BBC settles Neil Young and The Doors licensing disputes

The acts' music is no longer banned from BBC radio playlists

Neil Young, The Doors, Journey and Bonnie Raitt are now available to BBC radio DJs once again, after a recent copyright dispute was settled.

The four acts withdrew from the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) earlier this month, and in doing so also left the BBC’s collective agreement with the organisation. As a result, BBC DJs were asked not to play songs by the artists, or tracks which sampled them, in order to avoid breach of copyright.

At the time, Wixen Music – who represent The Doors, Neil Young and Journey – took a tough approach to the problem, stating “The BBC can use Neil Young and the Doors any time they negotiate a licence with us to do so in a given programme. All we are saying is that we won’t pre-approve uses or fees if the clients have not had an opportunity to review and approve the uses and fees.”


It seems settlement has been reached on the use of the band’s content on radio, however. The BBC released a statement today, confirming the return of the iconic acts to airwaves:

“The BBC has been able to find a licensing solution by working together with the music publisher Wixen Music UK and with the MCPS,” the statement revealed.

“Works composed by the Doors, Journey and Neil Young are now mechanically licensed under an arrangement via MCPS and are available for use on BBC Radio and for the consequent download on BBC Radio iPlayer. The licensing solution enables us to include the works on both BBC radio and the BBC’s radio catch-up services, however the rights are not available for television or other audio visual use via the BBC’s collective licensing arrangements with MCPS.”

Effectively, that means that the BBC will now be free to blast out the seven-and-a-half-minute extended vinyl version of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, but can’t lay the track over their latest inspirational documentary.


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