Back in Time for Tea is a documentary that focuses on the Ellis family from Bradford as they embark on “an extraordinary time-travelling adventure to discover how a transformation in the food eaten in the north of England can reveal how life has changed for northern working-class families over the past 100 years” (“Back in Time for Tea – Series 1: Episode 5”, 2018). One thing that is crucial for most documentaries is copyright and clearance, especially for this documentary as it focuses on many different foods and product changes. “If you want to copy or use a copyright work then you usually have to get permission from the copyright owner” (Expectations to Copyright: An Overview. 2014)
It is imperative that show like this get clearance for showing and licenced brands. If no clearance is granted the production company can be “prevented from distributing … work in certain territories or over certain media” (Out-law.com. 2018). In back in Time for Tea, there is a large variety of music played so the BBC would have to get in touch with the rightful creators. One example of who they would have got in touch with is Capitol Records as they own the label that owns the song ‘Atomic’ by Blondie which was used in an episode. (Discogs. 2018), there are multiple shots in which there is product placement, which is the point of the show – following this family as they progress over a century of different foods eaten in Northern England, copyright issues can be avoided by not showing us the products that were actually used back in those times.
Some of the product placement we see includes Coke-Cola and HP Sauce so in order for the BBC to use and broadcast these products they “must have the right to do so in the form of an outright transfer or a licence of the copyright from the owner of these rights” (Out-law.com. 2018). There is an exception in which programmes that are reviewing products do not require clearance to show them (Exceptions to copyright: Research 2014) but this does not apply to Back in Time for Tea.