Pro Member Interview – Kayo

Kayo - SM

Kayo (né Filbert Salton) was born and raised in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Inspired by the likes of Bob Marley, The Fugees, Kardinal Offishall, 2Pac, and Jay-Z, Kayo’s sound is a fusion of hip-hop, reggae, and R&B. 

Kayo moved to Canada to study marketing at Saint Mary’s University. While in Halifax, Kayo immersed himself into the local hip-hop scene. It was at this time that Kayo met Classified and after working together under Half Life Records & with EMI Music Canada, Kayo branched off to pursue his love for music independently. He has since released 9 projects, and most recently in April released ‘Winter in St Lucia: An Extended Play By Kayo’. 

Kayo’s music is all about creating a uniquely aggressive and penetrating sound, songs filled with substance and purpose, a little sugar with the medicine.

Below is our interview with Pro Member Kayo:
  • What inspires you to create music?

Life and experiences inspire me the most, whether my own personal experiences or the experiences of those around me. A spark for a song idea can come from anything, from having a conversation with someone, overhearing a conversation on the bus, to seeing a cool meme on instagram. I try to be a vessel and allow even the most seemingly trivial things to have value in my life through the inspiration it brings.

  • Do you have a process to your songwriting or when creating music?

My process varies. I jot down lines or phrases during the course of the day in a note on my phone called ‘Random Barz’. Some mornings I ‘free-write’. It doesn’t matter the topic, it doesn’t even matter if it rhymes. I put those in a different note called ‘Free Shmoke’. These notes are the ammo I take into my sessions. When in a session, I like to start by letting the music move me. It doesn’t have to be a fully produced beat. It can be a simple as some chords on a guitar or piano. I then freestyle and mumble different flows and melodies until I find something that moves me. I’d run a voicenote to record this process as to capture any idea that I come up with. I’d also skim through my ‘Random Barz’ and ‘Free Shmoke’ notes in hopes that something in there works or sparks more ideas. Or sometimes, I would record me freestyling over the beat about 2 or 3 times. Most of it would be jibberish but I usually get some good ideas from this process. I’d then go through those records and pick the melodies, flows or lines that I like. I’d then start cutting the parts I like and sequencing it all in the way I think sounds good. I would then take that reference track and ‘trace’ it by writing the lyrics to the jibberish.

  • How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?

I moved to Canada from St Lucia in 2008. I studied Marketing at St Mary’s University in Halifax. School was a means to an end. It was my way of moving legitimately to Canada to pursue my career in music. It was there in Halifax that I really got my start in the industry. I would perform at Open Mic at the pub on my Campus. Through that, I met Quake Matthews, and it was through the nurturing of that relationship, I eventually linked up with Classified. Class helped me take things to another level through touring with him and working on music with him through his imprint, Halflife Records.

  • How has your music evolved since you first became a recording/performing artist?

I think I have managed to find my voice. One of my greatest gifts as well as curses has always been my versatility. I think I’ve developed ways of making it all come together. My music is just a diverse and multifaceted as it was before, but there is more balance and cohesion.

Music creators unite! #CreatorsCount #ProsofSAC 

Pro Member Interview – Quake Matthews

Quake - SM

Quake Matthews is a hip-hop artist who first made a name for himself in the underground battle rap scene in his early teens. Harnessing the raw energy and competitive spirit found in that arena, he was able to transcend into the multi-layered artist he is today. His raspy voice and unfiltered emotion have given him a signature sound, creating a captivating listening experience for his audience. At the age of 28, with the knowledge of a veteran, the ambition of a rookie, and a career that has been on a steady incline, Quake shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

Here is our exclusive interview with this energetic music creator:

  • How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?

In the early 2000’s a friend of mine taught me the art of freestyle rapping. I enjoyed the fact that you had to be quick on your feet, creative and spontaneous. I worked on my craft for a couple years, then caught wind of Freestyle battles happening in clubs in my city. I was only 16 at the time, so often times I had to sneak in to these events or get special written permission from the liquor commission. I ended up winning a number of battles and my name started buzzing around the city. That led to me wanting to get into a studio and translate my battling skills to songwriting. I got hooked up with a few people that owned studios, and now I’m on my 6th album and haven’t looked back since.

  • How can S.A.C. help you?

