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Nina Paley releases Sita Sings The Blues for free

Nina Paley, an American cartoonist and animator, has released her feature length animated film, Sita Sings the Blues, online for free.

“There is the question of how I’ll get money from all this. My personal experience confirms audiences are generous and want to support artists. Surely there’s a way for this to happen without centrally controlling every transaction. The old business model of coercion and extortion is failing. New models are emerging, and I’m happy to be part of that. But we’re still making this up as we go along. You are free to make money with the free content of Sita Sings the Blues, and you are free to share money with me. People have been making money in Free Software for years; it’s time for Free Culture to follow. I look forward to your innovations.”

The short can be streamed on thirteen.org or archive.org in various formats including a 1080p HD 4gb version.

Community Comments

#1 Charles Brubaker
March/4/2009
@ 10:44 am

A neat film. Worth watching

#2 Rick Stromoski
March/4/2009
@ 12:41 pm

>>> People have been making money in Free Software for years; it?s time for Free Culture to follow.

This is a joke right? .

One wonders about the state of our artform with this mindset.

The entire quote is just financial suicide in a nutshell. I wouldn’t mind so much if one chooses to just give their art away but it hurts everyone over the long run because it creates an atmosphere among creative buyers and consumers that art is cheap and not worth much other than what pennies you’re willing to throw into the hat on the sidewalk. Eventually that thinking seeps into the culture and eventually effects my bottom line and ability to make a living.

#3 Phil Wohlrab
March/4/2009
@ 1:18 pm

“it hurts everyone over the long run because it creates an atmosphere among creative buyers and consumers that art is cheap and not worth much other than what pennies you?re willing to throw into the hat on the sidewalk.”

Isn’t that how people were buying homes not long ago?

#4 Wiley Miller
March/4/2009
@ 1:41 pm

“Isn?t that how people were buying homes not long ago?”

Um… no. I’m pretty sure people were BUYING and SELLING their homes.

#5 Zach Trenholm
March/4/2009
@ 2:03 pm

Right on Rick. Just like the sexual revolution’s undermining of the call-girl business, nobody will pay when everyone is giving it away for free…. :-)

#6 Phil Wohlrab
March/4/2009
@ 3:10 pm

Just saying that the consumer/ buyer in us all expects free/cheap things now more than ever.. and if we end up paying top dollar we fell like we’ve been screwed. The seeds for that atmosphere already have deep roots.

#7 Tom Wood
March/4/2009
@ 3:48 pm

The ‘free software’ model works because it’s a come on for the paid support*. Polaroid gave away their cameras for nearly free, then charged for the film. Kodak followed that model too. So do the cheap home printers and their over-priced ink cartridges.

To make ‘free’ comics work, there has to be an underlying economic model that brings in the cash. On the web, that’s advertising, book sales, or other goods. For advertising, the challenge is to attract an audience with a known set of buying behaviors, that can in turn be delivered to an advertiser.

* And I’m still suspecting that most viruses on the web are set loose by the anti-virus software companies.

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