Special Snowflake Pride

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I recently came out as a Special Snowflake. Please respect my identity by buying this shirt.

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Bee Goddess shirts

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The Bee Goddess from The Golden Calf (Return of the Goddess) is available on Teespring shirts until September 17. All proceeds support me and the Seder-Masochism project! (You can also make a tax-deductible donation and get your name in the credits.)

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Bee Goddess shirts on sale until August 4

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Order at Teespring. Based on Melissa the Bee Goddess, which is based on Minoan art.

Passover Satyr

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When I told a (gentile) friend I was making a movie about the Seder, she thought I said “satyr.” The idea cracked me up, but I didn’t illustrate it because who needs more associations of Jews with horns and cloven hooves? Until now. Here is the Passover Satyr.

I was worried this was in questionable taste. Too soon? But after posting this illustration on Facebook, so many people asked for a T-shirt that I set one up for pre-orders here.

teespring1You have until November 3 to order one.

 

“Shiva” shirts

Now at the Merch Empire:

Sita T-shirts: help me choose colors

Funny how I have all these Sita Sings the Blues Tshirts, but none with a picture of just Sita herself. I want to remedy that. The question is, what color should the “Sita” shirt blank be? Colors I’m considering are: black, pink (“raspberry,” according to the Bella shirt co.), or creamish-tan. Which color should I choose?

As always, click the thumbnails to see larger images. Also: I put the “Sita Sings the Blues” logo on this design, but I don’t have to. Would you rather have a shirt with the logo, or without? So far none of the shirts I sell have the logo anywhere, making them kind of artsy and mysterious. Should I continue that trend?

Here’s the design superimposed on the photo of a model wearing the Bella scoopneck “raspberry” colored shirt:

In related merch news, I’m finally going to produce some “Shiva Natraj” shirts. These will be blingy gold foil on beautiful shades of purple that I know are awesome: women’s “currant” and men’s “eggplant.”

But do please help me choose a fabric color for the “Sita” shirt. Thanks!

What’s wrong with “streaming” DRM?

Judging from comments here, at Techdirt, and at BoingBoing, there seems to be much confusion about why I don’t want DRM on Sita Sings the Blues. The simplest explanation is this: I am making my film available to all under an open license. Allowing a party to take the benefit of that license, but then limit the rights of downstream users is inconsistent and frustrates the original purpose of the open license — to promote and facilitate access and use of the work.

Some people seem to think DRM is irrelevant on “streaming content.” I was one of them, which is why I was initially so indecisive about the Netflix streaming offer. DRM encourages people to think of certain liberties as being impossible, rather than merely taken away. Already many people think that “streaming” means “cannot be saved on my computer,” instead of “optimized for real-time flow”.  People make this false equation entirely because of user-side DRM.

So along with its other problems, DRM is a kind of anti-literacy device for the digital age.  The more hobbled people’s phones and computers and music players get, the harder it is to remember what it was like when those devices served their users rather than the monopolists. The more deeply embedded DRM becomes, the more its restrictions will come to feel like “just the way things are”, rather than an impediment that could conceivably be removed or worked around.

I respectfully submit a typical comment:

Its not a download or purchase , its “Free Streaming” . From my Roku box to my tv why should you or I care if it has drm.

This is a perfect example of the kind of illiteracy mentioned above. “…we’re talking about a stream, which by definition is not saved on your computer”.  This commenter and others have bought the industry’s definition of “stream”, even though there’s nothing inherent in streaming that prevents saving. I can’t blame them; until last week, I didn’t think about what “streaming” meant either.

Here’s another typical comment:

You’re obviously making a symbolic stand here. That’s fine. But please at least be honest about that instead of claiming that Netflix streaming is “breaking” my home electronics. My computer and my Xbox work just fine and my rights have not been violated in any tangible or meaningful way.

If data is sent to your computer, and yet your computer won’t let you save that data, than an important function of your computer has been interfered with.  Who does your computer work for, anyway, you or them? It’s not just a hypothetical breakage, either.  For example, if you wanted to divide the same incoming stream to two different computers in your house, similarly to how a “Y” pipe would do with water, Netflix DRM will prevent that.  Normally, your computer could do that just fine, but not when it’s broken.

If the quibble is with the word “broken,” we can use the less-inflammatory word “disabled,” although people are eager to forget that “disabling” a computer means “breaking it in increments.”

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My rejection of DRM is not a condemnation of Netflix (I like Netflix!) nor of those who use this very convenient service. I made this difficult decision as the author of Sita Sings the Blues. The only reason Netflix has DRM on its streams is because of pressure from the “content industry.” Well guess what – I am the content industry too, and I say no to DRM.

