Canadian newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen, has just posted an apology to David Bowie regarding the removal of Chris Hadfield's Space Oddity on YouTube.
Here follows that apology in full.
Apology to David Bowie
On May 16, 2014, The Ottawa Citizen published a prominent commentary piece written by Blayne Haggart on our op-ed page that David Bowie was responsible for the removal from YouTube of astronaut Chris Hadfield's video version of "Space Oddity" which was viewed over 22 million times. The commentary erroneously claimed that Mr. Bowie refused to renew a one-year license previously granted to Commander Hadfield, ultimately forcing the video to be removed from worldwide distribution.
That was incorrect. Subsequent to running this piece, we were informed by Mr. Bowie of the following facts: In April of 2013, while Commander Hadfield was still in space, his people contacted Mr. Bowie to seek permission to make the video.
They were informed that while Mr. Bowie would give his full support to the use of the song by Commander Hadfield, Space Oddity was the only one of more than 300 songs he has written and recorded for which he did not own or control the copyright. Mr. Bowie offered to have his people call the publisher and convey his strong support, but he had no ability to personally dictate any of the terms of the license or even require the publishers to issue one.
Immediately thereafter, Mr. Bowie made contact with the publisher of the composition expressing his wish that they allow Commander Hadfield the right to record and synchronize his recording to the video he was proposing to make. Mr. Bowie strongly suggested that the license be immediately issued at no charge and that the creation of this video had his enthusiastic support.
One year later, the Citizen erroneously published that Mr. Bowie had granted the original license but failed to renew the license after one year. The commentary published by the Citizen also erroneously implied that Mr. Bowie was the reason the video had to be removed from YouTube and questioned how his actions could have "made the world a better place." The article caused an immediate reaction by thousands of fans worldwide, and this incorrect information was picked up by hundreds of other news sources around the world.
On behalf of Blayne Haggart and ourselves, we regret the error and we sincerely apologize to Mr. Bowie as well as all his fans around the world.
The Ottawa Citizen, June 24, 2014
View the online version here.