I came across an interesting copyright issue from 2015 that I wanted to share with you all! SpaceX won the first private spaceflight contract to resupply the International Space Station. Up until this point, NASA (a government agency) has run all missions themselves. So, images taken from space have generally been in the public domain – free to be used by anyone without restriction. However, the photos taken by SpaceX were not clearly “government work”, even though NASA paid for the launch. Because SpaceX was operating as a contractor, any of the copyrightable images are subject to their own copyright – not NASA’s. SpaceX received backlash for restricting its photos to non-commercial use only, so they updated their licensing and released some photos on Flickr. There are several interesting articles on the topic if you want to read more on the topic, I attached one link here.
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