View Full Version : Sita Sings the Blues - Downloaded your copy yet?

May 2nd, 2010, 02:38 AM

i heard about this movie today at wordcamp san francisco (http://2010.sf.wordcamp.org/). her movie was the topic of questioncopyright.org (http://questioncopyright.org/)'s head honcho's presentation.


according to speaker Karl Fogel (who also wrote this (http://www.amazon.com/Producing-Open-Source-Software-Successful/dp/0596007590/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272763805&sr=8-1) free & Free book that i've read & recommend to anyone that wants to know exactly how this Free Software stuff is mysteriously created from a management POV) she's made ~$90k by giving her movie away via one of the Creative Commons license.

rms also spoke, which was interesting (even if he was a bit more critical of Linus, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon than usual), but this movie and Fogel's presentation around it was by far the most interesting thing of the day.

(bold text is mine)

Dear Audience,

I hereby give Sita Sings the Blues (http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/) to you. Like all culture, it belongs to you already, but I am making it explicit with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Please distribute, copy, share, archive, and show Sita Sings the Blues. From the shared culture it came, and back into the shared culture it goes.

You don't need my permission to copy, share, publish, archive, show, sell, broadcast, or remix Sita Sings the Blues. Conventional wisdom urges me to demand payment for every use of the film, but then how would people without money get to see it? How widely would the film be disseminated if it were limited by permission and fees? Control offers a false sense of security. The only real security I have is trusting you, trusting culture, and trusting freedom.

That said, my colleagues and I will enforce the Share Alike License. You are not free to copy-restrict ("copyright") or attach Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to Sita Sings the Blues or its derivative works.

Some of the songs in Sita Sings the Blues are not free, and may never be; copyright law requires you to obey their respective licenses. This is not by my choice; please see our restrictions page for more.

There is the question of how I'll get money from all this. My personal experience confirms audiences are generous and want to support artists. Surely there's a way for this to happen without centrally controlling every transaction. The old business model of coercion and extortion is failing. New models are emerging, and I'm happy to be part of that. But we're still making this up as we go along. You are free to make money with the free content of Sita Sings the Blues, and you are free to share money with me. People have been making money in Free Software for years; it's time for Free Culture to follow. I look forward to your innovations.

If you have questions, please ask each other. If you have ideas, please implement them - you don't need my permission or anyone else's (except for the copyright-restricted songs, of course). If you see abuses, please address them, but don't get bogged down in arcane details of copyright law. The copyright system wants you to think in terms of asking permission; I want you to think in terms of freedom. We've set up this Wiki to get things started. Feel free to improve it!

I've got to get back to my life now, and make some new art. Thanks for your support! This film wouldn't exist without you.


--Nina Paley
28 February, 2009

If you enjoyed it, and feel like it, don't hesitate to donate! This will encourage future works to be released under similar or identical terms.

minor note of interest: in case you missed my thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=930400) in 2008, Nine Inch Nails has released an outstanding album under a similar license.

tica vun
May 2nd, 2010, 02:46 AM
Is there a video of Stallman's speech somewhere?

May 2nd, 2010, 03:02 AM
I'd been meaning to check this out and forgot! Thanks for posting this, earthpigg (downloading it now).

May 2nd, 2010, 05:00 AM
Is there a video of Stallman's speech somewhere?

not yet.

rms prevented them from streaming it live, because they did not have the capability (and/or refused) to stream it live in .ogg. naturally, this was a public discussion between rms and the camera man.

i wouldn't be surprised if he asked them not to put it on youtube/wordpress tv/vimeo/etc until they also had an .ogg version available for direct download.

i will say this about rms, though: he has gotten much better at speaking to younger and less-nerdy crowds.

ie: he caved and used words like "the iBad" and "iGroan" in reference to iPad and iPhone. "Amazon Swindle", as well. Tore into Microsoft, of course, during the Auction of an emacs manual - apparently the high bidder ($290 or $300, dont recall exactly) is a former Microsoft employee (or so he implied). Also tore into Linus, for the binary blobs.

which is all standard rms -- but he did it in a slightly more comical, and less, "holier than thou" way.

and made fun of himself by putting a halo and robe on, and doing the "St. iGNUseus of the Church of Emacs" routine.

he seems to have moved away from his position that it's "GNU plus Linuhks" and drifted towards the position that it's "GNU, and happens to have Linuhks installed as well". not exact quotes, except that this is indeed how he pronounces Linux.

he also, quite blatantly, encouraged the audience to pirate proprietary software. this one, especially, was a new position for him to take as far as i was aware.

the full position was, paraphrased, is:

"you should not use proprietary software. but, if you do, you may find yourself stuck between two wrong choices when someone asks you for a copy:

1) be a bad member of the community and refuse your neighbor the copy.
2) break the software license and give your neighbor a copy.

of course, you should choose the lesser of two evils.

[dramatic pause]

break the software license.

[lots o laughter]"

(again, that is my imperfect paraphrase)

coming from rms, given that the gpl is a software license, this may or may not prove to be a big deal.

he certainly had a friendly & receptive audience: Apple Laptops all over the place or no, this is still San Francisco... and my fellow San Franciscans tend to err on the side of political activists when in doubt.

I don't really care what he thinks because I automatically assume he is correct on issues of ethics, I care because people at any end of any bell curve are interesting to me.

May 2nd, 2010, 05:41 AM
Downloaded it and donated. I am always happy to support artists who release such amazing work into the creative commons

May 4th, 2010, 04:51 AM
Pretty cool movie, sometimes weird, sometimes funny, alot of singing, and some learning. I think it's a successful mix.