The Beatles have a new release out today on iTunes -- "new" in the sense that these are recordings that have never been sold commercially. There are 59 songs including some outtakes from BBC and studio sessions and a few demos from 1963. The reason for the release has more to do with copyright law than demand.
Most casual Beatles fans probably aren't that interested in five new versions of "A Taste of Honey." And most hardcore Beatles fans have already heard what's being released, because there are thousands of bootleg copies available in what Beatles historian Bruce Spizer calls, a gray market. "It's not a case where somebody is going to come arrest you for owning a bootleg. However, if you are selling bootlegs that that certainly would be in violation of the law."
But that European Union law recently changed. Under the old law, a copyright was good for 50 years from the date the recording was made. Under the new rules, copyright owners can get a 20-year extension, if the original recording is released in the first 50 years. "And were it not for this recent European Union extension of copyright law pertaining to sound recordings, they would fall into public domain," says intellectual property attorney Kevin Parks.
That would mean bootleggers could legally sell their copies for a profit, a threat that put enough pressure on Apple records to get them open its vault to the public.
Also in the 2014 class of inductees: Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel and Hall and Oates, Nominees who didn't make the cut included YES, Deep Purple and The Zombies.
As a bipartisan budget compromise the House of Representatives passed last week works its way through the Senate, there are hopes the deal, which sets a funding level for the government through October 2015, could give lawmakers breathing room to work on a bigger deal.
At a news conference last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said the deal demonstrated lawmakers could work together “to get our government functioning at its very basic levels.”
So should we cue up a Congressional chorus?
“I would not take this deal to mean there is a sudden outbreak of ‘Kumbaya’ between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill,” says Mark Peterson, a professor of public policy and political science at UCLA. He says deep divisions didn’t disappear, and there is a lot left to do.
There is no new farm bill, and on the agenda are immigration and tax reform, says James Thurber, a government professor at American University.
“They’ve done nothing really about the debt ceiling or debt or deficit,” Thurber says.
But before lawmakers can tackle any of that, they actually have to budget. This deal is only a framework.
Tuesday's vote was not as close as some expected. Some Republicans joined with Democrats to move the plan forward. The two-year deal avoids any more government shutdowns until at least 2015.
As 2013 wraps up, NPR is looking at the numbers that tell this year's story. When it comes to the economy, $85 billion is a good candidate. That's the amount the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the financial system each month trying to stimulate growth and bring down unemployment. On Tuesday, Fed policymakers begin a two-day meeting at which they'll decide whether to dial back that stimulus.
Across the country, a new model of housing development is springing up that embraces the local food movement. Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are now serving as the latest suburban amenity.
Democrats in Congress are promising to try to retroactively extend emergency unemployment benefits after the new year. The expiration of the benefits may satisfy some fiscal conservatives, but it has some economists and many desperate job-seekers concerned.
One former anti-nuke activist says the world can't afford to dismiss nuclear power, if we're to rein in global warming. Nuclear plants provide a more reliable energy supply than wind or solar, he says, and without the high carbon emissions that fossil fuels produce.
In a new poll, many parents said they're worried that schools aren't adequately preparing students for a changing workforce. And too much emphasis on memorizing facts in the classroom, both parents and kids say, is keeping young people from getting excited about science and technology careers.
The Texas capital is growing rapidly, and its roads and freeways are packed. A toll road was built east of the city to help alleviate the problem, but few drivers use it. Experts agree that the city has to do something — and soon — to address its congestion woes if Austin is to retain its quirky character.
The Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee had dozens of hits spanning more than six decades of performing. He died of complications from pancreatic cancer.
The good news is that the budget agreement moving through Congress takes another costly government shutdown off the table. The bad news? It looks like another debt ceiling clash is right around the corner.
Defining when something is or isn't about race can be tricky. So people tend to go by a simple rule of thumb: Does it involve people who aren't white? If so, it's about race. Eric Deggans explains why this is a problem.
Rev. Frank Schaefer was convicted and suspended at a church trial last month of violating the Methodist Book of Discipline by presiding over his son's same-sex wedding ceremony.
A coroner classified Karl Pierson's death as a suicide. Authorities said Pierson came into Arapahoe High School fully armed. He shot one student, before killing himself.
Every brake screech, whistle and rattle from the movie The Polar Express came from recordings of a historic locomotive, the Pere Marquette 1225. After four years of costly repairs, passengers can once again jump onboard and travel to see Santa Claus at the North Pole (imagination required).
You know that great Motown song by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas? "Nowhere to Run?"
That's me -- but it's not heartbreak I'm running from-it's a pair of beige patent leather sling backs, size 9. Wherever I go on line, there they are, like an old boyfriend begging for a second chance. The same pair of shoes has been dogging me for more than seven months.
Look, I'm not trying to act like an innocent in all this: I know that consumers are more likely to purchase something they've shown interest in than a random item. And I admit that in the period leading up to my son's bar mitzvah, I did taunt Amazon and Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom by looking at those shoes obsessively, and that I did in fact finally purchase them on May 17.
You know how everyone always complains that marketers know too much about us? I'm thinking maybe they know too little. If the shoe cabal had more insight, they would not only know that I returned the shoes -- the price and the heels were too high -- but that my big event has passed. If I didn't splurge then, I never will. It's over!
I know that with some work I could slip this shoe tail. I could disable my cookies or get myself on a do-not-track list. But do I really have to spend my time fighting off the very retailers who are trying to win my heart, or at least my cash?
Apparently yes. The other day, after yet another ad for those same Anyi Lu Tulip shoes greeted me, I gathered my loved ones and said my goodbyes. I'm entering the Witness Protection Program. I'll be issued a new shipping address, password and favorite pet's name. And this time around, I won't accept cookies from strangers.
Dan Akerson says asking new shareholders to pay back tax payers would be unfair, and would lead to shareholder lawsuits that would be "difficult to defend."
The heads of Google, Apple, Twitter, Yahoo! and more are meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday. Check out the full list.
Silicon Valley has created mind-boggling amounts of wealth. Entire industries have been invented here. Billionaires are minted annually, but inequality is rising rapidly and the middle class is thinning out. Could the same technology that's making so many so rich undermine the labor market?