Chris Hadfield’s Rendition Of Space Oddity Back On YouTube, Thanks To David Bowie

Music / Pop Culture

Canada’s greatest gift to the world, a video of Col. Chris Hadfield playing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on a guitar while in orbit around the Earth, is finally back up on YouTube thanks to a little help from the Thin White Duke himself. The fantastic video was originally intended to boost enthusiasm for the Canadian Space Agency and space exploration in general, and was granted a 1-year license to use the song when it was posted back in May of 2013. Needless to say, the venture succeeded as nearly 24 million people viewed the video before it was taken down once the contract ran out last May.

For space fans, and fans of Canadian’s singing while floating in zero gravity, the day was a minor tragedy of sorts. If you have the guts to actually look at YouTube comments for a video and check out those on “Space Oddity”, you’ll see a swath of posts sharing the video on Google+ and commenting on how the video is being taken down on that fateful day in May. Slowly those are being replaced by comments of rejoice as the video has been reinstated.

Almost six months later and the video has finally been made available again, thanks to a 2-year contract agreement between Hadfield and David Bowie. Since they smartly just disabled the video instead of deleting it when the contract ran out, it still retains all the original 23.7 million and counting views.

Hadfield explained in a blog post announcing the video’s reinstatement that he and his team have been trying to get the video back the second it went down but the lengthy legal process made it difficult to get the whole thing done any quicker, and also assured fans of the video that there was no ill-will with David Bowie.

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.

While Bowie has never come out and said much one way or another regarding the video being taken down, he is a fan of it. Back in 2013 when the video was originally posted he called it “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created.”

Who knows if we’ll be in the same situation when the contract runs out in two years, but here’s hoping everyone learned how to make the transition smoother and all the legal fiddling can be done behind the scenes before time is up again in 2016.

Source: Chris Hadfield

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