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Segments from "How Copyright Restrictions Suppress Art": An Interview With Nina Paley About "Sita Sings The Blues"

Below, we offer this November 2008 interview with our artist-in-residence Nina Paley in self-contained segments (transcripts and Youtube videos), since Nina covers so much ground — from the tendency of artists to "internalize the permission culture" and shy away from re-use, to the financial effects copyright restrictions have had on her.

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GEMA censorship in Germany.

Any German speakers out there want to subtitle this short video by Nina Paley? In it, she tells, in English, how her film Sita Sings the Blues is currently being censored on YouTube Germany by GEMA, the German copyright collection agency (the ominous underworld connotations are unfortunately rather too appropriate in this case...).

EDIT July 15, 2011: Big Thank You to Cristobal for these subtitles!


We'd like to get this message wider circulation in Germany. We'd also appreciate it if GEMA and YouTube Germany would fix whatever misunderstanding caused them to censor the film in the first place! But since this surely isn't the only film that this has happened to, it's still important to spread the message that copyright restrictions inevitably result in censorship.

Note that we have already tried the official YouTube takedown counternotice procedure. It has resulted in exactly zero change: the film remains censored on YouTube Germany.

EDIT July 18, 2011: Hurray! Sita Sings The Blues is now, once again, viewable on German Youtube! Thanks to everyone who spread the word and got the story covered in outlets such as Der Spiegel. To learn more about the film, click on the Sita Distribution button at the top of this page.

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