Beatles' First Single Enters Public Domain -- In Europe

from the when-I'm-64 dept

The Beatles remain the iconic pop group, so news on VVN/Music that their very first single has now entered the public domain is something of a landmark moment in music:

The Beatles first single, Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You, has entered the public domain in Europe and small labels are already taking advantage of the situation.

The European copyright laws grant ownership of a recorded track for fifty years, which Love Me Do just passed. That means that, starting January 1 of 2013, anyone who wants to put out the track is free to do so.
Unfortunately, if you're in the US, you'll probably have to wait until 2049 or so. And things are about to get worse in Europe too. As Techdirt reported, back in 2011 the European Union agreed to increase the copyright term for sound recordings by 20 years, despite the absence of any economic justification for this theft from the public domain (yes, this is theft, because it's taking something away that people had.)

Once the relevant legislation is passed around Europe, that means that most of the later Beatles singles -- and many other famous pop music hits from the 1960s -- won't be in the public domain there until the 2030s, rather than in the next few years. It's not yet clear whether the new 70-year term will be applied retroactively to works that have already entered the public domain, so Europeans may want to enjoy their right to distribute free copies of "Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You" recordings legally while they can....

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Filed Under: copyright, europe, public domain, the beatles


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  1. icon
    silverscarcat (profile), 16 Jan 2013 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No, it's not theft

    "there should be no need for copyright"

    Couldn't agree with you more on this.

    But, let me give you 3 points to your whole post.

    1: That site is a Copyright Apologist website that uses terms such as Big Tech and Copytheft (to describe those who wish to reform the Copyright system), therefore, it loses credibility instantly. (not to mention that when it says "Big Tech", it just means Google.

    2: Why should culture be locked up forever? DO you know how long culture has been under copyright? 4 Generations. My grandmother, my mother, myself, my cousins, my brothers, my cousins' children, my niece and my children were all in the same room this last summer, and I realized that NONE of us had ANY works that were created, in OUR lifetimes, enter the Public Domain. And my grandmother is in her 70s. That makes zero sense, considering that if works such as the original Star Trek (made in the 60s) was in the Public Domain, well, just think about Marvel's crossovers with Star Trek. They wouldn't have to pay the Roddenberry estate any money if the original Star Trek was in the Public Domain. Also, think about this, Roddenberry died about 3 decades ago. So, for another 40 years (at minimum), Star Trek is under copyright. How does that make sense? (BTW, Star Trek, TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise were all thought up by Roddenberry before he died. How much NEW Star Trek has been seen since Enterprise ended? Just that one movie.)

    3: Copyright, in and of itself, is not bad. It guarantees that creators are compensated for their works. However, the current copyright system is so broken that it makes no freaking sense!

    For example, the song Eternal Blaze was sung by Japanese pop singer Nana Mizuki as the opening theme song to the anime "Lyrical Nanoha A's", which was created by the company 7Arcs.

    And yet, when that song on Youtube gets taken down, it's not 7Arcs or Nana Mizuki (or the songwriter, if there was one other than Nana Mizuki) that issued the DMCA takedown notice.

    It's King's Records. Who are they? The distributors (via Sony) of Nana Mizuki's records.

    WHY THE HELL DO *THEY* HAVE COPYRIGHTS ON ETERNAL BLAZE?!

    When you can have over 10 people claim copyright to one song, then things are so screwed up that something needs to be fixed.

    I'm not even going to go into djazz1, the Megaupload case, or how Richard O'Dwyer (who was doing LEGAL STUFF IN THE U.K.) was treated.

    Copyright in its current form is a mutated, rabid beast that needs to be fixed of its problems...

    But if it can't be fixed...

    Then we should put it out of its misery.

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