Sunday, December 11, 2011

Comedian Louis CK offers up DRM-free show video; please don't punish him by BitTorrenting it

Comedian Louis CK is doing something we wish everyone would do: presenting his content, free of DRM, easily streamed or downloadable, at a fair price, $5. Yes, it could easily be uploaded to BitTorrent, but here's his request, and ours: don't do it.

The video is of Louis CK's Live at the Beacon Theater special. Free of DRM, and not even just streamed, but easily downloadable, there's nothing to prevent someone from uploading it to BitTorrent. Louis CK even admits that.

If you click purchase at his site, you'll end up at the Buy page, where you can enter your email address and pay through PayPal. There, he has a message, not a warning, to potential BitTorrenters. He says:

"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."

He may be "some guy," but he's also pretty funny, and we hope you've caught him on television or live. Either way, he's not completely clueless about BitTorrent, no matter what he says: in 2009, noting a torrent of his work on MiniNova, he asked "nicely" (seriously, nicely) for the content to be removed. It was.

This new Louis CK content is presented the way many have been saying content should be: without DRM, easy to access, and at a fair price. It's been said that the way to halt piracy is to produce content with fair pricing, rather than expensive and often buggy DRM. Louis CK has done just that.

The bad news: we were able to find torrents of this new work. The "somewhat" good news: the torrent said that if you liked the work, buy it. Let's hope anyone who downloads it via P2P (we did NOT) pays up.

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