Off The Hook

Last night I was a guest on 2600’s Off the Hook hacker radio show. I start ranting about copyright about 1/4 of the way in, and keep going until the end. Listen here.

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Me discussing VHEMT on Bloggingheads

This was recorded about 2 months ago. Today Bloggingheads finally posted it – SURPRISE! Now everyone who didn’t figure it out before will know that the nice lady who made SSTB is also in the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Please, please watch the whole thing – you may be surprised.

Update: comments on this video inspired a Mimi & Eunice comic!

Excerpts from my HOPE talk

Excerpts from my talk “Sita Sings the Blues: a Free Culture Success Story” at The Next H.O.P.E. (Hackers On Planet Earth) conference, July 16 2010 in New York City. Includes: why I insisted on authentic songs, what is and is not property, software is culture, the difference between Share Alike (copyleft) and other Creative Commons licenses, why I paid to legally license the old songs, how noncommercial copyright infringement is still illegal, legal costs, benefits of audience sharing & decentralized distribution, the Sita Sings the Blues Merchandise Empire (sitasingstheblues.com/store), open-licensed merch, audience goodwill, how fans support artists, rivalrous vs. non-rivalrous goods, the Creator Endorsed Mark, migrating Flash files to open formats, gift income, commerce without monopolies, why I encourage legal sharing, and more!

Learn about the movie: http://sitasingstheblues.com/
Donate: http://questioncopyright.org/sita_dis…
Store: http://sitasingstheblues.com/store
HOPE: http://thenexthope.org/

Coming soon to the Bay Area

Heads up, California peeps! July 20 I’m hosting a screening of Sita Sings the Blues to benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Cartoon Art Museum.

Date:
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Address: Delancey Screening room
600 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94107


The next day, July 21, I’m returning to Santa Cruz for a screening of Sita at the Nickelodeon!

Special Screening and Q & A with Writer/Director Nina Paley
July 21st 7pm @ The Nickelodeon
210 Lincoln St.
Santa Cruz, CA (map)

Meanwhile the Cartoon Art Museum is having an exhibit of my work, Before Sita Sang the Blues: Spotlight on Nina Paley.

This retrospective will feature a selection of Paley’s syndicated comic strips,  illustrations, and a series of prints, paintings and behind-the-scenes materials from Sita.

See old gems like this:

I’ll be hanging around until early August. So if anyone in the Bay Area wants to hire me for speaking, now’s the time to save big!

Sita in Brooklyn this Thursday July 1st

I’ll be there, along with über-talented collaborators Todd Michaelsen and Reena Shah!

The Observatory
No. 543 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Date: Thursday, July 1st
Time: 7:30 PM Musical Performance by Todd Michaelsen and Reena Shah of My Pet Dragon
8pm:
Film screening/Q & A
Complimentary bags of popcorn will be served while supplies last
Admission: $5
Day Four of The Oxberry Pegs Series

The Vegetarian at the Butchers’ Seminar

Yesterday I attended a film conference. I found myself at a talk in which filmmakers were advised how to negotiate deals.

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I felt sick listening, and wondered why. Monopolies were an unquestioned, underlying assumption. When the time came for audience comments and questions, I said that rights were monopolies, that monopolies prevent the market from functioning, that distributors can be great if they’re not granted monopolies, and that it’s up to us artists to not grant those monopolies in the first place.

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Naturally, the speaker wasn’t too thrilled with my comment.

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If filmmakers realized monopolies don’t serve them, he’d be out of a job (he’s one of the many professionals who “help” artists by “protecting” them). Later, I came up with a  metaphor (or meat-aphor) that helped explain my feelings: being a Free Culture advocate at a film conference is like being a vegetarian at a butchers’ seminar.

As a vegetarian I’ve learned better than to discuss dietary habits with the many carnivores who are my friends and loved ones. So I’m questioning what I’m doing at these conferences. I wouldn’t walk into a butchers’ conference and advocate vegetarianism. But what would I do if I were invited, because some of the butchers wanted to learn about vegetarianism, if only to marvel at its freakishness?

Sita Soundtrack now available!

You can buy it right now at CDBaby. Soon it will be at the Sita Merch Empire (where we’ll get more profit per sale), but with today’s snow it may take a while for the initial shipment of CDs to reach the order fulfillment warehouse.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/sitasingstheblues

In semi-related news, I mention the soundtrack on this podcast interview with the CommandLine. I was all worried about being inarticulate, but actually I said some smart stuff. Thanks to Thomas Gideon/cmdln for asking smart questions, making smart comments, and making a smart show.

Oh, and DC was fun! I spoke at American University. Great audience, great hosts. (And AU’s IP Law Clinic did all the initial legal research on the Annette Hanshaw songs I used in Sita Sings the Blues, for which I am forever grateful.) During my visit, everyone in DC was still talking about their weeks-past “snowpocalypse,” even though the snow was mostly melted, just some patches on the sides of the streets. I thought, “big deal, I wish we’d gotten more snow in New York.” Then I came back to New York just in time for a snowpocalypse here! I have a lot more sympathy for DC now.

Me at Kripalu April 16-18

Wanna spend a fun weekend with me improvising drawn stories on index cards at a renowned yoga retreat? I sure do!

Nina Paley’s Visual Storytelling Workshop @Kripalu
Friday April 16 – Sunday April 18, 2010
(with a screening of Sita Sings the Blues on the 16th)
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health (in the Berkshires of Western MA)

Register here! Caveat: it costs money.

Me looking kinda yoga-y. I haven't done real yoga in years, unless art counts.

Me looking kinda yoga-y. I haven't done real yoga in years, unless art counts. But I'm looking forward to doing it again! In the Berkshires of Western MA!

Happy Evilest Holiday Ever Devised!

07.IceBed

To celebrate, there are not one but TWO count ’em TWO screenings of The Greatest Break Up Story Ever Told this Sunday, February 14th at Symphony Space:

Sun, Feb 14 at 1 pm and 5:30 pm

It’s a perfect non-date movie! And I’ll be there in person for post-screening Q & A’s.

Love to my single peeps!

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]

“The Revolution Will Be Animated”

An excellent new 16-minute documentary by Marine Lormant Sebag about Free Culture, Sita Sings the Blues, and me. Please watch it – it’s good and it explains a lot!

The Revolution Will Be Animated from Marine Lormant Sebag on Vimeo.

FINALLY! Sita in NY Dec. 25-31

SitaDropsJewelry

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 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

A ‘Free’ Distribution Case Study: Sita Sings The Blues

Here’s me presenting the latest Sita Sings the Blues Free Distribution Report at Power to the Pixel‘s Cross-Media Film Forum in London, October 14. I was actually very sick, had a terrible sore throat, and had kept quiet all morning to save my voice for this. Apparently I did a good job compensating – hooray for performance adrenaline! But my throat hurts just looking at it.