Sita PAL

My/QuestionCopyright.org’s Sita PAL DVD is finally available at the Sita Merch Empire!

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The PAL format is for European, African, Australian, and many Asian DVD players. (If you’re in North America, stick with NTSC.) Other new PAL distributions are also coming soon in France and Switzerland/Germany via Sita’s distributors in those countries. Stay tuned!

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Sita now a FREE iPhone app!

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Hooray! The complete Sita Sings the Blues movie is now available FREE for the iPhone, rather than for $3.99. The former price was required because for every copy of Sita “sold,” I had to pay almost $2 to extortionate corporate licensors. That’s a flat fee; doesn’t matter what the sale price is. So selling Sita apps for the customary $.99 would result in a huge loss for me, since I’d be paying far more than that to the licensors.

The solution of course was to make it FREE. They’re all Promotional Copies. No sale, no license fee. To support Mars Yau, who created the app, and me, who created the movie, you can buy the Sita Wallpaper App for $.99. And of course you can always donate to the Sita Distribution Project.

If you have an iPhone please rate the app highly (5 stars? if that doesn’t violate your conscience) to help it spread.

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Sita in San Francisco Feb 9-11

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I miss San Francisco, my former home! But not so much I’m willing to go through airport security. Those of you who are lucky enough to live in the Bay Area may enjoy Sita Sings the Blues on the big screen at the Red Vic:

Tues Feb. 9 – 7:15, 9:15
Wed Feb. 10 – 2:00, 7:15, 9:15
Thurs Feb. 11 – 7:15, 9:15

The Red Vic Movie House:

The Red Vic Movie House is located on 1727 Haight Street (map),between Cole and Shrader, just a block and a half east from Golden Gate Park. The Red Vic is also served directly by MUNI routes: 7,33,37,43, & 71.MUNI route 6 & N-Judah come within a few blocks.

Sita for the iPhone

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I don’t have an iPhone, but you kids that do can now watch Sita Sings the Blues on it for $3.99, thanks to Mars Yau.

Why so expensive? Well, $1.712 per “copy” (argh!) goes to these giant faceless corporations licensors that contribute nothing to culture. The breakdown is as follows:

List Price: $3.99
After Apple‘s 30% cut: $2.79
Profit after paying $1.712 (License fee): $1.07

So I will get 50% of the profit: $.535 (fifty-three and a half cents) per copy – less than one third what the corporate extortionists licensors get. A better way to support me is to just watch the movie for free on the web and then send me a donation. I certainly endorse this project, but I wish there were a way to support Mars Yau’s valuable service – bringing the film conveniently to the iPhone – without supporting anti-social Big Media corporations more.

Sita Sundays @ Symphony Space

Sita Sings the Blues plays the next 3 Sundays at Symphony Space in New York:

Sun, Jan 31 at 5:30 pm
Sun, Feb 7 at 5:30 pm
Sun, Feb 14 at 1 pm and 5:30 pm

I will be doing Q and A’s after all shows. Notice there are two screenings on Valentine’s Day, because what better to show on the evilest holiday ever devised than the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told? It’s the perfect non-date movie!



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]

“Sita” held over a fourth week at IFC

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New schedule:

Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.
Wed, Jan 13 at: 12:45 PM, 2:20 PM, 6:05 PM, 7:55 PMThu, Jan 14 at: 12:45 PM, 2:20 PM, 6:05 PM, 7:55 PMFri, Jan 15 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMSat, Jan 16 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMSun, Jan 17 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMMon, Jan 18 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PMTue, Jan 19 at: 1:10 PM, 5:20 PM

    Also: Coming soon to Symphony Space Sundays only, Jan 31 – Feb. 14 (2 shows on Valentine’s Day – perfect for those without valentines!)

    Ban “Sita Sings the Blues” from the Internet!

    Seriously, I could use the publicity. What would happen if thousands of people signed this petition? Has a movie ever been banned from the Internet before? I want to see how it’s done. You can leave a message with your signature. They only have 367 so far – do your part, people.

