CanCon Music on XM Radio May Have to Wait

Canadian Press has reported that a group representing Canadian songwriters and music publishers is suing the company that operates XM Radio in Federal Court. The group, CSI, is a joint venture between CMRRA and SODRAC. CSI seeks an injunction preventing XM Radio from broadcasting songs by Canadian artists represented by CSI, until XM’s operating company, Canadian Satellite Radio Inc., pays royalties that CSI alleges were due on July 31.

Some previous reports on the Copyright Board tariff have suggested that the tariff was something of a win for satellite radio. The tariff was set at 6.2% of revenues for the use of music, starting in 2010. This rate is lower than the total equivalent rates of 7.1% set by the board, that conventional commercial radio stations pay to obtain similar licences. Also, in the Copyright Board’s press release it stated that it recognized “the difficult financial situaion of the satellite radio services” and that they “expect to be profitable only by the year 2010.” Hence, its rates for the years 2005 to 2007 include discounts of 25%, and 10% for 2008 and 2009.

The tariff contains a transitional provision that “any amount that is otherwise payable pursuant to this tariff on or before July 1, 2009, shall be due no later than July 31, 2009.” According to the CP report, CSI alleges that the Canadian Satellite Radio Inc. indicated it will not pay royalties until 2010.

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