A collection of The Beatles‘ rarities and bootlegs will be released exclusively through iTunes later today (December 17).
The 59 tracks from 1963 are being released by The Beatles’ label in an effort to beat the bootleggers and stop the songs falling out of copyright and becoming accessible to a rival record label.
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the recordings. EU copyright law dictates that songs remain in copyright for five decades if they have not been officially released. The same law stretches to 70 years if the songs are released.
BBC News reports that the songs will appear on iTunes later today and remain indefinitely. After a recent change in the law, the master tape for The Beatles’ 1963 debut album ‘Please Please Me’ is protected by copyright until 2033, but the unreleased session tapes for that album are not.
The band, whose music only arrived on iTunes in 2010 following lengthy legal negotiations, will release 59 tracks, which some reports suggest will be titled ‘The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963’. A verified tracklist can be seen here.
In total the album includes 15 studio outtakes and a further 44 live BBC tracks to add to those already on ‘Live At The BBC’ and ‘On Air: Live At The BBC Volume 2’, which was released earlier this year.