Chris Hadfield's Outer Space Version Of Space Oddity Is Back... But It Still Never Should Have Gone Away
from the copyright-law-is-ridiculous dept
Today, Hadfield announced that Bowie has once again agreed to allow the video to return to its official YouTube spot (unofficial copies were all over the place). Hadfield actually discusses some of the copyright issues, and notes that getting the rights to put it back took quite a bit of time.
Thus it was with some regret that we took the Space Oddity video off YouTube last May. David Bowie and his publisher had been very gracious. They had allowed his work, his intellectual property, to be made freely available to everyone for a year, and had in fact worked with us and the Canadian Space Agency to make it happen. There was no rancour, and we removed it from YouTube to honour that agreement.This time around, Bowie and his publishers have agreed to a two-year license, meaning we may be going through this ridiculous process again in 2016:
This sequence wasn’t anyone’s fault. The day we took the video down we started to work again to get permission to get it re-posted. But the legal process is careful and exacting, and thus takes time. Despite countless on-line expressions of frustration and desire, it wasn’t anyone’s ill-will or jealousy that kept this version of Oddity off YouTube. It was merely the natural consequence of due process.
And now, we are so happy to be able to announce that my on-orbit cover of Space Oddity is back up on YouTube. This time we have a new 2-year agreement, and it is there, for free, for everyone. We’re proud to have helped bring Bowie’s genius from 1969 into space itself in 2013, and now ever-forward. Special thanks to Onward Music Ltd, to the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, to musicians Emm Gryner and Joe Corcoran, to videographer Andrew Tidby, to my son Evan, and mostly to Mr. David Bowie himself.Once again, this process seems silly and unnecessary. If everyone is so happy about this -- and it's reinvigorated the song and attracted plenty of new interest in it -- why not grant a perpetual license? What possible harm is done in granting a perpetual license so that this process doesn't have to be replicated every few years -- other than to the billable hours of the various lawyers who have to negotiate such a silly thing? Copyright defenders often point to the need for copyright to enable agreements like this, but it seems to be enabling a ridiculously inefficient process, rather than making things easier.
In the meantime, here you go... for at least two more years: