First Beatles' Tracks Become Public Domain In Europe

The Beatles early single "Love Me Do" has entered public domain in Europe. The Fab Four's first single and its B-side "P.S. I Love You," were both initially released in Europe in 1962 and their 70-year copyright protection in the E.U. expired on December 31.

This makes the lucrative recordings available to anyone who chooses to reproduce the them for sale. There is, however, a provision in the law that could withhold public domain status. A "use it or lose it" provision is currently under review and would give record labels the ability to maintain copyrights of music as long as they are used on new releases.

So far, two independent labels have taken advantage of the public domain status, both releasing "Love Me Do" on compilations. Fans in the U.S. still have a while to go before the Beatles music become public domain, as music has a 95-year copyright length in America.

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