Stand-up comedian, writer, television producer, member of Time Magazine‘s Top 100, film editor, fucking filthy moralist, one of America’s remaining philosophers (sort of), and independent media distributor, Louis C.K has taken to the Internet to share his work DRM-free, again.
In December 2011, Louis C.K. put up download links to sell his “Live at the Beacon Theatre” comedy special for five dollars. It quickly sold over 200,000 copies grossing Louis C.K. over $1.1 million, $280,000 of which he gave to various charities. Explaining his decision to the NY Times, C.K. said, “I don’t have to go, ‘Here’s this product,’ to whatever company, and then cringe and shrug and apologize to my fans for whatever words are being removed, whatever ads they’re having to watch, whatever marketing is being lobbed on.”
Since setting this precedent, comedians Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari have followed the model and sold their own specials online.
Louis C.K. has added two more specials to his website, each being sold at a cost of five dollars.
“Word: Live at Carnegie Hall,” is relatively new material, although some of it has been featured on his hit scripted comedy Louie. Of Word, C.K. says, “This is material that I was performing two years ago (about) on a tour that was called “Word”. Some of this material was on my FX show “Louie” in pieces but the entire show in one piece was never released. This show was recorded at Carnegie Hall on November 4, 2010.”
“Shameless” is one of C.K.’s early specials that has never before been released on audio.
On his website, Louis C.K. acknowledges the potential for theft and illegal distribution of his material. He thinks it’s worth it though:
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 these files 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 show, and let other people find it in the same way.