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David Bowie's "Space Oddity" Inspires An Animation And A Legal Saga

Everybody likes a bit of David Bowie in their lives, it’d be rude not to. And to help people cultivate an appreciation of Bowie from a young age, back in August illustrator Andrew Kolb created a children’s picture book with cutesie drawings based around the song “Space Oddity” and released it online as a free PDF.

Before you could even say “Ground control to Major Tom” it had exploded all over the internet and gone viral, and it would seem that we had yet another alternative publishing success story on our hands. Time for Kolb to bask in his new found fame and rake in publishing deals from Random House and Scholastic, right? But then he received an email from the music group holding the rights to the song and the fun times were soon over. He had to take down the PDF and remove all explicit references to the song from the book. Boo. Hoo.

But it’s going to take more than that to beat the internet. So step into the fray Andrew Ruttan who’s taken the illustrations, after emailing Kolb and asking if he could animate it, and turned them into the video above with a “Space Oddity” soundtrack. In doing so he’s laying the gauntlet down back at the music company’s door, which means the saga continues because, naturally, Ruttan doesn’t have permission to use the track either.

Maybe we should start taking bets on how long before he gets asked to take the thing down. I’m going with two days. So watch it while you can, because it’d be a shame to see this go to waste.