Nina Paley on Property, Copyleft, Copyright at HOPE 2010

Artist and anti-copyright innovator Nina Paley, creator of Sita Sings the Blues1 , has posted an edited video with excerpts of her talk “Sita Sings the Blues: a Free Culture Success Story” at The Next H.O.P.E. (Hackers On Planet Earth) conference, July 16 2010 in New York City. The talk includes:

why I insisted on authentic songs, what is and is not property, software is culture, the difference between Share Alike (copyleft) and other Creative Commons licenses, why I paid to legally license the old songs, how noncommercial copyright infringement is still illegal, legal costs, benefits of audience sharing & decentralized distribution, the Sita Sings the Blues Merchandise Empire (, open-licensed merch, audience goodwill, how fans support artists, rivalrous vs. non-rivalrous goods, the Creator Endorsed Mark, migrating Flash files to open formats, gift income, commerce without monopolies, why I encourage legal sharing, and more!

It is quite impressive to see an artist like this in front of this audience explaining how rivalrous goods are property and nonrivalrous goods are not, and how free distribution of the latter can be used to sell the former.

As my TLS co-blogger Dick Clark observed to me,

HOPE is a pretty big deal. That was the same con where Adrian Lamo got booed for ratting out Bradley Manning.

But don’t think this is just filtering in. I was talking in 2001 with Eric Corley, aka “Emmanuel Goldstein,” the organizer of HOPE and founder/editor of 2600 Magazine about your article, Against Intellectual Property. There are a lot of anti-IP hackers (and libertarian hackers too, if the Jargon file observations on hacker politics are correct). Information Longs to Be Free, baby.

  1. See also The Creator-Endorsed Mark as an Alternative to Copyright; Interview: Nina Paley on Copyright; Nina Paley’s “All Creative Work is Derivative”; Power to the Pixel 2009: Nina Paley

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  • The full, 55-minute version has now been posted, here. Well worth viewing, IMHO.