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Why the Beatles' bootleg 1963 album is coming to iTunes Tuesday

December 15, 2013: 11:58 AM ET

Two words: Copyright expiration. And then there's the money.

Beatles circa Please Please Me. Photo: BBC.

Beatles circa Please Please Me. Photo: BBC.

FORTUNE -- "There's still some life in the old download dog yet," wrote Macworld's Joel Mathis last week, reaching for a theme to connect the surprise unleashing of Beyonce's self-titled album last Friday with the scheduled release next Tuesday of The Beatles: bootleg recordings 1963, both exclusively on iTunes.

UPDATE: That link is live now.

To Mathis, it's all about what he sees as the losing battle Apple (AAPL), still wedded to Steve Jobs' theory that people want to own their music, is waging with Pandora, Spotify, Google Play and the rest of streaming music services.

The truth is both simpler and more cynical. Copyright protection on the 59 hitherto unreleased songs -- two hours of outtakes, BBC recordings and demos (track list below) -- expires at the end of the December, 50 years after they were recorded.408807285533

But thanks to a November revision of European Union intellectual property laws, copyright protection of released songs is extended to 70 years.  If Apple Corps, which owns the copyrights, didn't make these recordings available for sale, every Beatles collector with bootleg MP3 files could legally put out their own album.

Norwegian Beatles blogger Roger Stormo, who broke the news and published the track list last Tuesday, had the copyright angle by Wednesday. The Guardian and the BBC followed up the next day, predicting a wave of annual bootleg releases just ahead of expiration. As the BBC reported:

Bob Dylan's record label rushed out 100 copies of an album last year containing early TV performances, alongside multiple versions of Blowin' in the Wind, Bob Dylan's Dream and I Shall Be Free.

Officially called The 50th Anniversary Collection, it carried a subtitle which explained its true purpose: The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. 1.

The BBC goes on to speculate, based on the low-key nature of the Beatles release, that after a decent interval Paul McCartney et al. will take the new material off iTunes, "allowing them to exploit the recordings in a more considered way later on."

Below: Stormo's track list.


1. There's A Place - Takes 5, 6 (2:19)
2. There's A Place - Take 8 (1:58)
3. There's A Place - Take 9 (2:04)
4. Do You Want To Known A Secret - Track 2, Take 7 (2:17)
5. A Taste Of Honey - Track 2, Take 6 (2:12)
6. I Saw Her Standing There - Take 2 (3:07)
7. Misery - Take 1 (1:54)
8. Misery - Take 7 (1:56)
9. From Me To You - Take 1 & 2 (3:24)
10. From Me To You - Take 5 (2:17)
11. Thank You Girl - Take 1 (2:09)
12. Thank You Girl - Take 5 (2:04)
13. One After 909 - Take 1 & 2  (4:29)
14. Hold Me Tight - Take 21 (2:42)
15. Money (That's What I Want) - RM 7 Undubbed (2:48)
16. Some Other Guy - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (2:02)
17. Love Me Do - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (2:31)
18. Too Much Monkey Business - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (1:50)
19. I Saw Her Standing There - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 16th March, 1963 (2:38)
20. Do You Want To Know A Secret - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963  (1:50)
21. From Me To You - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (1:54)
22. I Got To Find My Baby - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 26th January, 1963 (1:59)
23. Roll Over Beethoven - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 29th June, 1963 (2:29)
24. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 23rd June, 1963 (2:01)
25. Love Me Do - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963 (2:29)
26. Please Please Me - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963 (2:08)
27. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "Easy Beat" / 20th October, 1963 (2:29)
28. I Want To Hold Your Hand - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963 (2:19)
29. Till There Was You - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963 (2:16)
30. Roll Over Beethoveen - Live At BBC For "Saturday Club" / 21st December, 1963 (2:16)
31. You Really Got A Hold On Me - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 4th June, 1963 (2:54)
32. The Hippy Hippy Shake - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 4th June, 1963 (1:43)
33. Till There Was You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" /11th June, 1963 (2:14)
34. A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963 (2:06)
35. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963 (1:56)
36. Money (That's What I Want) - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 18th June, 1963 (2:41)
37. Anna - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 25th June, 1963 (3:02)
38. Love Me Do - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:29)
39. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 24th September, 1963 (2:16)
40. I'll Get You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:05)
41. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:00)
42. Boys - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963 (2:12)
43. Chains - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963 (2:22)
44. You Really Got A Hold On Me - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 17th September, 1963 (2:57)
45. I Saw Her Standing There - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 24th September, 1963 (2:41)
46. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 10th September, 1963 (2:15)
47. Twist And Shout - Live At BBC For "Pop Go The Beatles" / 24th September, 1963 (2:36)
48. Do You Want To Know A Secret - Live At BBC For "Here We Go" / 12th March, 1963 (1:55)
49. Please Please Me - Live At BBC For "Here We Go" / 12th March, 1963 (1:57)
50. Long Tall Sally - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (1:49)
51. Chains - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (2:23)
52. Boys - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (1:53)
53. A Taste Of Honey - Live At BBC For "Side By Side" / 13th May, 1963 (2:04)
54. Roll Over Beethoven - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:17)
55. All My Loving - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:06)
56. She Loves You - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:21)
57. Till There Was You - Live At BBC For "From Us To You" / 26th December, 1963 (2:12)
58. Bad To Me - Demo (1:29)
59. I'm In Love - Demo (1:32)

According to Stormo, these songs have all appeared on bootlegs around the world, but these versions are from the official archives and should sound better.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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