Laval signs agreement to pay for licensed music

During public meetings held by the City of Laval’s executive-committee on Oct. 13 and 20, the members voted to provide subsidies to a Laval-based volunteer centre and food bank, as well as to approve support by the city for copyright licensing agreements in order to pay composers and musicians for the use of their lyrics and music.

Subsidy for volunteer centre/food bank

During the Oct. 13 session, the executive-committee members decided to award a $31,175 subsidy to the Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval.

According to city officials, the decision took into account the direct impact that the Covid pandemic had on the most disadvantaged people in Laval, who from one day to the next in the past year-and-a-half often found themselves without income or with drastically reduced revenues.

Since January this year, according to the city, the municipal administration has disbursed $151,325 in subsidies to the Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval.

Music authors’ and composers’ rights

In a separate issue during the Oct. 20 meeting by the executive-committee, the members dealt with the question of paying royalties to composers and musicians who own the rights to music or song lyrics they created.

Professionals in the domain had approached the city to work out an agreement whereby their rights would be recognized, and they would be compensated for music used especially during City of Laval recreational activities, as well as on municipal communications systems.

As a result, the executive-committee members voted to approve licensing agreements between the City of Laval and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) and Ré: Sonne (Sound Music Licensing Company) in order to legalize the use of the music in question by the city during 2020-2024.

The licensing fee amounts to $114,975 (taxes included). The agreement with SOCAN is for five years and is retroactive to Jan. 1 2020. The agreement also takes into account the pandemic years 2020 and 2021.

The city noted that by using the services of a third authors’ rights organization, Entandem, as the mandate-holder collecting and paying out the royalties for the other two, made it easier for the city to obtain a license based on terms set down Canadian copyright law.

Executive-committee members

The City of Laval’s executive-committee meets each week to make decisions on a variety of issues. The executive-committee includes the following people: Mayor Marc Demers, vice-president Stéphane Boyer (also councillor for Duvernay–Pont-Viau) councillors Sandra Desmeules (Concorde–Bois-de-Boulogne), Ray Khalil (Sainte-Dorothée), Virginie Dufour (Sainte-Rose) and associate member Nicholas Borne (Laval-les-Îles).