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
    Robert (profile), 16 Jan 2013 @ 12:31pm

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

    By choice of the copyright OWNER, not the creator!!!

    Big difference. Which is why DMCA's have been used against artists putting up their own work on their own sites/pages!

    Free culture seeks FAIRNESS, whereby any creator can post their material and use the web as a means of distribution, without having to compromise their music or sell away all their rights.

    Free culture seeks to ensure copyrights are not used to lock away culture indefinitely, which is exactly the aim of copyright maximalists. Do you know why you've heard of classical works from the 1800's and earlier? Because those works are in the public domain!

    That's what promotes culture! Tell me, how exactly does locking shit down so no one can build off of the work (without paying ridiculous licenses, even off of irrelevant works that could be morphed into something relevant) help promote culture?

    70 years AFTER death? What the fuck does that do?

    People here don't necessarily hate copyright, they hate copyright abuse and that's exactly what free culture tries to fight.

    You know what your copyright monopolist culture hates, competition! Because you know you can't compete? Or is it you don't know how to share with other creators?

    Do you honestly think cultures benefit from hiding things away or locking them down?

    Hey, I got a plan, build your time machine, go to Bell Labs, patent the transistor, then lock that fucker up with IP up the ass so no one can build upon the technology and then try to return home and see what the world would be like!

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