Sirius Canada announced yesterday that a Canadian music Royalty Fee of 6% will be introduced to all Sirius Canada satellite radio subscriptions effective March 1, 2010.
The fee which has been mandated by the Copyright Board of Canada, will add ninety cents a month to the current $14.99 a month subscription fee.
The added fee will not go to Sirius Canada, rather it will be distributed to the Canadian copyright collectives, the largest of which is SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada), which will then distribute the money to Canadian artists and publishers.
With over 1 million paying customers, the fee collected by Sirius Canada could total more than $10 million annually.
When asked about the fee, a representative of Sirius Canada told Digital Home that the actual amount due to the Canadian copyright collectives is determined by a complex calculation and generally exceeds 6% of subscription fees.
Requests to XM Canada by Digital Home Canada to comment onf the implementation of the fee on XM's 390,000 self paying customers were not answered, however, it is likely that XM will follow suit in March.
The new fee is in addition to the 5% fee mandated by the CRTC which Sirius Canada has been paying since its inception to the Canadian Content Development fund.
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