This was already posted on Cartoon Brew, but I found it very inspiring.
It is a short documentary by Marine Lormant Sebag about Nina Paley's struggles and resolution with copyright. For those who don't know, Nina Paley's feature film, Sita Sings the Blues, is a marvelous undertaking, which she produced and funded all on her own. The rest is explained in the clip, but it is an interesting insight into how indie filmmakers like Paley and Bill Plympton make their living, and the confines one could face from a business perspective. There is a lot to be aware of here. I'm not sure what Paley was thinking from the very beginning. As a devoted music fan, I am aware of the dangers of using copyrighted music against my own art. While some big distributors are able to secure the rights to some music, it is difficult with indie filmmakers searching for distribution. Clearing the rights to just two songs could consume half your budget.
Just something to be clear on. I don't know if this would be harder, but I would much rather collaborate with a famous songwriter or composer, than borrow a famous song. It may sound like a pipe dream, but it also sounds a hell of a lot more logical.