A collection of The Beatles' rare early recordings is to be released to reportedly stop the material becoming public property due to a change in European copyright law.

The collection of 59 tracks includes previously unheard versions of hits such as She Loves You, as well as outtakes, demo versions and live Bbc radio performances.

Reports suggest the album, titled The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963, has been put together in order to maintain ownership of the songs following a recent change in European law.

Copyright protection has been extended from 50 years to 70, but unreleased recordings are not included.

The Beatles record will be given a low-key release online via digital retailer iTunes this month (Dec13).

It follows a previous move by Bob Dylan, who released his rare early recordings as a four-Cd compilation and distributed just 100 copies worldwide. The Cds were subsequently exchanging hands for hundreds of dollars online.