WNYC today at 2pm, 93.9 fm

Smackdown: Open Source or Closed Doors? (click here to listen)

The director of Sita Sings the Blues, Nina Paley, had to pay $50,000 to use old songs in her animation movie. She then put the movie online for free and turned herself into a free-culture activist. Composer Jaron Lanier was a digital pioneer in the ’90s, but in his new book he claims that open-source is destroying creativity and fostering vicious behavior. They join us to debate the pros and cons of free love in art-making.

Sita Sings the Blues site
More about Jaron Lanier [NY Times]

6 comments to WNYC today at 2pm, 93.9 fm

  • Economies that require artificial scarcity in order to function beg for undermining, and a snapshot of digital culture may capture a disappointing likeness of the moving elephant as it passes from monopolized captivity to whatever’s-coming-next.

  • Mark

    Missed the broadcast — I would love to listen to an mp3 of it, if WNYC makes one available.

  • It was a relatively sweet, collegial conversation in sharp contrast to the devastatingly competitive SMACKDOWN connotation; still, Nina championed cultural cooperation, so Everybody won.

    Here’s another perspective on “the opponent”:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caterina-fake/participatory-media-and-w_b_428053.html

  • That was an excellent interview. Quite honestly, Jaron would never make a living off of his art, because I don’t think his product is commercially viable. I would pay money to not listen to that crap.

    Jaron basically wants to be a trust fund kid. I don’t make money if I don’t work, I don’t royalties as a bean counter. Anything I have created I give it away because my ideas are always a derivative of someone else’s. Not that I’m particularly good at my art or anything.

    The argument about newspapers not succeeding and memberships failing, that is because their content sucks. There are bloggers out there with content I’ve been reading for nearly a decade at this point and I do support them when I can via donations, buying doo-dads, etc. I don’t like the not-well-hidden slants most newspapers promote. Their failing readership has a lot do with being unable to compete effectively in the marketplace. If the playing field was truly even the content would be so much better.

    Nina: Sita Sings the Blues is truly one of the best animated movies I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see what you do next. Also my husband got a job after a long stint of unemployment, so I’ll be donating with his first paycheck.

  • Lanier is an amazing musician (his indigenous flute playing here astounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW1BBbvrEYA ).

    But when he puts down open-source, Linux, Linus Torvalds, … This is just sour grapes. Linux is powering Google and every other super computer farm in the world; as well as the internet router in your home. Open-source software and Creative Commons is revolutionizing both art and technology.

  • Andrew Fink

    Nina, great job representing open culture on the show.

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