The New York Times on a dubious and surreal moment in the history of recorded music:
In response to provisions in a new European copyright law, Sony Music has released a compilation of early Bob Dylan recordings [subtitled] “The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. 1” — that was rushed to a handful of record shops in Germany, France, Sweden and Britain just after Christmas. Only about 100 copies of the four-CD set were produced, with sparse packaging.
The point of the release was to keep the recordings under copyright protection in Europe, where the laws are in flux. A change extending copyright in the European Union to 70 years will be in effect by 2014. But recordings cannot benefit unless they were published before the 50-year term expired. The recordings on “Copyright Extension” were about to fall over that legal precipice.
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