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BBC bans DJs and producers from playing Neil Young, Journey and more

10 July 2015, 11:37 | Written by Laurence Day

The BBC's law team have barred the corporation's producers, programmers and DJs from playing music from certain artists.

The news that Neil Young, Journey, Bonnie Raitt and The Doors will no longer be heard on the BBC's airwaves - which includes cover versions and any songs that include samples of the aforementioned artists - arrives following a copyright dispute with the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS).

The artists have pulled out of an agreement with the MCPS, meaning that by playing "Don't Stop Believing", for example, the BBC is breaching copyright as it's effectively not paying for the song to be played.

The BBC's retraction is pretty all-encompassing:

You can NOT use tracks by these composers on the radio and/or online.
You can NOT use tracks by these composers whether they are originals or covers.
You can NOT use the lyrics.
You can NOT put performances using these compositions on line.
You can NOT use tracks which include samples of these compositions e.g. Tracks by Skrillex/Chase & Status
You can NOT use clips which include any compositions by these composers

A BBC spokesman explained the reasoning: “The issue has arisen for radio now because we will soon launch a feature which will enable audiences to download radio and music programmes to listen to offline on the BBC iPlayer Radio app. This involves the MCPS right which has been withdrawn.”

Replying to the news, the MCPS told The Guardian: “MCPS endeavours to offer blanket licences to broadcasters to enable them to enjoy “all you can eat” access to record all repertoire into programmes. However membership of MCPS is optional and these repertoires haven’t been members for several years. MCPS therefore has to ensure that any blanket licences transfer appropriate value back to the rights holders in order to be able to continue to offer as much repertoire as possible to broadcasters. PRS, which administers performing rights, however, confirms the works remain available for simple radio broadcast.”

[via The Guardian]

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