Posts Tagged ‘Sita Sings the Blues’

Nina Paley on the making of Sita Sings the Blues

August 18, 2014

Nina Paley talks on the making of Sita Sings the Blues and how copyright stifles creativity.

When we enclose the commons, we turn what was freely available and abundant, into a scarce commodity.

That is what intellectual property rights and copyright does.

We can easily copy music, films, easily share, thus copyright to make it scarce.

Who owns culture?

Corporate entities that own copyright, are under no obligation to release or publish.

Sita Sings the Blues

August 17, 2014
Sita Sings the Blues

Sita Sings the Blues

Sita Sings the Blues, a wonderful feature-length animation from talented graphic artist and animator Nina Paley.

An India epic and also a modern tale.

Sita Sings the Blues is based on the Hindu epic The Ramayana. Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama.

The Ramayana is attributed Valmiki, who was drawing upon an earlier oral tradition. According to Valmiki, Rama dictated to him the story, he was merely the scribe who wrote it in Sanskrit.

The tradition then, is we draw upon what went before. That is until we enclosed the intellectual commons, and intellectual property rights reared its ugly head, having looted the commons, we then sell it back, packaged as entertainment.

To resolve all the copyright issues associated with Sita Sings the Blues, Nina went $70,000 into debt. It is important to emphasise, this was just to clear restrictive copyright issues, it was not the budget for making the film. The copyright issues took a year to resolve.

In Dark Mountain Vol 5, Strange Children written by Akshay Ahuja tells one of the stories from the other great India epic Mahabharata.