News on our artist(s) in residence.


Having released the widely-acclaimed film Sita Sings the Blues under a free license (and with financial support from many fans via our Sita Distribution Project), our Artist-in-Residence Nina Paley is now working on her next animated film, Seder-Masochism (see previews farther down):

Seder-Masochism, Nina Paley's next project.

To support Nina's work, please choose a donation level below. Donations go to our Artist-in-Residence Working Fund, which supports the creation and distribution of new works of art by our Artist-in-Residence under licence terms that respect everyone's freedoms to copy, share, show, and extend the work. Your donations are tax-deductible in the United States, as is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Mensch $1+ Big thanks!
Prophet $100+ Your name in the credits.
Cherub $500+ Name in credits, in a larger font.
Seraph $1000+ A message of your choice* in phonetic hieroglyphics in background of a scene in the film, plus your name in the credits.
Angel $2000+ A message of your choice* in Hebrew in background of a scene in the film, plus your name in the credits.
Archangel $5000+ All of the above, plus lunch or dinner with Nina.

* Messages can be up to 20 words. For hieroglyphics, provide the original message in English, to be spelled out phonetically in hieroglyphics. For example, this says "Copying is not theft, stealing a thing leaves one less left, copying it makes one thing more, that's what copying's for.":

Copying is not theft hieroglyrics.

Ready? Donate via PayPal — you will be prompted for the amount after you click, and will have an opportunity to include a message:

Please note that:

  • Question Copyright is not responsible for the content of this work nor any other produced by our Artist-in-Residence, is not involved in artistic decisions, and is not a copyright holder in the work.
  • Question Copyright does not guarantee the timeliness or even the completion of any particular work of art.
  • Question Copyright determines, in consultation with its Artist-in-Residence but ultimately at its sole discretion, how funds donated to the Artist-in-Residence Working Fund will be used. We ensure that all uses of funds are fully compatible with and in support of our mission, which includes distribution of high-quality works of art under free licenses.

    Donate by check:

    Please send to:
       P.O. Box 20165
       Stanford, CA 94309-0165   USA 

    Please remember to write "Artist-in-Residence Working Fund: Seder-Masochism" in the memo line or accompanying note so we know where to direct the donation.

    Donate by bank wire, etc:

    If you'd like to donate by some other method, such as a bank wire transfer, please contact us and we'll work it out. Thanks!


    In Chicago: "Sita Sings the Blues" Screening @ Columbia College (4:30pm, Thu, Feb 6th)

    The Women+Film student group at Columbia College in Chicago is presenting QCO Artist-in-Residence Nina Paley's film Sita Sings the Blues this Thursday at 4:30pm -- and Nina will be there for Q&A!  Come see a wonderful film, talk to its director, and get the pre-downloaded DVD in person, straight from the source.

    4:30pm, Thursday, 6 February 2014
    1104 S. Wabash Ave.
    Room 502
    (Note: the posters are apparently wrong -- it really is room 502, not 302 as the poster says)

    Poster for 2014-02-06 screening of Sita Sings the Blues at Columbia College Chicago.


    We Pledged $500 to the Tupi Animation Software Kickstarter campaign -- join us?

    Tupi logo. has pledged $500.00 to the Tupi 2D Animation Software Kickstarter campaign, and we're posting this to help spread the word.

    Please join us and the other project backers, with whatever amount you can pledge!  Remember, your pledge is only called in if Tupi reaches their $30,000 goal by September 26th.

    Tupi is already runnable code.  They're on version 0.2 right now, and their goal in this campaign is to reach their 1.0 feature set, including installers for Macintosh and Windows.  (It's already packaged for Debian and Ubuntu GNU/Linux; I've installed it.)

    Our Artist-in-Residence Nina Paley (who also backed Tupi's campaign personally) explained very well why projects like Tupi are important, in her post "It's 2013.  Do you know where my Free vector animation software is?".  When you're an artist, you're dependent on your tools — and that means when someone has a monopoly over your tools, they can play havoc with your art and your livelihood.  That's exactly what happened with Adobe's Macromedia Flash 8.  Read Nina's post for the details, but basically Adobe decided to remove features from their Flash authoring software, in order to sell those features separately in other programs.  As Nina points out, the problem with this isn't just the extra expense, it's the increase in workload and production time.  And the looming threat that they might do it again in the next version.  They can yank the rug out from under their users at any time, and there's nothing the users can do about it, except refuse to upgrade (which becomes less and less feasible as time goes on, of course).

    Free, open source programs can't do this to their users, because no one has a monopoly over the software.  If one group puts out a version of the software that is missing important features, users will shrug and start using a competing fork that treats them better.  It also means that if enough artists need a particular bugfix or improvement in the software, they have a path to make it happen — they don't have to be programmers, as long as they can band together and hire programmers.  Users are not vulnerable to arbitrary decisions handed down from management, they way they are with proprietary software.  (Of course, the more likely scenario is that artists would band together and just pay Tupi's original development team to make the necessary changes.  The fact that the users have the option to go elsewhere is precisely what makes the original authors likely to be responsive to true demand — a free-market ideal that proprietary software is structurally biased against attaining.)

    Tupi has another thing going for it: Nina, an extremely experienced animator who knows the major competing proprietary tool very well, has publicly volunteered to test and provide feedback to open source animation projects, including Tupi.  (Nina says "Tupi’s strength is its simplicity; it’s great for kids and anyone new to animation. It doesn’t yet have the power I need to produce feature films, but its development is a good thing for all of us. ...")

    So please help spread the word about Tupi's Kickstarter campaign! (Here are links to retweet or redent our posts about it.)  You can read more about Tupi here, and this is their campaign video:



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