When faced with copyright lemons, Sita Sings the Blues creator Nina Paley made some delicious lemonade. Since Sita uses songs in the film by Annette Hanshaw that are copyrighted, and as an indie filmmaker she can't afford to purchase the rights to them, her hands were tied when it came to distribution. So she came up with a plan that worked with (and around) the copyright issues so the movie's admirers could see the lovely film for themselves. Read a more detailed explanation of the issue here at Question Copyright. [Edited to add: Nina explains on her blog and in the comment section below: "Sita Sings the Blues is 100% legal. I am free to release it commercially, which is why the film is gaining a numberofcommercialdistributors in addition to its free sharing/audience distribution, which is also legal, and wonderful." Read the full explanation here.]

Not only is her beautiful film available to watch online for free, it was also briefly available on PBS last March in for lucky viewers in NYC.

But now Paley has gone a step further with it comes to using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license that is really cool for creative types -- you can download her source files for free to make your own mashups, add Sita-tweaks to your own creative ventures, and do whatever else online arty folks do with Flash files.

categories Movies, Cinematical