Desert Island Discs – Jack Whitehall – BBC Radio 4

“Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island?” (BBC. 2018) Desert Island Discs is a long-running programme on BBC Radio 4  hosted by Kristy Young as she invites celebrity guests to come and share 8 songs that have personal meaning to them, songs that they would take onto a desert island.  After listening to this episode with Jack Whitehall, it is clear that permissions would have needed to be granted in order for BBC Radio 4 to include all of these songs.

There is a law that when a copyright holder who holds the copyright to a song has been dead for 70 years at least, the copyright is removed and the song can be used anywhere, including on television programmes and radio shows. (Rights, N. 2011) The first song which was played was 20th Century Boy by Marc Bolan. Although he has died, 70 years have not passed by yet so this means BBC Radio 4 would have had to get permission from T.REX or Ariola which are the two record labels who made the song. To use a song BBC Radio 4 producers would have to check if the music has been commercially released on CD or for download and if it is from a live performance or event. ( 2018).

Jack Whitehall also chose the theme from the movie E.T, so to be able to play the song (Discogs.2018) for the listeners, the producers of the show would have to contact MCA Records, as they own the rights to that song. If they were to release the programme without obtaining permission for songs that were played they would have to pay royalty fees to the rightful owners of the song and it could get forcefully removed form the internet.

BBC. (2018). Desert Island Discs – BBC Radio 4. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar. 2018]. (2018). BBC – Copyright & Permissions – Copyright . [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

Discogs. O. and Moon, O. (2018). John Williams (4) – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial – Original Theme (Flying). [online] Discogs. Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

Rights, N. (2011). What happens to a copyright when the copyright holder dies? | New Media Rights. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar. 2018].

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