Story : http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7654212/why-unreleased-marvin-gaye-su
On Dec 30th, without much fanfare or marketing, Universal Music Group put out Motown Unreleased: 1966, a digital-only collection of 80 previously unavailable tracks by Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and lesser-known performers like the Underdogs. It’s one of a few recent archival releases of music from 1966 that may appeal to hardcore fans – and they have the European Union to thank.
In 2011, the EU updated copyright law in a way that means officially unreleased material could fall into the public domain 50 years after it was recorded. That would mean any company would be free to release it. In order to keep the copyright to such recordings – the law applies to live as well as studio material – artists and labels have been releasing them in what some fans call “copyright collections.”
No one involved with Motown Unreleased: 1966 has said that it was put out for copyright purposes, but its timing and lack of promotion and generically titled collections suggests so. It’s one of two such releases last month. On Dec. 9, Capitol Records put out two Beach Boys concerts as the digital album Graduation Day 1966: Live at the University of Michigan (UMG, the parent company of Capitol, did not comment on either release at press time.)
Other releases may have also been timed to take advantage of the law. Earlier last year, Bob Dylan put out The 1966 Live Recordings, a 36-disc set of previously unreleased concert recordings that sells for more than $100, while Pink Floyd issued The Early Years Box Set, a 27-CD collection that goes for almost $500.