Delight for collectors as Beatles release new album to defy EU copyright law

The album features 59 previously unissued recordings including outakes

The release of a new album featuring previously unheard Beatles material would normally be heralded as a global music event.

But an official “bootleg” Beatles album, to be slipped out under the radar next week, has been compiled merely to prevent the band’s recordings falling foul of an EU copyright loophole.

Christmas will come early for Beatles collectors when Universal Music releases The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. The iTunes only album, available from Tuesday, features 59 previously unissued recordings including studio outtakes and performances recorded for the BBC.

The album includes tracks of historical interest to Beatles completists. There are informal demonstration recordings of two songs the group gave to other artists - Paul McCartney and John Lennon's acoustic guitar duet version of Bad to Me and a Lennon piano demo of I’m in Love.

The “bootleg” album is no Sgt. Pepper. Nor is it even likely to match the appeal of the Live At The BBC CDs which feature the pick of the performances recorded for the same sessions mined for the new album.

Yet the Beatles have been forced to release the material to avoid their early recordings falling into the public domain. EU copyright protection on sound recordings has been extended from 50 to 70 years, preserving the key works of the early “beat group”-era.

But the protection does not extend to 50 year-old recordings which have never been released and are simply gathering dust in the vaults.

The “use it or lose it” provision means record companies now must find a limited release for those songs, often studio outtakes neglected for quality reasons, before the 50 year term is up.

If they do not, any individual who gained access to the tapes could legally press up and sell their own Beatles recordings.

The Beatles album features 44 recordings from the 275 performances the prolific band recorded for the BBC. They are track which have not made the cut for the Live at the BBC and On Air - Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 albums.

Bob Dylan is also seeking to protect his unreleased recordings from falling out of copyright. Sony has quietly released The 50th Anniversary Collection: 1963, a compilation of concerts, radio and television appearances and studio outtakes.

Dylan, no stranger to official “bootleg” releases, has approved a limited edition of just 100 copies of the new album, which is spread over six vinyl LPs. Copies of a similar highly-restricted Dylan release last year, covering his 1962 recordings, immediately began changing hands on eBay for $1,000.

The 1963 Dylan collection includes outtakes from The Times They Are a-Changin' album as well as appearances at Carnegie Hall and a radio appearance on Studs Terkel's Wax Museum show.

The artists and their record companies are reluctant to endorse the albums, which often distract from carefully curated reissue programmes.

A spokesman for Apple, the company which controls the Beatles’s affairs, said the Bootleg album would be a digital-only release. However the album would remain on iTunes indefinitely, allaying fears on Beatles websites that it would be withdrawn from sale at the end of the year.

The collection, which includes versions of She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and Twist and Shout, omits other 1963 recordings, such as sessions for the With the Beatles album, which have long-circulated on unofficial bootlegs and will now fall into the public domain.

The UK government backed an extension of EU sound copyright following a lobbying campaign led by Sir Cliff Richard, whose earliest songs had begun to fall out of copyright and Roger Daltrey of The Who. The 70-year provision came into effect from last month, alongside a fund created from the extra royalties to pay session musicians 20% of revenues from sales of their recordings.

The “use it or lose it” clause allows performers and musicians to claim back their performance rights in sound recordings if they are not being commercially exploited. However some of music’s biggest names would prefer to bury their unsatisfactory early recording attempts altogether. Only records released on or after January 1, 1963 fall under the new regulations.

Lord Younger, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “Artists who performed on sound recordings will benefit from this extension of copyright protection from 50 to 70 years. The changes should help ensure that musicians are rewarded for their creativity and hard work throughout their careers.”

The extension frustrated “crate-digging” independent labels which seek to produce new compilations shedding light on obscure, out-of-copyright material neglected by record companies.

Copyright control: hits and misses

Elvis Presley: Jailhouse Rock

Seminal 1957 rock’n’roll classic made UK No 1 in 2005 during re-release programme to capitalise on Elvis hits falling out of copyright.

Cliff Richard: The Young Ones

1962 chart-topper was re-recorded by Cliff and The Shadows in 2009 to create a freshly copyrighted version.

The Rolling Stones: You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover

Early line-up made 1962 studio debut with Bo Diddley cover; it featured on bootlegs but never on official releases.

Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little