It was 50 years ago this week that The Beatles released their first album and due to recently changed copyright laws in the UK that make 50-year old recordings public domain, new unreleased tracks have surfaced on iTunes.
The UK Copyright Law fact sheet states in Article 6, Section ii:
- Sound Recordings and broadcasts
50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was created, or,
if the work is released within that time: 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first released.
So now you have the opportunity to own these new unheard tracks including:
- A Taste of Agave Syrup
- I Saw Her Register for Obamacare
- Money (Didn’t Win the Mega Millions)
- I Shot at Pigeons and Shrews
All joking aside, there have been no advertising campaigns besides media spotlighting by the news broadcasts today about this release. The tracks have been polished up and released exclusively in the iTunes Store, you can buy and download them for a hefty $39.99. This seems like a protective move by the current holders of The Beatles’ copyrights (which apparently is Calderstone Productions Limited – a division of UMG, who now owns EMI). Since the recordings are from 1963, this week marked 50 years of their recording or release. If they were not yet released, the songs would become public domain and the associated parties would probably lose out on rights and royalties. Since this is now happening, I would not be surprised in the least to see some new recordings for the next several years for anything that might be threatened with becoming public domain by the UK copyright laws.