I would definitely like to be apart of more songwriting camps. I find them very beneficial to my career. I love building relationships with new artists.

  • If the music community could do one thing better what would it be?

I can mostly only speak on the hip hop community but I’m sure what I’m about to say applies to all genres across the board. I think we have to focus on building each other up and working together more. We have to learn to pull each other up instead of trying to walk over people to get ahead. If we work together and support each other more it would push the culture forward, and evolution is key to survival.

Music creators unite! #CreatorsCount #ProsofSAC 

Pro Member Interview – Nat Jay

Nat Jay - SM post

Nat Jay took her first steps in her parents’ music school and continues to land on her feet in the world of music today. Her songs have been placed on networks around the world, including ABC, MTV, The CW, Nickelodeon, Freeform, Hallmark, CBC, Syfy, Showcase, and Lifetime. Her debut full-length, All I Think When I Wake Up, was nominated for Pop Album of the Year at the 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards, named in the Top 10 Pop Albums of 2014 on PopDose, and awarded $10,000 for the lead single, “Can’t Getcha Out,” which was named Best of BC by Shore 104. She then released a follow-up EP, Quiet Dreams, and was awarded second place in LG 104.3FM’s VanCOVER contest for her cover of Sting’s “Every Breath You Take.” In December 2016, she collaborated with electronic production duo, Cookie Cartel, to release the highly acclaimed EP, Stoke the Fire, which Exclaim! described as “what it might sound like if the Postal Service were to make a Christmas EP,” and CBC Music added to its coveted holiday playlist. Nat Jay has earned a nomination for SOCAN Songwriter of the Year at the BCCMAs, been a featured songwriter at the Vancouver Folk Festival, and a guest on CBC Radio 2’s Canada Live. The songstress is currently in the studio recording her next full-length album with multi-
award-winning European producer, Ovi Bistriceanu.

After studying music at the University of British Columbia, Nat Jay released her debut EP, Lights Across the Sky, to a sold out room. Since then, she has been compared with powerful performers like Joni Mitchell, Patsy Cline, Alanis Morissette, and the Dixie Chicks. She has shared the stage with such esteemed songwriters as Canada’s own Juno award winner Dan Mangan, Matthew Barber, Oh Susanna, and Justin Rutledge, as well as NYC’s Jay Brannan and Australia’s Angus & Julia Stone.

Besides the success she’s had with her own music, in 2014 Nat Jay scored a co-writing credit with the legendary Stephen Bishop for the song “Loveless” from his album Be Here Then. An advocate of her industry, she sat on the Board of Directors of the Music BC Industry Association for four years and was a committee member for six. She is also a private consultant through one-on-one and group mentoring, facilitating seminars on sync licensing, grant writing, and album release for her peers. Nat Jay has been
asked to speak on panels for Canadian Music Week, BreakOut West, SOCAN, and Music BC, and is a guest lecturer at Nimbus School of Recording & Media, the Pacific Audio Visual Institute, and Langara College.

Complimented by a strong business head on her shoulders, Nat Jay’s compelling and highly accomplished vocal delivery will certainly turn heads in a noisy club, but it is her emotive songwriting ability that will steal the hearts of each and every audience member. What does she have to say? Check below:

  • If you could collaborate with any other music creator, who would that be? 

Chris Martin from Coldplay because he has a really great way of combining popular styles with more meaningful lyrics that really move people. He combines those poppy elements with really emotional, personal topics that people can relate to. And it comes through in his live performances, as he’s a very engaging performer. Also Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of One Republic. He writes amazing stuff for himself and others. He has his finger on the pulse of today’s music and always sounds unique, but still makes great songs for radio. He’s a modern day songwriting genius.

  • Do you ever compose for film/tv/video games? 

I haven’t specifically written for TV or film, but I have had a lot of success with songs I’ve created being placed in films and TV shows over the last 10 years. It’s one of the most amazing feelings and it never gets old. It’s cool that something you’ve created in your apartment and made into a piece of art can fit into someone else’s piece of art and compliment it so well. The success I’ve had in licensing has been very important to me as an artist as it’s been one of the main reasons I’ve been able to make a career in music. And because of that success, I’ve been able to develop a seminar where I teach other artists how to license their music to film and TV. So it’s been great for me on a creative level and in bringing in an income as an artist, but also has allowed me to engage with my community and become recognized within the music industry.

