How Copyright Restrictions Suppress Art:

An Interview With Nina Paley About “Sita Sings The Blues” |

I’m an advocate for fair copyright laws. Which we don’t have at this point. The copyright laws serve big corporations, and already rich artists (but mostly corporations), and the article above points out a lot of reasons why. there’s also, a 42 minute vidoe interview with Nina Paley, which is well worth watching.
Some hightlights:

After pouring three years of her life into making the film, and having great success with audiences at festival screenings, she now can’t distribute it, because of music licensing issues: the film uses songs recorded in the late 1920’s by singer Annette Hanshaw, and although the recordings are out of copyright, the compositions themselves are still restricted. That means if you want to make a film using these songs from the 1920s, you have to pay money — a lot of money (around $50,000.00).

It’s a classic example of how today’s copyright system suppresses art, effectively forcing artists to make creative choices based on licensing concerns rather than on their artistic vision.

The music in Sita Sings The Blues is integral to the film: entire animation sequences were done around particular songs.

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