I’ve written before about the fascinating project Sita Sings the Blues. I was sad to hear that filmmaker Nina Paley is having trouble clearing an 80+ year old song:

After pouring three years of her life into making the film, and having great success with audiences at festival screenings, she now can’t distribute it, because of music licensing issues: the film uses songs recorded in the late 1920’s by singer Annette Hanshaw, and although the recordings are out of copyright, the compositions themselves are still restricted. That means if you want to make a film using these songs from the 1920s, you have to pay money — a lot of money.

Acclaimed animated movie can’t be shown because of licensing costs for music – Boing Boing

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