SCGC survey highlights damage caused to screen composers by lack of collective bargaining protections


Screen composers are the only key creatives in the Canadian content certification system not protected by a collective agreement with Canada’s independent media producers. The 2023 SCGC member survey drew responses from more than one hundred screen composers across Canada and defined what this omission means for our industry:

  • Our intellectual property is unfairly taken
  • Without protection, we feel forced to accept buyouts
  • We work for free or have to split our writers share
  • We are not hopeful for the future of the profession

The statistics made similarly uncomfortable reading. The survey found that 70% of respondents have had to give up ownership of their music on Canadian productions. 26% have been asked to accept a buyout as a condition of engagement by an independent Canadian producer and 44% have been asked to work without any upfront fees.

Every other points-generating “key creative” in the Canadian content certification system is protected by a collective agreement that avoids the worst of these issues.

“Screen composers deserve the same fair treatment all our fellow key creatives already enjoy. It is high time that we demand it.” – John Rowley, SCGC Vice President


The SCGC has prepared a report to highlight the results of this survey and summarise the actions being taken to help protect screen composers and their industry. “This should serve as a wake up and a call to action for our community,” said John Welsman, SCGC president.


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