Alien Pirates, Copyrights to Reach Deep Space

Voyager 1 Sometime within the next 5 years, the Voyager 1 space craft is expected to reach interstellar space. It will be the first man made object to cross the heliosphere, which is the final stop in our solar system.

After being launched in 1977, Voyager 1 was the first probe to visit many of the outer planets. It has sent back countless original images from space, almost all of which have been released to the public. Although NASA does sell images, and many appear in copyrighted works (such as books); NASA is very good about releasing information into the public domain, almost all scientifically significant information from space is given to the public.

Voyager 1, famously contained a gold phonographic record. The record was filled with iconic sights, images, and sounds from earth, and the prevailing message, "we come in peace". We think. Even though any alien that can figure out how to play a phonographic record, will have certainly already have received fox news, the contents of the actual gold record are not public domain.

The disc was comprised by a man named Carl Sagan, and it contained many pieces of art, songs, and images, that are all copyrighted. Sagan had to secure the rights to include these items separately, at great expense. The special alien license does not allow the right to free copy and distribution to educators. In fact, it is unclear if an original copy of the entire disc still exists on earth at all.

Some documentaries contain small snippets from the disc. However the closest thing you can find on the open market is a book and CDROM set published by Warner New Media in 1992, called Carl Sagan's Murmurs of Earth. The book shows and describes many of the images used, the cdrom contains the audio.

According to NASA:
Most of the material they used was copyrighted by the creators/owners and Sagan had to get copyright releases in order to assemble the original record. Subsequently, Warner Multimedia was able to obtain copyright releases for the 1992 version of "Murmurs of Earth" .. Unfortunately, the book and CDROM are no longer being published and are hard to find as a set.

Some used copies still exist for sale, versions of Murmurs of Earth published before 1992 will not contain the CDROM. Used copies, are selling for quite a bit of money for information that should be public. A complete copy of the phonograph is not available on the open market and never has been.

Perhaps our next interstellar probe should be sent using more open works, because first contact could be us suing the shit out of them for hearing our message.