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.
Note: Please, please continue uploading my comics to WikiMedia Commons, beloved uploaders! Nina’s Adventures is next. I completely endorse and support this work! Thank you! I love you! I post the rant below because, well, it’s on my mind now, and life isn’t perfect.
Continue reading “My Wikimedia Rant”
Remember this comic strip Stephen Hersh and I did for King Features Syndicate in 2002 – 2003?
Well, we’re releasing ALL of them to EVERYONE under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license!
But this project needs your help. I’ve assembled all the strips I could find and put them in two giant zipped folders (one for B&W dailies, one for color Sundays), which
I uploaded here on archive.org. But someone – anyone – now needs to convert the TIFF files to PNG and upload them one at a time to Wikimedia Commons, where they can be read, shared, and enjoyed by everyone.
Feel free to come up with a better file naming protocol than the examples here.
In order to convert the Sunday color files to PNG, they must first be mode-changed from CMYK to RGB.
The Black-and-white files should be converted from bitmap to greyscale before saving as PNG and uploading. We also need descriptions and welcome any other relevant data anyone wants to add.
UPDATE: Holly Duthie has done all the color mode and file conversions! The new PNG files are here:
http://www.archive.org/details/HotsSundays.GS.PNGs.zip (Sundays in B&W)
http://www.archive.org/details/HotsSundays.RGB.PNGs.zip (Sundays in full color)
Now we just need others to download the PNGs from archive.org, and upload them one at a time to wikimedia.org, with any relevant data.
Thank you for sharing!
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!
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
Celebrate FilmKaravan‘s new Creator Endorsed distribution* of the Sita Sings the Blues DVD!
When: Tuesday, July 28, 6:30-8:30 PM
Where: Interieurs | 151 Franklin Street between Hudson & Varick (map)
Entry Fee: $15* Cash/Check @ door (all proceeds go towards the SSB distribution campaign)
*Includes OPEN BAR, Kebabs and a free SSB DVD ($19.99 value)
RSVP to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday July 24, 2009
More info on facebook
I will be there, along with some original paintings from the film, and prints, and other merch including brand new “Hanuman” cloisonne pins, not yet available anywhere else!
Continue reading “Sita DVD Release Party”