    Sita held over 3rd week at IFC NY!

    nina-paley1.jpg Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.

    Wednesday Jan 6’s 7:55pm screening will be followed by a star-studded Q and A featuring Reena Shah (Sita), Todd Michaelsen (score), and Aseem Chhabra (Shadow Puppet #1), as well as myself. I will also do Q and A’s after every 7:55pm show through Sunday.

    Sita held over at IFC; now playing through January 5.

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    Woo! New showtimes – Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.

    I’m doing Q and A’s tonight and tomorrow after the 8:30ish shows, then Friday and Saturday after the 4:40pm shows. Then I might take a little break, who knows.

    FINALLY! Sita in NY Dec. 25-31

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    Sita Sings the Blues plays for one week at New York’s IFC Film Center, Dec. 25-31. This is a real theatrical run, with 7 or 8 screenings a day. I’ll be doing Q & A’s at the 8:25 pm shows most (possibly all) nights. Tickets online!

    The schedule so far (click on the time to purchase tickets):

    IFC Film Center has beautiful screens and is located at 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street (map) in the West Village, right at the W. 4th St. Station (A, C, E, B, D, F, & V subway lines). Please tell all your NY friends and help us get butts in seats!

    Sita @IFC NY, Dec-25-31

    Finally the Sita IFC Film Center page is up. Tickets go on sale Monday Dec. 21. We begged them to do it sooner, but you’ll have to wait until Monday!SitaDropsJewelry

    Sita NYC Theatrical Run Dec. 25-31, IFC Center

    That’s all I know so far – a multiple-shows-a-day run of Sita Sings the Blues at New York’s IFC Film Center, starting Dec. 25 (aka “Chrismas) and closing Dec. 31 (aka “New Year’s Eve”). More info like exact screening times and how to buy tickets coming soon. Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Help us promote it! I love you!

    IFC#1

    Correction, again

    I’m reposting this because misinformation continues to spread all over the interwebs. Maybe I’ll post it every month.

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    Dear Journalists Dear Journalists, bloggers, commenters, etc.,

    Some of you are writing that I was forced to choose the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license because the film is violating copyright. That is completely untrue, but has become the dominant motif of stories I read about the project. The confusion is understandable, so I attempt to sort it out below.

    Sita Sings the Blues is 100% legal. I am free to release it commercially, which is why the film is gaining a number of commercial distributors in addition to its free sharing/audience distribution, which is also legal, and wonderful.

    Sita Sings the Blues is in complete compliance with copyright regulations. I was forced to pay $50,000 in license fees and another $20,000 in legal costs to make it so. That is why I am in debt.  My compliance with copyright law is by no means an endorsement of it. Being $70,000 in the hole reminds me daily what an ass the law is. The film is legal, and that legality gives me a higher moral ground to stamp my feet upon as I denounce the failure that is copyright.

    Having paid these extortionate fees, I could have gone with conventional distribution, and was invited to. I chose to free the film because I could see that would be most beneficial to me, my film, and culture at large. A CC-SA license does not absolve a creator of compliance with copyright law. The law could have sent me to prison for non-commercial copyright infringement. I was forced to borrow $70,000 to decriminalize my film, regardless of how I chose to release it.

    Note that in some ways the film is not, and never will be free. For each disc sold, distributors must pay $1.65 to these faceless money sinks.  Transaction costs raise that amount to about $2.00 per disc. That is why my own Artist’s Edition is limited to 4,999 copies. I’ve already bled $50,000 into their vampiric maws; I have no intention of paying more.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Love,

    –Nina

    Shamelessness

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    A documentarian working on a short film about Free Culture wanted some images of the awards Sita Sings the Blues has received. So I gathered up most of what I have here (they’re not all in my apartment) and put them on a table for the camera man. I was so proud I took a photo of them myself, which I now am shamelessly posting to my blog. I am blushing even as I do this, but not enough to stop me. Thank you, generous givers of awards!