"The greatest irony about Sita Sings the Blues is the
copyright bind that it falls into. This is an arcane situation,
owing to the bizarreness of the retroactive-active copyright
extensions foisted upon the US public in the 1998 Copyright Term
"It turns out that, despite the work being over 80 years old;
the authors being long since dead; and the copyright term at the
time of production being an absolute maximum of 56 years (28 years
plus an extension of 28 years); the songs performed by Annette
Hanshaw used in this film are not in the public domain.
Curiously, however, the recordings are. In other words, none of
the rights are owned by the heirs of Annette Hanshaw, but the
rights to the musical compositions and lyrics that she sang are
owned today by various music corporations."