Hey Classic Rock fans, Napkin Art here…
Europeans, have you ever wanted to put out your very own Beatles single on your very own record label? Well, now you have the freedom to release The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” as much as you want, according to current copyright laws in Europe.
So, you probably read our story over the weekend about the super-rare Bob Dylan CD release in Europe, entitled “The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. I,” which had a very low distribution number of only 100 copies. The purpose was not to release these rare recordings to the fans, but to extend Sony Music’s copyright ownership over Dylan’s material from 1962-63, as Europe is taking strides to extend copyright ownership from 50 years to 70. As of January 1, 2013, The Beatles songs “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” turned 50 years old, thus officially hitting the public domain in Europe, prompting several record labels to take charge and release their own records containing these two hits, prior to the new laws taking effect.
According to the website Vintage Vinyl News, “That law may be changed before the end of this year, moving the threshold to 70 years, which will help records released in 1963, but it is not expected that the new protection will be retroactive. The current U.S. copyright law grants 95 years of protection.
The first to take advantage of the new status is a small company called Digital Remasterings who have included “Love Me Do” on a release of early Beatles recordings, including the often released “Hamburg Star Club” live show.
Another who has released the song is Pristine Classical, who normally specializes in remastering and releasing public domain classical pieces, but has broken that policy for the Beatles’ song. According to many sources, they are doing it more in protest of the the pending updated limit which will reduce the number of recordings available for their library.”
It’ll be interesting to see how these copyright laws are dealt with in Europe in the near future, between the lawyers and the scholars. As for us Beatles fans, well…we’ll just have more Beatles collectibles to get our grubby hands on. Let us know when you find some of these future “Love Me Do” releases! Sadly, these laws don’t apply to us in the US…