  • If the music community could do one thing better what would it be/What do see in the future of Song writing and music creators like yourself?

The music community could better at accepting less traditional careers paths. There’s always been a traditional trajectory of getting signed and having a marketing plan involving traditional publicity and radio. But these days, with the internet and technologies like streaming, there are so many different opportunities for artists to gain recognition. I think the music industry should embrace different kinds of artists and who have different career paths instead of trying to fit a square peg into a tired round hole.

Leading into the future – I see that more for new artists. I see some artists excelling at live performance, some getting tons of sync placements, others doing really well with playlisting on YouTube and Spotify, and they’re all building a brand and generating an income in different ways.  I’ve been fortunate enough that I love performing live and I’ve been successful at it, but I’ve also been successful getting sync placements while staying home and building an international fan base through that. There’s room in the future for songwriters and music creators to find a niche that works for them, generate an income, and build a career in music in a way that is unique and fitting to what they do.

Music creators unite! #CreatorsCount #ProsofSAC 

Pro Member Interview – Colin MacDonald


Colin MacDonald - SM

Bursting onto the scene in 2004 with their hit single “Not Ready To Go”, which became the most played song on Canadian rock radio that year, highly acclaimed, east coast bred rockers the Trews – consisting of founding members Colin MacDonald, John-Angus MacDonald & Jack Syperek – have since become a staple of the Canadian music scene and abroad. With 17 top ten rock singles to their name (two of which reached number one), 4 gold certifications and support slots for the likes of the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Plant, KISS, Guns’n’Roses, Aerosmith, Kid Rock and Weezer, the veteran rockers are showing no signs of slowing down with the release of their 2018 single “the New US” which takes on the current state of politics and the media. Widely considered one of Canada’s best live bands, the Trews are not to be missed in a concert hall near you!

  • What inspires you to create music?

Life, love, books, music.

  • Do you have a process to your songwriting or when creating music?

Writing all the time. I keep a journal and I always look over them for good starting points for tunes. I often find great song titles in newspapers and magazines.

  • How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?

High school cover band that became my real band for the last 21 years.

  • How has your music evolved since you first became a recording/performing artist?

I think it’s gotten better as I got more interested in the process of writing and recording music. I’ve become better and more patient in the studio. My lyric writing has gotten better and I wrote most of the words on my own now, in the past I’ve had a couple of co writers.

  • Do you write for other recording/performing artists?

Yes I’ve written with many artists. Sun k, T Thomason, Brett from the glorious suns to name a few. I love co writing!

  • Do you tend to write for one genre, or do you find your music crosses genre lines?

I don’t think I’m terms of genres when I write but it can be interesting to set some.

  • Have you faced any major economic, social or political hurdles as a music creator?

I’ve been fortunate to make a living off of songwriting and touring. I’m very grateful for that, the obvious hurdle has been making head way south of the border. My career in Canada has been really great!

  • Do you have any musical influences who have influenced your style, or who you give a “nod” to whenever possible?

Yes! I’m influenced by everything I hear and see. I love great music so any chance I get to hear or see it I go for it. It always rubs off in great ways! It’s important to stay inspired and excited!

  • If you could collaborate with any other music creator, who would that be?

I’m not sure. I’d be too freaked out to write with my heroes, I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything. I really like writing with young artists who are just finding their way, often times they come up with the most interesting and out of the box ideas.

  • How did you learn your craft – was it a “formal” or “informal” music education?

Totally self-taught with a group of fearless freaks and misfits.

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming songwriters and creators who are looking to break further into the creative scene?

Write and work! It’s all about the work. You can do all the networking in the world but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the goods. You have to devote your whole life to it, because you’re up against people who have given up everything to do this job. Good luck and surround yourself with good people who believe in you.

  • What is your fondest musical memory or favourite piece of music you’ve written?

Highway of heroes. I wrote it over the phone in 15 minutes with Gordie Johnson. It’s had more impact on people than anything else I’ve written. It’s got some kind of magic to it.

  • What is the most important “tool” you need when creating, eg. GarageBand, google docs, your cell phone, Pro Tools, or a pad of paper?

A mind and a point of view.

  • Do you ever compose for film/tv/video games? What’s that like?

