MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

The Beatles Release “Bootleg Recordings” on iTunes

Maneuver to avoid losing copyrights

On Tuesday, 59 previously unreleased recordings from The Beatles became available on iTunes in a special collection titled The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. But it’s not because the surviving bandmates or their record label are being exceptionally generous.

The tracks, which include demos, studio outtakes and live BBC recordings, were all set to tape around the band’s transitional period surrounding the release of 1963’s Please Please Me. According to European Union copyright law, unreleased recordings are protected for 50 years, while released music is covered for 70 years. That means these 59 previously unreleased tracks (recorded 50 years ago) would have gone into the public domain in 2014, and other labels would theoretically have been able to release them for profit. Hence, their release this week on iTunes keeps them under their current copyright for a bit longer.

To make things a bit more confusing…this law only applies to the recordings of the songs. The songs themselves remain covered by copyright for 70 years after the death of the songwriter(s). So even if rival labels picked up the bootleg recordings, there would still be the matter of making sure they had permission to use the actual songs.

Whatever the legal reasons, the new bootleg collection is a boon for Beatles music collectors. No word on whether the album will be available in hard-copy format.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

About the Author


Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

Tagged: , ,
Posted in: Featured, Rock Music


No Comments