Don't Expect To Hear Journey, Neil Young, The Doors Or Bonnie Raitt On BBC

11 July 2015 | 11:09 am | Staff Writer

Not even a Skrillex sample of the artists, ya hear?

More Bonnie Raitt More Bonnie Raitt

The BBC has issued a ban on music by Journey, Neil Young, The Doors and Bonnie Raitt to their DJs and broadcasters, for fear of breaching copyright laws.

As The Guardian reports, the four artists have withdrawn themselves from the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), who represent artists' mechanical rights and collects royalties on behalf the artists for any use of their songs in records and other carriers of music. 

The BBC can therefore not even play cover versions or samplings of songs by these artists, as they they have no means of paying the artists of the use. 

BBC DJs and broadcasters were issued the following — very black and white — rules:

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"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"

Employees were also told if the songs were "editorially essential", they were to consult with their commissioning editors, but to "note that the BBC's blankets cover a huge range of music so consider, is the use really essential?"

The email sent to BBC staff was said to explain that all four acts are represented by the published Sharandall Music, with Neil Young withdrawing from MCPS in 2002, The Doors withdrawing in 2006 and Journey in 2013. They are represented by their own licensing body instead, and withdrew from MCPS of their own accord.

So if you're a BBC radio DJ or broadcaster and you're trying to console someone on air… don't say "don't stop believing" to them. BBC won't be happy.