EMI: Legitimately Afraid That Aliens Might Listen To The Beatles Without A License
from the wtf dept
Ah, life imitating art (or art accidentally imitating life). Earlier this year, we had Rob Reid post an excerpt and discuss his new novel, Year Zero, concerning aliens listening to Earth music for free, without a license… and then realizing that they’ve been infringing our copyrights for years, and owe the record labels more money than exists in the galaxy. Funny story, right?
Except… as Joe Betsill points out, apparently at least EMI really was afraid that aliens might listen to music without a license. In the Wikipedia entry for the Beatles’ famous song, “Here Comes the Sun” it notes the following bit of trivia:
Astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan had wanted the song to be included on the Voyager Golden Record, copies of which were attached to both spacecraft of the Voyager program to provide any entity that recovered them a representative sample of human civilization. Although The Beatles favoured the idea, EMI refused to release the rights and when the probes were launched in 1977 the song was not included.
Of course, just a few weeks ago, we also discussed Sagan and the Voyager Golden Record, in noting how the world is changing in that we no longer have to wait for the modern Carl Sagans to decide what gets sent into space any more. So, perhaps the story in Year Zero isn’t so far-fetched after all…