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“Louis CK is described as a hero for circumventing the entertainment industry. If he made comics he’d be called THE DEATH OF COMIC SHOPS.”
— Girl & Boy creator Andrew Tunney, commenting on the experiment by comedian Louis CK to make his new standup special available for download for just $5, forgoing traditional distribution channels.
Within three days, the special had been downloaded more than 110,000 times, amounting to a profit of about $200,000 for the comedian. “This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you,” CK acknowledges, “but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.”