A few trews songs have ended up in tv and on video games. I don’t try to do that but I love when it happens. If it’s organic it’s cool.

  • How can S.A.C. help you?

Any initiative that supports creators and protects intellectual property helps me immensely.

  • If the music community could do one thing better what would it be?

Make sure talented people are compensated for their efforts. Great singers and songwriters should be able to afford a good life, they bring a lot of good into the world. I don’t think the general public understands to toll it takes on the psyche and the finances.

  • What do you see in the future for songwriting and music creators like yourself?

Writing and collaboration. We need to figure out how to make the work more valuable again. If artists can’t afford to make their art then culture suffers. It’ll be a race to the bottom chasing fleeting and ephemeral chart success and YouTube hits. I mean some songs get billions of views on YouTube but so does guy’s body slamming each other off their garage roof and cute videos of kittens. It’s no gage of artistic merit or success. Surely we can do better.

Music creators unite! #CreatorsCount #ProsofSAC 

Pro Member Interview – Caroline Brooks

Caroline - Social Media.jpg

Caroline Brooks is a singer-songwriter, vocalist and guitar player from Toronto and one third of Juno award-winning touring band Good Lovelies. She has performed as a session vocalist with a wide range of artists, including Kathleen Edwards, Peter Katz, Jim Bryson and Lily Frost. Recently, her song “I See Gold” (co-written with Robyn Dell’Unto) was awarded a #1 Song award from SOCAN, for reaching the top spot on CBC Music’s Top 20. Outside of performing, Caroline is currently a sitting board member with the longest running folk festival in Canada, Mariposa Folk Festival, as well as Muskoka-based advocacy group Safe Quiet Lakes. She and her partner also co-founded Secondhand Sunday, a community reuse and waste reduction program based in Toronto. Enjoy some helpful insights from Caroline:

  • How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?

I started writing music at a young age, inspired by my Dad, who was constantly writing and creating at home. It was just like learning to ride a bike, or hanging from the monkey bars; we learned three chords and got to it. Since then, I’ve been honing my songwriting skills with solo writing, co-writes and with my long-term writing partners Kerri Ough and Susan Passmore (Good Lovelies).

  • Do you have any musical influences who have influenced your style, or who you give a “nod” to whenever possible?

My greatest musical influences are likely Sarah Harmer, and Paul Simon. Those two stick out in my mind as writers who have influenced my songwriting cadence, melodies, and song structure.

  • How did you learn your craft – was it a “formal” or “informal” music education?

Though I spent a lot of my youth in classical guitar lessons, my singing and songwriting craft has been nurtured in informal settings. As I grow older, and mature as a singer-songwriter, I have been finding joy in more formal education, through singing lessons and songwriting workshops. It’s been a fun circuitous way to approach learning my craft.

  • What is the most important “tool” you need when creating, eg. GarageBand, google docs, your cell phone, Pro Tools, or a pad of paper?

I rely heavily on my cellphone to remember interesting lyric ideas and melodies.

  • If the music community could do one thing better what would it be?

Value creators! We need to fight for fair compensation. Miranda Mulholland has been a great voice for we songwriters and performers – we have a long way to make this work sustainable, both financially and for the sake of our mental health. Our product is not sufficiently valued (from a monetary standpoint), and we need to get $$ into the hands of creators so that they can continue to create.

Music creators unite! #CreatorsCount #ProsofSAC 

A chapter of the S.A.C. Story – By Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas
Ian Thomas

Award-winning songwriting and Canadian legend Ian Thomas whose songs have found international success with many artists such as Santana, America, Manfred Man, Chicago, Bette Midler and Ann Murray, played an integral part of the evolution of the Songwriters Association of Canada.  We invited him to share his memories of the journey.  We also hope you will hear his appeal and join us.

In the words of Ian Thomas

In the mid-eighties I went to Ottawa with a group of songwriters to bend the ear of then Minister of Communications, Flora MacDonald. The issue of the day was that the mechanical rate for song usage in recordings had been fixed at 2 cents in 1924 and over 60 years later the rate was still sitting at … 2 cents. It was a wake up call for many songwriters who, like myself, had been living in a bit of a bubble. Many of us just couldn’t believe why no one had done anything about this? More importantly though was the realization of why we expected someone else to look out for our interests in the first place. We needed to grow up.

