Wednesday 18 December 2013


AUSTRALIAN Beatles fans will pay nearly double what Americans fork out for a rush-released official bootleg album by the Fab Four.
The album, The Beatles - Bootleg Recordings 1963, was released overnight on iTunes to beat copyright changes.
However it is selling for $69.99 on Australian iTunes, compared to $39.99 on US iTunes ($44.87 AUS) and 34.99 pounds ($63.88 AUS) on UK iTunes.
It is the latest example of Australians being overcharged by iTunes compared to the rest of the world.
Beatles fans had been expecting the album, which features long-bootlegged material never officially released.
The rapid release is a reaction to recent changes to EU copyright law.
The copyright law on sound recordings released on or after January 1 1963 has been extended from 50 to 70 years.
The changes followed the Beatles' 1962 songs Love Me Do and PS I Love You going into the public domain and therefore not being subject to usual copyright law.
However the new laws protect released material, but not unheard recordings.
Hence the 1963 Beatles material had to be released now before anyone else who accessed the tapes could legally release them without infringing copyright.
The collection, currently only available on iTunes, features 59 previously unreleased recordings made for the BBC.
George, Ringo, Paul and John back in their heyday. 
It features two performances of songs the Beatles wrote for other artists, Bad to Me (given to Billy J Kramer) and I'm in Love (recorded by the Merseybeats).
It includes alternative versions of Beatles favourites including Twist and Shout, She Loves You and I Saw Her Standing There.
Other artists including Cliff Richard and Roger Daltrey have been lobbying for the copyright extension to protect their early recordings.
Sony released 1963 recordings by Bob Dylan this year to keep them from falling out of copyright.
It has already been an expensive year for Beatles fans with Live at the BBC Volume 2 being released.
A box set of the American versions of their albums (with different covers and track listings) is due for release next year to mark the 50th anniversary of their first trip to the US.

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