After years of wrangling, Nina Paley's acclaimed, brilliant short film, Sita Sings the Blues is finally available as a free, open-licensed downloads. Paley spent a shocking amount of time and money fighting over the copyrights to the 1920s jazz music that is integral to the film (some have likened it to Betty Boop in Bollywood, which is catchy, but fails to capture the fantasticness of the film), Paley's finally secured a license that allows her to distribute the whole movie, for free, forever, under a remix-friendly license.
I hereby give Sita Sings the Blues 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 Rights Management" (DRM) to Sita Sings the Blues or its derivative works.
Congratulations, Nina! It was a long ride, but man, was it worth it!
Sita Sings the Blues
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