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General Information Concerning SOCAN and RE:SOUND Fees

Faculty, staff or a person acting under the authority of York University are allowed under the Copyright Act to play a sound recording or live radio broadcasts in class as long as it is for educational or training purposes, not for profit, on York University premises and before an audience consisting primarily of students, faculty or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for York. However, if you want to use music for non-educational purposes, for example, for background music at a conference or in an athletic facility, a licence must be obtained from the copyright collectives SOCAN and Re:Sound.

What is SOCAN?  The Society of Authors Composers and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) administers the performing rights of more than 100,000 composer, author and music publisher members by licensing the use of their music in Canada.

What is Re:Sound?  Re:Sound is a Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company that collects and distributes royalties for artists and record companies when recorded music is played publicly.

What is the difference between SOCAN and Re:Sound?  SOCAN and Re:Sound are both Canadian music collectives. SOCAN represents composers and music publishers while Re:Sound represents artists and record companies.

How do I know if payments should be made to SOCAN?  When music is played publicly in a business or academic institution you may be required to make payments to SOCAN, Re:Sound, or both organizations. You can find out more about SOCAN licence fees here.

How do I know if payments should be made to Re:Sound?  If your unit uses background recorded music in public, or recorded music to accompany an event such as a reception, wedding, social, dance, fitness class, skating, ice show, convention, festival, fashion show, karaoke, parade or fair, a licence from Re:Sound is required. You can find out more about licence fees here.

If you need more information on either SOCAN or Re:Sound please contact us at