Fans could only enjoy it for a few hours. On December 31, 2019, a mysterious YouTube account posted new songs from the Rolling Stones before removing them the next day in the early morning, explains Variety. It would actually be a tactic to extend the copyright on these 1969 recordings.
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Shortly before the changeover to 2020, the so-called 69RSTRAX posted a collection of 75 never-released titles including live performances and studio recordings. Difficult to know what it was about, no comments or description were added with the videos. A few hours later, the account holder spent all the pieces privately. 69RSTRAX did not join YouTube until December 29. It nevertheless provides an email address which redirects to the record company ABKCO Records, which holds part of the rights for the first recordings of the Rolling Stones.
Do not fall into the public domain
But what at first seemed like a gift for fans of the mythical British group is more like an approach to protect copyright. Indeed, the magazine Variety notes that the European copyright directive allows protection for a period of 50 years from the recording of a song. This period can be extended by twenty years if the registration officially comes out.
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At the end of 2019, ABKCO would therefore have seen the songs dating from 1969 fall into the public domain and could not therefore exploit the rights if ever it were brought to release them on the market. In 2013, a compilation of the Beatles with unpublished songs recorded in 1963 was put online exclusively on Itunes in order to postpone the passage in the public domain for twenty years. A gift to fans in disguise. The same year, Bob Dylan had not gone through four paths to use the same strategy. He had released a compilation literally titled The Copyright Extension Collection, Volume 1.