New Bob Dylan Collection Released To Battle Copyright Law
Bob Dylan fans are confused over the new collection of 86 early-'60s outtakes and live tracks being suddenly released in a limited edition of 100 copies as the new four-CD set, called, 50th Anniversary Collection. What it basically boils down to is that in an effort to bypass European copyright law, Dylan's label, Sony, pressed up the copies of the set to show that Dylan and the label are laying claim on the recordings as they fall out of copyright. As it stands now, Dylan's 1962 Bob Dylan album can be released by anyone in Europe, as its copyright has expired. The copyright law was amended in 2011 from 50 years to 70 year, protecting recordings issued post-1963 until 2033.
The 100 copies of 50th Anniversary Collection were given to random record stores in France, Germany, Sweden, and the UK. Prices for the album on eBay have topped $1,000 and various Internet torrent sites have begun streaming the set for download.
A Sony employee explained the situation to Rolling Stone, saying, "This isn't a scheme to make money. The copyright law in Europe was recently extended from 50 to 70 years for everything recorded in 1963 and beyond. With everything before that, there's a new 'Use It or Lose It' provision. It basically said, 'If you haven't used the recordings in the first 50 years, you aren't going to get any more. The whole point of copyrighting this stuff is that we intend to do something with it at some point in the future, but it wasn't the right time to do it right after he released Tempest. There are other things we want to do in 2013 though."
The collection features outtakes from Dylan's first self-titled album and his second breakthrough set, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Among the tracks are multiple takes of "Blowin' In The Wind," "Corrina, Corrina," "Rambling Gambling Willie," "The Death Of Emmett Till," "Baby, I'm In The Mood For You," "Bob Dylan's Blues," "Ballad Of Hollis Brown," "Mixed Up Confusion," and "House Of The Rising Sun."
Also included are various home demos and a string of live sets taped at New York City's Carnegie Hall, Gaslight Cafe, Gerde's Folk City, and Montreal's Finjan Club.
Dylan was one of Jackson Browne's primary childhood influences, with his early folk era having a major effect on his life and art: "When I first heard Bob Dylan, I was walking through my living room and I was probably about 12. And there was this goofy guy sitting there on the edge of a stage singing. . . and a couple of years later I really got into him. But I was looking at him, it was this afternoon TV program that my dad. . . and I stood there and said, 'Wow, what's that?' And he said, 'That is the real deal. That right there -- I knew guys in the army that sounded just like that. Whoever he is, that's like really genuine. All kinds of people in this country sing just like he's singing right now.'"
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