Beatles Bootlegs Coming to iTunes for Copyright Protection

Rare Beatles recordings coming exclusively to Apple's iTunesSome rare Beatles bootleg recordings are coming to Apple's iTunes Store this week, and while they'll be welcome additions to fan's music libraries, the release isn't all about bringing previously unavailable music to the public; it's about extending the recording copyrights. By releasing the recordings, the copyright on the tracks will extend an additional 20 years taking them out of the public's hands for a full 70 years.

EU copyright law protects recordings for 50 years, according to the BBC, unless they're officially released and then the copyright extends to 70 years. The copyright on unreleased Beatles recordings from 1963 ends this year, so by offering the tracks for sale, Apple Corps -- the management company for Beatles recordings -- can extend that out to 2033.

The digital album, titled The 50th Anniversary Collection, is expected to make its exclusive appearance on the iTunes Store as early as Tuesday and will include 59 previously unreleased tracks that were recorded live for the BBC along with studio outtakes.

NME managed to get ahold of the complete album list which includes several takes for some songs such as There's a Place, From Me to You, and Thank You Girl, along with BBC recordings of Love Me Do, Roll Over Beethoven, A Taste of Honey, Please Please Me, I Want to Hold Your Hand, and more.

Since the tracks are being released to extend their copyright Apple Corps is expected to pull them at some point so they can be repurposed into other packages. There are similar recordings from the following years that will be up for extension, too, so don't be surprised to see annual Beatles studio and bootleg releases until Apple Corps works through all of the band's material.