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Thanks to Karl Fogel for contributing to this article.

New Merch at the Merch Empire!

Sita_Bag_magenta_640Handmade silk bags by Ubuntu@Work!
yhst-20024741711964_2100_6906620Laxmi Pins and Necklaces!

Laxmi_shirt_currantWomen’s Laxmi shirts in “currant”

yhst-20024741711964_2103_290972Stainless steel water bottles!

And lots of other men’s and women’s shirts, DVDs and CDs, and accessories for your scarce-goods-consuming pleasure.

The Little Movie That Could

And the little Free Culture Activist that could, too:

Sita Sings the Blues at the IFC Film Center, New York Dec. 25 2009

Sita Sings the Blues at the IFC Film Center, New York Dec. 25 2009

T-shirt available here. Come see the movie! It closes Dec. 31.

New Merch at the Merch Empire!

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Finally, the new Laxmi and Lexi T-shirts are here! In both men’s/unisex, and wymmyn’s “girly tee” styles. Also new: prints for just $15 (unsigned)!

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More (C)ensorship

Amazon erased purchased e-books from consumers’ Kindles. Wait’ll you find out what books. This is an inevitable consequence of Digital Restrictions Mongering.

Meanwhile, US courts banned a book using ©ensorship law!

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Now’s as good a time as any to plug QuestionCopyright.org‘s ©ensorship T-shirts. They’re actually quite inexpensive, and wearing them does a huge public service as you educate people around you.

“Wearing them really works, by the way. I wore one on a train recently and wound up having a great conversation about copyright with two people, one of them a musician coming back from a gig, after they asked me about the front.” –Karl Fogel

Sponsor-A-Shirt!

Sponsor a Shirt or other Sita Merch:

“Where’s the ‘Lexi’ shirt?” “I want kids’ sizes!” “I want a shirt with the male ‘Shadow Puppet #1’!” “Can we have other colors please?”

Our shirts are silk screen printed, yielding much higher quality products than “on-demand” shirts. But that quality comes at a cost. Unlike on-demand shirts, we must pay for shirts in advance, investing in color separations, screens, films, inks, and blank shirts, and committing to a minimum run of 36 pieces.

However YOU, dear reader, can SPONSOR-A-SHIRT! Want us to offer “Ravana” in kids’ sizes? A donation of $400 to questioncopyright.org will allow it to exist in up to 3 kid’s sizes OF YOUR CHOICE. Want “Lexi” to go into production? A $500 donation makes it happen in your choice of one style (Men’s, Women’s, Camisole, or Kids’), color, and up to 3 sizes….

When the product becomes available, its product page at the Sita Sings the Blues Merchandise Empire will say “This shirt sponsored by _________________,” with a link. You can sponsor a shirt in your name, or on behalf of a friend, loved one or organization. You’ll know exactly how your donation is being invested, making our organization more sustainable. It’s not going to consumables like food or rent – it’s starting a new revenue stream…

Read the rest here.

SITA SINGS THE BLUES MERCHANDISE EMPIRE

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THE STORE IS LIVE AND OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Finally you can buy DVDs and T-Shirts. Hooray!

Re: Shirt Designs: We are taking pre-orders until Wednesday June 10, after which shirts go immediately into production. Shirts ordered before June 10 will ship June 17. To make sure the design you want comes into existence, please order it NOW.

BUY! BUY! BUY!

Love,

–Nina

P.S. Feel free to copy any of these standard-sized web ads here.

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The store, she is taking forever

Now the problem is the payment authorization service is delaying…and we can’t take orders until that’s set up…so we wait and wait. And then right when we think we’re done, some new technical glitch presents itself. It’s driving me crazy. I’m really hoping it can go live by Monday…

But we are getting closer. Click on the eentsy image below for a sneak peek screenshot of the store-in-progress.

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Rishi shirt design

UPDATE: per suggestion, same design in off-center position on shirt:

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Hopefully this wraps up my “Phase I” shirt designing spree. I just need to know whether y’all prefer the Rishi (or is it Valmiki himself?) just standing there, or playing the violin. And whether you’d buy, or at least desire, either one.

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These puppies are 4 color, so they’re middle-expensive. I’m not certain, but I’m estimating 1-color shirts to be about $20, 3-color $25, 6-color $30, and totally fancy-pants with multiple colors and metallic/foil inks (like the phonograph) maybe $35. That’s my educated guess.