Bob Dylan: The Copyright Extension Collection, Volume 1

Copyright law is weird:

The [Bob Dylan] compilation, 50th Anniversary Collection, is a limited-edition, four-CD set that was only released in Europe. … The collection is a scrapbook of recordings from the first years of Bob Dylan’s career: unreleased home tapes, live performances from Greenwich Village folk clubs and outtakes from the sessions for his second studio album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The packaging of the 50th Anniversary Collection is minimal — just four discs, a brown paper cover and a cursory list of the 86 tracks.

And only 100 copies.

Why the low-key release?

Dylan’s record label declined requests to talk about the collection or its unconventional release strategy.

But the subtitle, The Copyright Extension Collection, Volume 1, speaks for itself.

“Even record executives occasionally stray into honesty,” says James Boyle, a law professor at Duke University. “This is, in fact, a copyright extension collection. That’s what it is.”

Can’t blame them, but still… Copyright laws have become ridiculous.

One thought on “Bob Dylan: The Copyright Extension Collection, Volume 1

  1. Thanks for pointing out this article, Ed. No doubt, we can expect to see similar shenanigans deployed in future to keep other vintage artists’ works from entering the public domain. It’s sad, because I doubt it’s going to raise much extra revenue – but the record companies, it seems, would rather wring every last penny out of their back-catalogues than contribute toward our cultural heritage.

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