Comments on: Music Industry Killing Internet Radio, Sita Sings the Blues

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By: Newly Minted Grumpy Old Man
Tom Conser: it is likely that when Ms. Coslow wrote that comment she needed the money because she had lost it all since... well, you can look up all that drama if it is of any interest. Having said that, Ms. Coslow likely gets a few cents here and there for the "rights" of that song given the structure of the "business." She was, though, part of "the industry" all her life so my guess is she was defending the status quo (Hollywood accounting, anyone?). It is now 11 years later and things have decidedly changed and now Ms. Paley's new film is out there "in the wild."

By: Tom Conser
Cara Coslow-- a correction. Not a woman who writes songs, a woman who has inherited the rights to songs. Your dad or grandpa wrote "Daddy Won't You Please Come Home?", right? A little gravy train. Right.

By: Tom Conser
The woman who writes songs believes they are absolute property, and I ask her where did your mind come from, where do songs come from? I have written songs for 55 years and there's not a one I wouldn't give my eye teeth to hear in a movie theater let alone make a dime from. The best of them were written as a deckhand or a hitchhiker or on a motorcycle, and the origin was Freedom, they come from the ether. Are you an artist or a businessman? Use of the songs in any format and at any stage in the independent life of the song simply gives it more life, and how can that be wrong? I don't go for the extractive model of capitalism, you claim the right to the value of something which is part of nature simply because you don't want to work for a living like everyone else because you're so special, an "artist." Phooey. Go Nina!

By: Sita sings the blues: the pirated Ramayana | Wordly Ties
[…] Now you can blame it all on the election season that I am reading too much into the poor demonâ€s figure of speech in the above extract. It must only be a wicked coincidence that arguably the most reviled female character in the Ramayana – at least in popular imagination – invokes the ‘lotus†so many times to conjure a seductive aureole around inarguably the most sacred Indian woman of all time, real or fictitious. Nina Paley, the impish creator of Sita Sings the Blues, must only be making fun of Soorpanakhaâ€s limited vocabulary through her parrot-like use of Hindu Indiaâ€s most powerful icon to weave a covetous trap that will eventually prove to be the undoing of her very worthy, level-headed brother. The motif that I seem to have discerned in all this must really be balderdash…but what the heck, I am proud of it anyway! And I am sure I wonâ€t be alone in my vanity, for Sita Sings the Blues is bound to create a retinue of proud devotees just like me, each exiting their media player proud of their own little trophy from the filmâ€s virtually inexhaustible cabinet of possibilities. I say ‘media player†because Sita Sings the Blues has not been released to theatre audiences, thanks to a ridiculous strife with Hollywood studios. (Check this out: https://blog.ninapaley.com/2008/08/26/music-industry-on-culture-killing-spree). […]

By: Mimi & Eunice: Added Value | The Libertarian Standard
[...] prices Mimiâ€s nose at $220,000. That was the bargain-basement low-budget-indie-film rate I was quoted to clear the songs I used in Sita Sings the Blues. Like Mimiâ€s nose, those songs were stolen – [...]

By: Urban
Nina, It's people like you that change the system with your Creative Commons licensing. If they had (cc) back in the '20s, maybe there would be a lot of public domain Blues to choose from. Are there no indie film companies still making indie films? Can they not help wade through these issues? I hate to break it to you, but (cc)'ing a movie of this quality kind of makes you a pioneer, so like any big brother or big sister, you're going to have to test the rules and teach us the ways of how to do it. (I'll keep buying from the merchandise store, maybe that will keep you out of bankruptcy.) I have to agree with some above, I never would have heard of these compositions if not for your movie. I would not have bought the audio CD (which makes me think some things may have been settled) if not for you. Did the compositions copyright actually expire, to be retroactively reinstated? It sounds like it. There are so many issues with the DMCA, I don't know where to begin, if that's the legislation that renewed it. I think people should be entitled to their creations, their art. Unfortunately, it's usually held hostage by some agreement, some corporation, someone who seriously took advantage of someone. If it actually flowed to the creator, the artist, I'd be the first in line to pay. Just like I drop a dollar into that guitar case of the guy playing on the street, who is likely making more for his song than the royalty check being mailed to a working-class musician.

By: Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright? « Copycense
[...] Masnick has followed and railed against Paley’s plight. Paley, too, has been active in talking about her copyright clearance plight on her blog. The confluence of events has created an environment wherein another creator is held [...]

By: Just Sayin'
If your film includes the songs of Annette Hanshaw from the 20's -- and her songs are art... and the composers who composed the songs, their compositions are art - why are you saying this is your total "art?" I'm thinking the relatives of Annette Hanshaw are, in fact, irritated at themselves for not keeping the copyrights up to date. If the publisher (sony, universal, etc.) owns the copyrights to those compositions, they are entitled to payment re: DVDs. The film business is a business, after all. You want to make money from your sale of your DVDs but your film includes compositions that are not yours. Not a Catch 22. This is the way it is. Yes "art" is the product to be sold... but my feeling is, "do what you love and the money will follow" and simply take this as a lesson learned. From what I've read above your film sounds excellent although I have not had the pleasure of seeing it... Use it as a fine example of your work to get funding for your next project and simply consider not wasting anymore energy on the thought of DVDs and how much money you own your attorney, etc.. Forget the DVDs. As quickly as possible, move onto your next project. Call me a "well-meaning ignoramuse," if you like. Just sayin' be good to yourself. Good luck.

By: Cara Coslow
Based on what should these songs be in public domain? Based on the fact they are old? So is the Mona Lisa, would like to buy it for $12,000? The copyright law has been extended and I hardly think it is fair to begrudge people who make a living by songs as I do--including one in your film--from asking royalties. Most of the catalog I own was written for hire but the composers do get composer royalties regardless. Sorry art isn't free. Clearly you don't appreciate the quality of the songs in your own film if you value them so little. Would you argue with three Sondheim or Beatle songs asking a fair market price? Cara Coslow

By: JohnTN
What a truly wonderful piece of art! "Sita" is great! And...the music "industry" is total crap, and is stealing American culture. We need to seriously overhaul copyright law (and go farther than repealing the "Bono(r)Law". Very little of the money involved ever gets to the artist. Nina, thank you so much for your work, and I love your stuff in "Funny Times" as well. I'm on Social Security, so I can't donate a lot, but look for my $10 soon (if I can figure out how to send it!)