Copyright Geeks Rejoice with @Cmdr_Hadfield

Commander Hadfield is returning to Earth today, sings goodbye with this awesome tribute to David Bowie’s Space Oddity, and all copyright geeks rejoice.

The credits at the end of the video indicate that guitar and vocals were recorded on board the international space station, the rest of the music produced and mixed on earth, and the video was produced by “Hadfield’s son Evan, 27, who is currently serving as his father’s unpaid social media manager” (who currently lives in Germany). For copyright geeks, this adds an extra special level of joy, with questions such as whether copyright law applies in the space station, if it does, the copyright law of which country, and a range of others. See e.g.,

Even if outer space is a copyright-less jurisdiction, some of the production and dissemination of the video was done on Earth, so some may wonder whether Canada’s new s. 29.21, dealing with non-commercial user-generated content applies. Others may wonder whether the video would be considered fair dealing.

According to the CBC, the production of the video is much more than an exercise in awesomeness and geekery, and has a deeper purpose. “You want people to be interested in the space program. And in a democracy like Canada, if you want a program to continue, the best way … is to get people interested in it.” The goal, Evan says, has been to open eyes, not to give people answers, but to give them a chance to see and think for themselves with the information his father has been providing. “If we can’t convince Canadians that what we’re doing in space is valuable, then the next time we have to vote for a budget or the next time we have to vote for a government agency, we won’t be voting positively towards space, and I think that’s an absolute shame because what we’re doing in space is so phenomenal.”

Is this fair dealing? I would think so.

Anyway, I hear that Canada now demands that the IP chapter of the currently negotiated TGP (Trans-Galactic Partnership) agreement will include the One Small Step test, arguing that this test, also known as fair use or fair dealing, is one giant leap for mankind.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.