SOCAN is again back in court, attempting to obtain royalties for those 30 second previews online retailers use on their sites.

Three years after the Copyright Board rulled that fair dealing applies because consumers use these previews as research, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers have taken the case to Surpreme Court.

The Federal Court of Appeal has concured with the Copyright Board last May. But SOCAN insists that these previews be subjected to royalties because they would want the definition of the term research limited to format settings.

So SOCAN want online retailers to pay royalties so their customers have the priviledge to preview the music they’re selling, even when no actual sale occurs.

Where exactly does SOCAN think the funds would come from ?

The recording artists, composers, lyricists and music publishers they represent are already legally entitled to royalties from the sale of recordings, so the previews work in the favor. And online retailers are in no way obliged to offer previews, which results in expendatures for maintenance and bandwidth.

You would think SOCAN would appreciate the value of promotion but they seem to be quite insistant on this counterproductive, counterintuitive cash grab.

SOCAN obviously want to nickle and dime legal music download services, whose previews are used regularily by consumers. After all, the legal music download services can pass those extra expendatures on to their customers, right ?

But of course SOCAN would rather emphesize the benefits that would allegedly result from this scheme. You know, how artists and composers would get royalties when in reality the majority of funds would be forwarded to the music publishers they represent.