CHRIS HADFIELD has captured the worlds heart, judging by the 14m YouTube views of his free-fall rendition of David Bowies “Space Oddity”, recorded on the International Space Station ISS. The Canadian astronauts clear voice and capable guitar-playing were complemented by his facility in moving around in the microgravity of low-earth orbit. But when the man fell to Earth in a neat and safe descent a few days ago, after a five-month stay in orbit, should he have been greeted by copyright police?
While I recognize this is a legitimate legal concern, this particular instance enhances the pettiness and grubbing nature of that legal question. (The outcome in this case, however, also enhances Chris Hadfield’s Canadian-ness: He’d done all the legwork to secure permissions before he ever left the ground.)