Nina Paley was approached by Netflix to offer her amazing animated feature Sita Sings the Blues
on their streaming service. Sita
retells the saga of Rama and incorporates some vintage jazz, to marvellous effect. In order to clear this old jazz music, Paley had to go through an enormous rigamarole, and this experience has turned her into an advocate for a more liberal copyright.
So Nina asked if Netflix would stream her movie without DRM. Netflix refused. Then Nina asked if she could add some pre-roll to the film advising viewers of places they could get it for free and without DRM.
This mirrors my experience with Audible and the Kindle, where I, as the copyright holder and creator, was not allowed to offer my work without DRM and/or a restrictive license-agreement -- I wasn't even allowed to add something to the text or audio saying, "I release you from the license agreement you've clicked through."
Nina's done what I did. She's refused to license her works for a platform that restricts her audience against her wishes, and she's told the world what she's done and why. It cost her thousands of dollars, but she stuck to her principles, and set an example for other creators, as well as making sure that her viewers got a fair deal. Bravo!
I've been the "change I want to see" in regards to copyright monopolies. People told me I'd lose everything by copylefting Sita, including all hope of professional distribution. But in fact, some professional distributors became willing to distribute Sita without claiming monopolies over it, and we're all fine.
I'd still love Sita to be offered through Netflix's online channels; if they ever offer DRM-free video-on-demand, I hope they remember Sita Sings the Blues.
For now, people will just have to obtain Sita by visiting the vast big Internet outside of Netflix. Most of the Internet still isn't enclosed by Netflix, or Amazon, or iTunes. Most of the Internet is still Free; I'm doing what little I can to keep it that way. I'm sad to lose the potential viewers who may have found Sita through Netflix's electronic delivery. But maybe some of those Netflix subscribers will discover the rest of the Internet because of my tiny act of resisting DRM.
What Nina said. I love Audible's convenience and selection. I love ebooks. I dream of the day when I, as a copyright holder and creator, can partner with the iTunes Store, Amazon and Audible to offer digital versions of my works on simple terms like, "Respect copyright law" and "You bought it, you own it."
Turning down Netflix
(via The Command Line)
LA is chock full of beautiful theaters, but the one to be at on Wednesday nights is the famous Fais Do-Do Ballroom. It’s not because of the rich history that oozes from its architectural pores – it’s because that’s where Scot Nery will be. And when you go to his show, don’t be surprised if […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Fuck Yeah Tarot Decks is a tumblr dedicated to the resurgence of interest—tinged as it is in irony and self-reflection—in divinatory decks and the many awesome franchises and tropes they can be adapted to. The amazing thing you see above? $1 at Dollar Tree. [via Metafilter]
If you own a dog, you’ve most likely heard of BarkBox – the monthly subscription box for dogs. What started as a simple idea to try out the subscription model on pet owners has since developed a cult following of dog lovers. If you haven’t given it a try yet, this one month free deal is the […]
With the iPhone headphone jack having gone by the wayside, we’re excited about the addition of the FRANKLIN Bluetooth Headphones in our store. These headphones are foldable so they’re easy to carry around, but most importantly, they pack impressive sound. Our biggest struggle with Bluetooth headphones is the worry of them dying at the worst moment. This pair lasts an impressive 8-10 […]
Evan Kimbrell, founder of the digital agency Sprintkick, recently released a series of online courses that feature some of the best advice we’ve come across. These courses are well worth your time, and will save you from making many typical mistakes down the line if you ever want to start your own business.With this Business […]