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Beatles Releasing Rarities Album to Fight Copyright Laws

Keystone, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Yesterday (Dec. 13) we learned that the Beatles were putting out a set of 59 outtakes, demos and songs cut for the BBC. Today we learn that ‘The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963’ is being released on Tuesday (Dec. 17) in order for them to retain their copyrights.

The BBC is reporting that a 2011 change to European copyright law is responsible for the band’s decision to make these tracks available, even though it directly competes with their ‘On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2’ double-album that came out last month, and a box of their U.S. Capitol albums to hit stores in January. According to a “Use It or Lose It” provision in the new law, the copyrights to unreleased tracks expire 50 years after they were recorded. ‘The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963’ will extend the Beatles’ rights to these songs through 2033.

Given the considerable lack of hype surrounding this release, it is believed that this new set, which is exclusive to iTunes, will only be sold for a brief spell. This will buy the Beatles some time in figuring how to properly market these, and other tracks in their vaults facing a similar fate, in the future.

Earlier this year, Bob Dylan released a similar compilation of 86 outtakes from 1962. Only 100 copies were pressed and sold in a few European countries.

Next: Top 10 Beatles Animal Songs

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