Friday, September 13, 2013

No moment in the sun, beyond the sun, for the sun

Carl Sagan had wanted to include Here Comes The Sun on the disc of music that was put onto Voyager.

EMI, being EMI, refused on copyright grounds. Perhaps they were afraid The Beatles had signed before contracts stipulated "throughout the known universe"; maybe they feared that you put a track from Abbey Road on a record being floated into space, before you know it, ET would be down the car boot knocking out collections of Greatest Hits.

To be fair, though, it might be better for the universe that EMI said no. Imagine a hyper-intelligent race, billions of miles away, coming across Voyager, working out how to play the disc, and starting with that song. There's a good chance they'd assume it was a warning that a massive star was on a collision course with their planet, isn't there?

[hat-tip to @bowbrick]