POSTS FOR 2011

Louis C.K. and a word about torrenting

Tech Life404 words2 minutes to read

For those who don’t know, Louis C.K. is a stand-up comedian. I personally find angry humor to be some of the funniest, and Louis C.K. is a balding, red-headed, middle-aged, middle-class, white guy who’s pissed off about everything.

I’d heard that he’d recorded a live special and was making it available, DRM-free, for $5. That’s right — five bucks. I briefly considered torrenting it since I’m sure it’s all over the place by now, but in the end I decided that watching him rant and rave was worth the five bucks. As I clicked through to buy the video, I saw that he’d posted the following:

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.

If creators of content are willing to bite their thumbs at the idiocy of the entertainment industry by going to their customers directly, then we need to be willing to support them if we ever want things to change. Whether or not you like Louis C.K., we should all be willing to vote with our wallets. For a comedian who is willing to cut out the middle man and offer his content DRM-free for $5, I would gladly support him. If you plan on checking the video out, I would ask that you support him too. (Hat tip: one37)

Ryan Parman

Ryan Parman is an experienced software engineer, open source evangelist, and passionate user advocate currently living in Seattle. He is the creator of and , and worked on DevOps and Security at . He is now bringing learning into the digital age as an Engineering Lead and Site Reliability Engineer at . Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than .