That Ottawa trip and the attendant publicity succeeded – the mechanical rate increased. The publicity alone probably outed and shamed the industry into action. An awakening creative community of songwriters shortly thereafter founded the SAC. It was a group of talented writers and kindred spirits who knew that songwriters needed dome serious advocacy and education in the business of music. 

From 1998 to 2000, I took a turn as president of the SAC in a rather transitional time. The board and I worked hard and we accomplished a lot. We acquired a greater national profile, our own office, our first full time Executive Director, our first full time secretary and a new quarterly magazine. 

Songwriters Magazine stirred up criticism from a few industry moguls. One article brought on considerable harrumphing from a few publishers. The article, “Looney Tunes” used some actual contracts to show how little money could trickle down to songwriters on every dollar earned. It was an educational, not a sensationalist, article and so no names were mentioned. We offered to print any rebuttals but none were offered. It’s hard to argue facts. The real problem was that advocacy for the creative community was offensive to some who posed as champions of writers while making a living at acquiring their rights. There were many in the music business establishment who simply didn’t like the notion of writers becoming better businessmen.

We visited the Heritage Ministry in Ottawa often in my years as SAC president. I must admit then Heritage Minister, Sheila Copps was a friend to the creative community. I think she sensed that authors’ rights were something of a canary in the coalmine in the fallout from international trade agreements and multinational corporations. Despite a sympathetic minister, I soon understood the sad reality that our Canadian government was merely a government by the best-funded lobby. Then, as now, we were up against an ever-increasing full court press from corporate lawyers working 24/7 to whittle away creator’s rights. My two years as president were an age of reason compared to current realities where unbridled capitalism is so mistakenly being considered the same thing as democracy. Where the common good is evaporating into the garish wealth acquisition by the few.

We have seen “work for hire” language erode creative rights. Language in some film contracts currently demands that, “producer shall be known as author of all work created by composer”. The latter is like Morris Levy of Roulette Records who, in the formative days of rock n’roll, insisted on co -author status of anything released on his label. I never imagined this would become a corporate template with full authorship, no less. Such corporate evolution requires a permissive societal moral regression.

Some commercial music users state that SOCAN and songwriters do not “fit into our business model”. That model seeks profit from music streaming without paying a penny for the music. This is akin to wanting to open a chain of hamburger outlets around the world …  if they can get the hamburger for free. Outrageous? Not in the corporate boardrooms of the new millennium.

A few songwriters have a lofty notion that music should be free. In 2014, corporations hold an unbridled sense of entitlement to songwriters income as they seek to drift-net the industry. “Free music”  means somebody else will gladly take the income your music might generate if you find it so distasteful. You won’t be writing for a living … well not your own.

The future has never looked so bleak for music creators. This has become a struggle for our very economic existence. As writers we have never needed the SAC more than we do now. As Canadians, there has never been a time when we needed to seriously dig down deep and “stand on guard for thee.”  Take your pick. As a Canadian … or as a songwriter, it is our watch.

Disclaimer:  This blog is part of an occasional series whereby those involved in the founding of the Songwriters Association of Canada have been invited to share their memories with us.  These articles represent the recollections, perspective and opinions of their author only, and not the organization.   

Monetizing Music File-Sharing: Reconciling Consumer Behaviour with a Willingness to Pay

Creative Commons license.  Photo by:  Brett Levin Photography
Creative Commons license. Photo by: Brett Levin Photography

By: Andreas Kalogiannides*

The issue of unauthorized music file-sharing in Canada is a “good news bad news” situation:(1) millions of Canadians (perhaps as high as 40%) regularly file-share music without a licence;
however, according to a recent study commissioned by the Songwriters Association of Canada (the “S.A.C.”), as much as 69% of Canadians who do file-share music are willing to pay a monthly fee to do so.(2) In an effort to reconcile this gap, the S.A.C. is advocating for a voluntary collective licence to monetize non-commercial music file-sharing over peer-to-peer (“P2P”) networks (the “S.A.C. Model”).

