Here’s a blog by animator Nina Paley, who asserts that media content is FREE:

Her recent animated feature, “Sita Sings the Blues” is beautiful by the way, though largely suported by donors, which may explain her position.

My own sense is, after witnessing the destruction of the movie industry in Cambodia due to piracy of content, is that positions regarding media content being “free” don’t hold water in normal commercial environments.

The content may seem to be free when donors are paying for it*, but in commercial, private sector operations (basically, the backbone of a healthy and normal civil society) this position isn’t sustainable for the media sector.

The decline of the movie industry in Cambodia is in my view case in point. The idea of “free” content may be prevalent, I suppose, when there’s a high density of donor-sponsored media content to sustain the notion; but I would hesitate, for the sake of any emerging LDC’s commercial media sector, to advise this as a viable, realistic position.

Anyway, I emailed Nina about this; we never met, but both our movies were playing in the same festival (the 2009 FL Film Fest)…will be interesting to see how notions of free content play out in environments/media operations that are not primarily donor-suported, which must observe a bottom line to recoup costs and be financially viable.

CAMERADO Movies and Media