

"We are excited that as a result of the unprecedented joint licensing agreements with SOCAN, CMRRA and SODRAC we are now able to bring Google Play Music to Canada. Now Canadians can enjoy great music on all their devices from our comprehensive music service which offers free cloud storage for their personal collection, a streaming subscription service with 25-million songs, and a store to buy individual tracks and albums," said Sami Valkonen, director of International Music Partnerships, Google Play.

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