This article does not present an in-depth discussion of the legal merits of either the S.A.C. Model or of collective licensing generally; rather, it aims to merely introduce the nuts-and-bolts of the proposal and stimulate conversation on this issue.(3)

A Summary of the S.A.C. Model

The S.A.C. Model proposes that private individuals who engage in non-commercial music file- sharing would be licensed to do so through the payment of a monthly licence fee, appearing as a line-item on the individual’s Internet service provider (the “ISP”) bill.(4) The licence would permit individuals to music file-share over P2P networks (including BitTorrent clients) and other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Notably, however, the generation of commercial revenue from file-sharing activities is ultra vires the S.A.C. Model and would require the appropriate licence(s) from the rightsholder(s) or collective rights organization(s).(5)
Performers, songwriters and rightsholders would receive a pro-rata share of total licensing revenues based on the number of times their works are file-shared. Such distributions would be based on data collected by technology and media measurement companies.(6) Individuals who do not file-share music would be able to opt-out by signing a written declaration to that effect; similarly, rightsholders would also be able to opt-out, in which case they would receive no licensing revenue if their works are file-shared.(7)

Canada’s existing collective licensing framework would serve as the backbone of the S.A.C. Model as regards administration, revenue distribution and rate-setting, meaning that collective rights organizations, including the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (“SOCAN”), Re:Sound and the Canadian Mechanical Rights Reproduction Agency (“CMRRA”), would continue to distribute these royalties to their members just as they do now. The only difference being that a new company,, would be formed to help the collectives organize this process.(8)

The Right Solution at the Right Time

The S.A.C. Model does several things right. First, the S.A.C. Model prioritizes legal content over illegal content. For example, under the current ISP subscriber model, consumers acquire Internet access only and not content. By separating network access and content, and given the inherent nature of the Internet as a communication technology (e.g., a broadband connection is all you need to consume all manner of content, legal or illegal), this model inadvertently facilitates music piracy. I have termed this situation the “access-content” disconnect. The unfortunate result is that, solely by virtue of having a broadband connection, consumers have access to both legal and illegal music on an equal scale; legal, digital music must now compete with “free”.

But, the S.A.C. Model helps narrow this “access-content” disconnect because it offers an easy- to-swallow value proposition directly to consumers at their Internet access point: pay a negligible monthly fee and share, swap and consume unlimited music content through your broadband connection. This arrangement is similar to how cable television providers bundle network access with content (e.g., access to the Rogers cable network is only offered through the purchase of channel packages); like the cable provider, the ISP becomes the intermediary through which content is delivered.(9)

Second, the S.A.C. Model is a “business-to-business” approach, meaning that music fans and file-sharers would not have to change their behaviour, install any software or buy new hardware; they just make a small monthly payment. And the evidence suggests that Canadians are willing to pay: a recent study conducted by the S.A.C. and CROP, a Montreal-based research firm, found that 69% of Canadians are willing to pay a reasonably monthly fee in exchange for a (10) 
licence to file-share music. More uplifting still is the fact that the study also found that 93% of
Canadians believe that songwriters and performers should stand to benefit from this licence fee.(11)

Third, there is precedence for the S.A.C. Model. From 2008 to 2010 in Denmark, TDC, a Danish ISP, operated TDC Play, a tethered download and streaming service whereby mobile and broadband customers we re given unlimited access to licensed music along with their subscriptions.(12) To date, more than 340 million tracks have been streamed and downloaded through TDC Play, and it has been argued that the service has helped reduce unauthorized music file-sharing and even increased TDC’s customer retention rates.(13) TDC has since entered into negotiations with KODA, the Danish collective rights organization, to set a new royalty rate for the period of 2010 to present; and, it is particularly telling that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (“IFPI”), which rarely involves itself in private negotiations, has
(14) come out in support of TDC Play.

Where Do We Go From Here?

From the perspective of songwriters and performers, the S.A.C. Model would create a new revenue stream from a popular use of music that, while illegal under the Copyright Act,(15) continues unabated and does not bear any royalties. Moreover, this revenue stream could potentially dwarf current music industry licensing revenues – a conservative estimate is that $405 million could be generated annually from licensing just 25% of total Canadian ISP accounts at $5 per month.(16) Consider that in 2010 SOCAN collected $275 million for the use and performance of music in Canada.(17)

The S.A.C. Model is a sustainable, real-world solution which monetizes a consumer behaviour that is difficult, if not impossible, to change. And, importantly, the model can be implemented using our existing music licensing infrastructure. The S.A.C. Model presents an excellent opportunity for the Canadian music industry and the ISPs to sit down at the negotiating table and start talking because, frankly, not only has the demand for music never been higher, but also because Canadians fundamentally believe in the importance of compensating songwriters and performers for their hard work.

