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Beatles recordings released 50 years later to protect copyright

It was 50 years ago this year the first ever Beatles album “Please Please Me” was released in Britain. The Fab Four weren't much more than 17 years old themselves at the time when they changed the pop music business for ever.

 However, 50 years later, the copyright is about to run out on some of their music and 59 recordings are being released Tuesday to protect the Beatles ownership for another 20 years.

Music critic Chris Roberts explained to CBS News’ Mark Phillips that it has to be published before the 50-year mark.

"It’s a public domain thing. In the same way that some of the classical novels - now anyone can publish them for $1.99. The music industry wants to make sure that it doesn't happen with the crown jewels,” he said. “Let’s face it - the Beatles back catalog is as precious as it gets to the music business and to fans.”

The point of releasing the previously unreleased Beatles records is not so much to sell more Beatles music, but it’s to keep other people from selling Beatles music and to beat new European copyright laws that say you have to “use it, or lose it.”

The Beatles are preparing a new anthology release for next year.

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