We've written a couple of times about Nina Paley's amazing animated film Sita Sings the Blues, which features vocals by Annette Hanshaw.
Sita's gotten terrific reviews, and just recently the equivalent of an 42-Million-Thumbs-Up from Roger Ebert. Now the tough news. Turns out that while the Hanshaw recordings that Nina used are in the public domain, several of the songs themselves are not. (You may recall that we ran into this last month when we tried to locate all the sheet music online. See the Sita Sings the Blues Songbook that we've set up on Delicious.)
Nina says they're being Mean to Me. Am I Blue? You Bet.
So Nina is being held hostage by the copyright owners, and the moolah they're trying extort is completely out of line with the budget of an indie filmmaker. You can read and hear more about her plight by checking out this story today on our sister site BoingBoing. Better yet, check out the call for help on Nina's blog. She's looking for angels, attorneys, and people with connections to both.
Now if Warren Buffett turns out to be an Annette Hanshaw fan, too, I think this can all be resolved with the stroke of a pen...That's All!