By Lance Weiler, May 29th, 2009

Nina Paley wants you to see her film which is exactly what most filmmakers desire. But the way in which Paley is releasing her debut feature Sita Sings the Blues is a bit different. She wants to give it to you for free via a creative commons license. In fact she is encouraging her audience to take and distribute the work and if they profit she just asks that they share some of the revenue. As Paley experiments with a free hybrid model that also includes a paying theatrical release (which was landed after her theatrical distributors saw the demand for Sita) she intends to be open and transparent about her findings. In our discussion we cover a range of topics – music clearance, copyright, how culture wants to be free, and turning your audience into distribution hubs.

Related:
Understanding Free Content

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Lance Weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects.

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  • Cory has an excellent post on his blog about a recent comic book deal with IDW comics. IDW is a huge player in the comics world. What's fascinating is that Cory has just signed a comic deal for six of his stories which carry Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike/Noncommercial licenses. IDW will be releasing them in a commercial way but still keeping the Creative Commons licenses which will allow fans to remix them in non-commercial ways.

    Here is the language from the deal

    The exclusive rights granted to Licensee hereunder are subject to a pre-existing Creative Commons license which grants members of the public the irrevocable and nonexclusive right to create their own adaptations of the Licensed Property, including comic books. Such Creative Commons-licensed works may not be sold or distributed for profit. Licensee acknowledges that under the terms of this Creative Commons license, members of the public may create comic book version of the Licensed Property for non-commercial distribution. Licensor agrees not to license the rights which are granted to Licensee hereunder to any competitor of Licensee or to any commercial enterprise intending to create adaptations of the Works for commercial distribution.
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