Content is an unlimited resource. People can now make perfect copies of digital content for free. That’s why they expect content to be free â€” because it is in fact free. That is GOOD.
Think of “content” â€” culture â€” as water. Where water flows, life flourishes.
â€” objects like books, DVDs, hard drives, apparel, action figures, and prints â€” are not free. They are a limited resource
. No one expects these objects to be free, and people voluntarily pay good money for them.
Think of “containers” â€” books, discs, hard drives â€” as jugs and vessels. These containers add utility to and increase the value of the water. If you can get water for free in the public river, great â€” that doesn’t reduce the value of vessels. Quite the contrary: when rivers flow, the utility and value of water vessels increases.
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How many independent animators get a Bangok high fashion line named after their film? None, unless they let people share:
“First of the treats for fans of the brand this year is the presentation of its Spring/Summer 2009 collection. Titled “Sita Sings the Blues” after the stunning animation film by US cartoonist/artist Nina Paley, the collection was unveiled for the first time to fans and fashionistas in the form of a choreographed presentation against the backdrop of the famed animation….” link
We’re almost done authoring the Sita Sings the Blues DVD packaging and getting an order fulfillment service to ship it. Meanwhile, here’s something to do: sign up here with just your email address, and we’ll send you an mail with ordering information as soon as it’s ready.
Because the “content” is free – you can download it all online – what we’re actually selling is DVD packaging, not the film itself. This includes a nicely printed full color recycled cardstock “eco” case, and a silkscreened “pre-downloaded” DVD with the film and various features like subtitles, the trailer, and some video interviews of me ranting about copyright. The DVD is a nice package, a real object, and you can actually own it – it’ll still be there even if the internet (or your connection to it) disappears.
We’re planning two “Official” editions of the DVD packaging. The basic consumer version will be about $20:
Then there’s the Artist’s Edition, which will be about $100. This will be a more elaborate package – 6 panels instead of 4 – numbered and signed by me. This edition will be limited to 4,999. Why 4,999? Because for every 5,000 DVDs sold, I have to make additional payments (beyond the $50,000 I have already paid) to the corporations that hold copyright monopolies on some of the music used in the film. I don’t believe culture can be owned, and I’ve released my film under a free license to ensure that it can never be similarly trapped, but as long as the government enforces these monopolies, I must count DVDs.
The cover art isn’t final but will be in a few days. I could use the “happy Sita” image on the artist’s edition, and the “artsy Sita” on the consumer version. Leave your suggestions now or forever hold your peace. Thanks!