Nina Paley, a teacher at Parson School of Design in Manhattan, over the course of 5 years on a home computer, single-handedly animated and produced Sita Sings the Blues, the greatest breakup story ever told.
Nina has put her video under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, allowing anyone to distribute, copy, share, archive, and show Sita Sings the Blues. Her belief: from the shared culture it came, and back into the shared culture it goes.
Tim King best explains her reasons for doing this in his blog entry:
One of my favorite cautionary tales is Sita Sings The Blues. An artist going through a breakup creates an animated piece that integrates the 1920s music she is listening to at the time with an ancient Indian myth and her own relationship disaster. It's very thoughtfully done. Give it a look if you've never seen it before. The details are on the website, but here's the summary: when she went to get the copyright for the 1920s recordings (long out of copyright) that she wanted, she discovered a copyright law firm (one of many that buy up copyright-passed, older material) contacted her back and wanted a quarter of a million dollars for songs they didn't own by an artist they never represented.
The film is fabulous -- maybe Sita sings the blues a bit too much -- but the story is fun and the way the animation carries the stories is worth the almost hour and a half.
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