Louis C.K. gets it

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Louis C.K. is one smart dude. He's not just one of the best standup comics working. He's also a writer, producer, director, and entrepreneur who's been making films for a long, long time. His FX series Louie—essentially a tenuously related string of short films—is the logical culmination of that interest. He even edits the series himself.

But standup is his main bag, and today Louis started offering his brand-new concert video, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon, at his website. Exclusively at his website. Streamable or downloadable. Completely DRM-free.

For five bucks.

This shouldn't seem like such a revolutionary idea, but for the movie and television industries it is. With all the hysteria over piracy in those quarters, it takes a smart, iconoclastic guy with the power to do his own thing to do something so simple and obvious.

Louis C.K. gets it.

He gets that the exposure and goodwill a move like this will generate far outweigh any loss of revenue he'll incur from piracy. He gets that most consumers are basically good, and will gladly pay five dollars for something of value to someone trusted who trusts them back.

In fact, here's a little message from him that appears during the purchase process:

To those who might wish to "torrent" this video: look, I don't really get the whole "torrent" thing. I don't know enough about it to judge either way. But I'd just like you to consider this: I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without "corporate" restrictions.

Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I'm just some guy. I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can't stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the video, and let other people find it in the same way.

Sincerely,
Louis C.K.
The really interesting thing is what your five bucks buys you. It gives you a license to download the film twice, and to stream it twice. In other words, you can watch it twice online, but you can download the file twice and watch it as many times as you want. In fact, you can remix it or burn it to a DVD or whatever. It's yours.

I'm downloading it now, and I can't wait to watch it. The file is a 1.2Gb H.264 MP4, which in layman's terms means I'm going to easily be able to copy it to my iPad and watch it on the exercise bike at the gym, or wherever.

I haven't even watched it yet, and I'm inclined to love it. Louis C.K.—what a smart fucking dude.

(Get your copy at buy.louisck.net.)

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on December 10, 2011 11:59 AM.

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