Acclaimed animator/cartoonist Nina Paley has sent around word of her new webcomic, Mimi and Eunice, and by sheer coincidence, the topic is the matter which we’ve been much discussing of late.
Paley is best known for her handmade animated film, SITA SINGS THE BLUES, which was made for next to nothing, hailed as a triumph everywhere, but held up from commercial distribution because of copyright issues in the music Paley used for the film. And as Paley writes on the website for the film:
I hereby give Sita Sings the Blues to you. Like all culture, it belongs to you already, but I am making it explicit with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Please distribute, copy, share, archive, and show Sita Sings the Blues. From the shared culture it came, and back into the shared culture it goes.
You don’t need my permission to copy, share, publish, archive, show, sell, broadcast, or remix Sita Sings the Blues. Conventional wisdom urges me to demand payment for every use of the film, but then how would people without money get to see it? How widely would the film be disseminated if it were limited by permission and fees? Control offers a false sense of security. The only real security I have is trusting you, trusting culture, and trusting freedom.
Paley identifies herself as a full-time free culture activist. In keeping with this idea, Mimi and Eunice is fully embeddable (SO EASY TO POST)…and a quite charming way to approach current politics. Paley had a previous comic strip, Fluff, which ran in newspapers for a few years back in the day.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.