A new album or rare recordings by the Beatles from 1963 has been released.
The 59 tracks were made public to stop them falling out of copyright.
EU law protects recordings for 70 years if they have had an official release and 50 years if they have not.
Director of Communications at the British Recording Industry Gennaro Castaldo said: “I think one reason why 50 years came up, and now 70, was that it was really assumed to cover the length of an artist, so that they could actually enjoy a living and make a return whilst they’re alive and it was felt then after that it should just become public. Obviously then people are living longer as well which is why I think they realise that 50 years might be a bit too short.”
While widely bootlegged, the songs have never been officially released until now.
The aim was not to sell more music but to protect the tracks from being misused.
Gennaro Castaldo added: “It will be interesting to see how many people actually will download these. I suspect it won’t be vast and we’re not talking about a number one album, but the collectors will certainly be happy about it and it means the copyright is extended and protected for a further 20 years so their music isn’t used in any inappropriate way for TV adverts or soundtracks or anything else that might not be considered to be right, really.”
The rare Beatles recordings and other sessions are now available to download via iTunes