The Rolling Stones are the latest band to dump a slew of tracks in front of the public to serve as an official copyright protection. Unlike Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys, who either release the tracks as a digital download, limited edition vinyl, or CD, ABKCO -- the company that controls the Stones' pre-1970 work -- simply uploaded the clips to YouTube on December 31st for several hours before pulling them down, solidifying the needed ownership of the tracks.

The YouTube clips were posted to bypass European copyright law by laying claim on the recordings as they fall out of copyright. The copyright law was amended in 2011 from 50 years to 70 years, protecting recordings issued post-1963 until 2033.

Although there are hours upon hours of studio sessions of the band languishing in the vaults, the 130-track YouTube drop -- strangely -- focused almost entirely on the lousier-sounding bootlegs from the band's 1969 tour -- including shows in Los Angeles and Oakland, California; Champaign, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and West Palm Beach, Florida at the Miami Pop Festival. Of particular note were 11 tracks from the band's infamous December 6th, 1969 Altamont concerts and soundboard sourced Madison Square Garden recordings from the Stones' November 27th, 1969 and the early and late shows the following night.

There were a handful of studio takes included -- an orchestral take of "Wild Horses," alternates of "Honky Tonk Women," "Gimme Shelter featuring Keith Richards on lead vocals, "You've Got The Silver," with Mick Jagger singing lead, an early, live in-studio take of "Gimme Shelter," an acoustic version of 1967's "Ruby Tuesday," a brief instrumental portion of "Midnight Rambler," an instrumental takes of "Stray Cat Blues" and "Let It Bleed" -- along with a 22-minute rehearsal of Mick Jagger leading the London Bach Choir on perfecting its opening acapella section.

Variety pointed out that despite the generous number of tracks posted on YouTube -- this was hardly a collection aimed on pleasing Stones fans: "Even for YouTube, the presentation of these recordings is bootleg-level, with often-rough sound quality and some egregious typos -- although the copyright line is typographically pristine. Worst of all, the rarest recordings -- i.e. the ones not previously available on bootlegs -- have a dial-tone-like sound as loud as the music, presumably to prevent them from being used as source material for illicit releases. Those songs are a truly miserable listening experience, even though many of them will be fascinating to fans whose ears can stand it."

Although ABKCO has been releasing remastered versions of the band's albums as they hit their 50th anniversaries -- they have held off in mining the vaults, save for The Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus album and movie.

Former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, who's currently working on his autobiography, recalled that back in the day, like any working band, the Stones were extremely tight -- both on and off the road: "That whole period was incredibly intense and creative for all of us because it was a new beginning for the band -- and they had signed a new contract with Atlantic Records and we had to, in theory, at least, we had to come up with at least six albums in six years. If we weren't hanging out together or recording, we were touring. I just remember most of the time we were either in the studio, or we were socializing together, or we were on the road."

Noted rock biographer Phillip Norman recently published the 640-page biography on Jagger, titled, Mick. Norman told us that apart from anything else, Jagger is single handedly responsible for creating the role of the modern rock frontman: "The (Rolling) Stones were the people who sort of wrote the book for modern rock culture. Jagger was the prototype of the man who stands in front of the band -- doesn't play guitar. His body movements become another instrument. Anyone else who came after him, they may have sounded very different -- the way they sang; their whole persona might've been different, but when it came to moving around, they had no way other to move than the way Jagger moved. And that is why I think he is just the founder of a species."

The Stones' copyright drop recordings were posted on a YouTube page "69RSTRAX": http://bit.ly/37jHxFM

AUDIO: PHILLIP NORMAN ON MICK JAGGER AS A FRONTMAN
AUDIO: MICK TAYLOR ON THE ROLLING STONES