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Neil Young, Doors in BBC ban

Classic rock acts can’t be played as result of change in licensing deal

Neil Young, the Doors, Journey and Bonnie Raitt are among a number of classic rock acts whose music can no longer be played by the BBC.

The corporation has been forced to ban their work after the artists removed themselves from the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society group licensing deal.

It means there is no agreement in place to play their recordings, and therefore they must remain off-air. The ban extends to cover versions and works including samples of their original material.

The situation is unlikely to be resolved quickly. Wixen Music, who represents the artists, say: “The BBC can use Neil Young and the Doors any time they negotiate a license with us to do so in any given programme.”

The firm argue that the principle at stake is “basic respect for artists and songwriters wishing to determine how their work is used, and at what fees.”

They add: “All we are saying is that we won’t pre-approve uses or fees. In the USA, TV uses are approved and negotiated – our clients are not used to blanket pre-agreed uses and fees.”

But the BBC say: “We believe that single blanket collective licensing remains the most efficient and cost-effective way to licence music.”

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