Many people have assumed that our first contact with an alien race will be peaceful and mutually beneficial.
However the good people at Active Politic have put forward a proposal which could see any Alien first contact being marred by the anti-copyright antics of Big Content.
If aliens contacted us and sent us a communication which contained speech, language and music of their culture that information would be widely distributed, analysed and played practically non stop on Radio Four.
Humanity decided to send a record on a gold disk on the Voyager 1 space craft which contains all evidence of our culture; music, speech, whales etc.
While Carl Sagan managed to get a copyright licence for all that material, it was still only going to allow him to put the music on one gold disk.
Aliens who are not familiar with our copyright laws will work out how to play the music and distribute it throughout the galaxy.
Now, if they arrive on Earth in the next 20 years or so, having found Voyager and played the record, they could find themselves being greeted by the RIAA with one of its legendary copyright law-suits.
Of course it could happen the other way round. If SETI picks up the music of another planet and distributes it the first thing we will know of it is when a fleet of its equivalent copyright trolls appear in our galaxy with a desire to collect.
But imagine that the aliens have been monitoring our radio signals to discover all they can about us. After landing Big Content will have one of its famous meetings with Joe Biden and demand that the aliens are arrested. He will off course check to see if their campaign contributions have been received before sending out the FBI to arrest the aliens and steal the content of their hard-drives as proof.
The aliens would then be locked up in a US prison for a trillion years until a rescue mission teleports them out and earth is vapourised for being too silly to exist.
The US is not fond of aliens, ask any Mexican, so what makes us think that Biden and his Big Content chums will treat intergalactic visitors any differently?
Really humanity's only hope is to round up Big Content and their tame political sock puppets dump them in the old Shuttles and fire them at the heart of the sun before the alien mother ship turns up.
If Megaupload gets its cash back, we suspect Dotcom would be happy to provide a few dollars to help bring about this vision.