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Rare Rolling Stones Outtakes Appear on YouTube in Copyright-Extending Release

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Rare Rolling Stones Outtakes Appear on YouTube in Copyright-Extending Release

Postby MrFredPFL » Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:12 am

Story :

(UPDATE: The Rolling Stones recordings described below were removed from YouTube early on the afternoon of Jan. 1, approximately 24 hours after they were posted. The brief release apparently extends their copyright, which otherwise would have expired at the end of 2019.)

Just hours before 2019 ended on Tuesday, at least 75 Rolling Stones studio and live outtakes dating from 1969 suddenly appeared on YouTube in an apparent move to officially release the recordings before they passed into public domain — and thus out of the ownership of the group and Abkco Music & Records, which administers its 1960s catalog.

Such releases have become common as the rock era has reached a succession of half-century anniversaries, and Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Motown Records and others have stealthily issued similar copyright-extending outtake collections for a brief time period (or on ridiculously limited-edition CDs with minimal packaging) before quickly yanking them off the market. Owing to the intricacies of and updates to music copyright laws and contracts across the globe, term durations vary considerably, but 50 to 70 years is common for recent popular recordings — hence the release of albums like the Beatles’ “Bootleg Recordings 1963” and Dylan’s even more literally titled “Copyright Collections.” The recordings are usually sub-par and of interest only to deeply committed fans, and while the artist may not want them to be part of their official catalog, they also don’t want to lose the copyright and thus allow others to reap the profits from their work.

Yet these Stones recordings — which appear under the title “69RSTRAX” — are apparently the first such collection released by the band. Reps for the group and Abkco did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment, but if it’s a hoax, it’s an elaborate one: The YouTube recordings all bear official copyright language and are available on the Stones’ and Abkco’s official channels, although the presentation and many of the recordings are bootleg quality or worse. They had not been posted on Spotify or other major streaming services at the time of this article’s publication; it is unclear how long they will be available (or why the group apparently didn’t release similar recordings in previous years).

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