How does copyright work in space?

A fascinating article in the Economist this week that explores the copyright issues raised by Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield’s rendition of David Bowie‘s “Space Oddity.” Commander Hadfield, recently returned to earth from his stint aboard the International Space Station, was already something of a celebrity in Canada, with an active Twitter feed and a fanbase of close to a million Followers.  He is now an international—make that intergalactic—celebrity.

The video went viral, currently at 16 million views, and could have resulted in years of litigation. Wisely, they negotiated with the music rights’ holders and secured permission in advance.

The world (and presumably Mr Bowie) is the richer for it.