This article originally appeared in the Ontario Bar Association Entertainment, Media and Communications Section Newsletter, Volume 22 No. 2.

*Andreas Kalogiannides is a Toronto intellectual property lawyer specializing in copyright, licensing and music law.  He is interested in issues at the intersection of the music business and the law, particularly on novel licensing models and copyright infringement in digital environments.  Most recently, Andreas was in-house counsel at a collective rights organization representing the publishing industry; he has also held positions at a major record label, a music industry collective, the Copyright Board of Canada, and the Future of Music Coalition.  Andreas can be reached at

For more information regarding the Songwriters Association of Canada’s music file-sharing proposal, please visit or click for brief and detailed versions of the proposal.


1 See “Monetizing Music File-Sharing: A New B2N Model”. Songwriters Association of Canada. Available online at Page 6. [S.A.C. Music File-Sharing]. See also “Songwriters Association of Canada Music Consumption Behaviours Research Preliminary Report, March 2011”, Appendix D: CROP/S.A.C. Survey on Music Consumption Behaviour, at pages 40, 41, and 65. Available online at [CROP Survey].

2 Ibid S.A.C. Music File-Sharing at page 6. See also CROP Survey at pages 65, 68, and 70.

3 The author makes the assumption that neither will Canadians stop downloading, distributing or sharing music without payment nor will any legal measures – on their own – stop this behaviour.

4 The licensee fee is not a “levy” or a “tax” on music, as surmised by some; unlike levies or taxes, a consumer may opt-out of the model if they self-declare that they do not file-share.

5 See S.A.C. Music File-Sharing supra note 1 at page 5.

6 Since the early 2000s, technology and media measurement companies, such as Big Champagne Inc., have collected data on ticketing, social media, and P2P internet traffic on behalf of record labels, music publishers and other industry stakeholders. Notably, Big Champagne was recently acquired by Live Nation, Inc.. See Halperin, Shirley. “Big Champagne CEO on Live Nation Deal: ‘We’re Going From Playing a Little Club to the Biggest Stage in the World’”. The Hollywood Reporter. December 15, 2011.   Available online at

7 See S.A.C. Music File-Sharing supra note 1 at page 5.

8 Similar to the ownership make-up of SOCAN and Re:Sound, would be owned by equal parts songwriters, music publishers, artists and record label executives. See S.A.C. Music File-Sharing supra note 1 at page 8.

9 Opponents may argue that this still does not solve the access-content disconnect because consumers can simply opt-out of the model, not pay the license fee, and then file-share anyway. In response, I argue that these people would still be liable for copyright infringement, and, that when offered the ability to pay a reasonably monthly fee, the majority of consumers would do so to avoid legal consequences.

10 See S.A.C Music-File Sharing supra note 1 at page 6. See also CROP Survey supra note 1 at pages 65, 68 and 70.

11 Ibid S.A.C. Music-File Sharing at page 8. See also CROP Survey supra note 1 at pages 65 and 71.

12 For clarity, TDC Play is a tethered, walled-garden service whereby subscribers have access to free, legal music downloads and streaming for as long as users have a TDC account. This is somewhat different to the S.A.C. Model that is not limited to a particular ISP, and that would licence music file-sharing that originates on any server and on any platform. See “IFPI supports TDC music service in Denmark”. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. April 7, 2010: Copenhagen, Denmark. Available online at [IFPI].

13 See “TDC Play reaches 340 million streamed, downloaded tracks”. Telecompaper. June 30, 2011. Available online at– 812744.

14 SeeIFPIsupranote12.

15 R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42.

16 This figure is based on Canada’s estimated 27 million total internet subscriber accounts and calculated according to the following formula: ((27,000,000 * 0.25)*$5) * 12 months. See S.A.C. Music-File Sharing supra note 1 at page 8.

17 See “SOCAN Announces 2010 Financial Results: Music Use Higher Year Over Year.”. Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. May 4, 2011. Available online at release/socan-announces-2010-financial-results-music-use-higher-year-over-year.