SODRAC was founded in 1985 by the Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du
Québec (SPACQ); the Société pour l’administration
du droit de reproduction mécanique (SDRM Canada), a subsidiary of the Société des auteurs, compositeurs
et éditeurs de musique (SACEM);
and the Société des droits d'exécution du Canada (SDE). At the same time, SPACQ and SACEM became SODRAC’s two sole shareholders.
In 1988, following the abolition of the Copyright Act’s mandatory licence for reproducing musical works on sound recording media, SODRAC negotiated a royalty rate with record producers and implemented a licensing system.
In 1992, SODRAC negotiated the first general reproduction rights agreement in North America with a radio and TV broadcaster.
In 1997, SODRAC established a department devoted to rights management for visual artists.
On January 10, 2002, CMRRA-SODRAC inc. was created to offer a one-stop service for online music users. This joint venture between SODRAC and the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) was given a mandate to
issue licences to online music services and to distribute related royalties to its members. This entity represents almost the entire worldwide music repertoire.
On March 28, 2003, the Copyright Board of Canada granted CMRRA-SODRAC inc. the first musical reproduction rights tariff for commercial radios.
On April 1, 2004, SODRAC became a non-profit member-owned organization.
On June 15, 2004, the first annual general meeting of SODRAC’s members was held. The names of SODRAC’s first board of directors, as elected by the members, were announced at the meeting.
On March 16, 2007, the Copyright Board of Canada granted CMRRA-SODRAC inc. the first online music tariff since the Copyright Act was adopted.
SODRAC’s range of activities has expanded steadily since 1985. With more than 6000 Canadian members, SODRAC now represents the entire repertoires of over 100 countries and territories. Most authors, composers and publishers in Quebec
have entrusted the management of their musical reproduction rights to SODRAC.
SODRAC is still the only reproduction rights society of its kind in North America.