Last year around this time, nearly 60 previously unreleased Beatles recordings from 1963 - mostly radio performances and studio outtakes - were quietly made available for download on iTunes. You can still get them here.
The reason was to protect the copyright on these materials which, in Europe, go public domain 50 years after their recording unless "published."
Other artists, including the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan also released material late in the year for the same reason, with Dylan releasing his works on limited edition vinyl.
Sony has announced a new Dylan set of 1964 material:
Bob Dylan Public Domain, 50th anniversary recordings (1964) will be a one off pressing limited to 1000 across Europe. The format will be a 9 piece LP Vinyl in a slipcase.
Release date 8th Dec (this is likely to move back one week)
Will the Beatles follow suit? And, if so, will the release appear on vinyl or CD, or be digital-only as last year?
The 1963 downloads last year reportedly generated a decent amount of revenue, although Apple did its best not to promote the availability of the songs. The Beatles camp evidently viewed this as material they'd rather not make public, but were forced to in order to prevent bootleggers from making all the money off it.
Of course, the 1963 downloads soon turned up on bootleg CDs and vinyl, anyhow.
We'll keep a close lookout for any announcement of a 1964 copyright dump by the Fabs. Please contact us if you see/hear anything. Also, if you know what such a set might include, please send us a list. We haven't done the homework to determine what such a set might include!