Beatles Love Me Do

Thanks to a legal loophole, The Beatles' classic "Love Me Do" is currently in the public domain, free to be covered by anyone with the means to record, without approval or compensation for those involved in its creation.

The song has just entered the public domain in Europe, and small labels are already taking advantage of the opportunity to re-record the 1963 hit. Several have already rushed out their own versions of the song, and plenty more are expected. European copyright laws protect a recorded track for fifty years, which "Love Me Do" has just passed, as of January 1.

Other Beatles songs may mange to escape this most unauthorized of fates: the law is under consideration for an amendment this year, which would see the copyright period stretch from 50 years to 70 years (which is closer to the US threshold of 95 years), but the new protection isn't expected to be retroactive, so "Love Me Do" is destined to be reimagined, recast and otherwise re-recorded.

According to Noise 11, the first label to release a rerecorded version of the song is Digital Remasterings, who included it on a release of early Beatles recordings including the often released Hamburg Star Club live show.

Another is Pristine Classical, a label which usually specializes in remastered public domain classical pieces, but who has broken that policy for "Love Me Do." Noise 11 reports that some sources are saying that these labels are releasing the song in protest of the pending updated copyright limit, which stands to reduce the number of recordings available for their library.