Louis C.K. goes all Radiohead on us and releases a downloadable video…for five bucks. YES! I’m all for cutting out the middleman whenever possible as the traditional entertainment industry business model is a dinosaur.
The vast majority of the money should go to the talent first. Supporting functions such as agents, marketing, accounting, legal, etc. should be secondary or used on an as needed basis instead of the old model.
Oh…and he’s funny as hell.
Im not going to say yet what it’s making. It’s so damn interesting though to be doing this. I feel like i have a front seat to a really cool… thing. I don’t even know what it is. I think it’s really interesting that i brought the price so close to stealing and made the movie so easy to get and made it so clear that it’s a human offering it that it sparked a debate about pirating.
to steal from someone and not feel bad, you either have to be a sociopath or view the act differently. One way is to remove “Someone” from the equation. You’re not stealing from a person. Big companies do a lot to help people view them as less than human. I heard a speach by Noam Chomsky who said that corporations are like super humans. They cannot be hurt like a human can and they never die. They are not succeptible to scrutiny or accountability. this makes them more profitable. If companies want to enjoy these benifits to some degree they have to live with what else comes with being not human. you miss out on compassion, forgiveness, comraderie, empathy, trust all kinds of shit.
The other thing is I can only do this because I’m an individual and I can decide what my risks are that are acceptable and i can make my own goals for what is success. So I forwent (is that a word?) a lot of conventional routes and tried this. i am risking and there may be a celing to the success, but for me it’s okay. i feel like as of this year, I make enough money as a standup my goal now is to bring the cost down for those who buy my stuff. i really mean that. It makes me much happier. Also I did see that there might be a tremendous upswing to this. I was really excited about this material and I though it would be really cool to just put it out there myself witha little electronic hat that only takes fives and just see what happens.
I don’t know yet if I’ll do it again. It hasn’t run it’s course. But I AM SO HAPPY I DID IT. Just so fun and it has been massively gratifying to share the positive of it with so many people who have written and expressed their feelings.
The day before I posted the video I went on pirate bay, which i had never visited and i read the guy’s thign where he posts letters from media co’s and artists and then his nasty and kind of hilariously chest beating responses. I thought “jesus. This guy is a piece of work. I would NEVER tangle assholes with this guy.” and then I thought about it. What do I say to these people? To hope they don’t make me regret putting it out there naked like this? So I wrote that little “to torrent” letter, just being a guy saying “dude. please?” it’s the best I can do. If it doesn’t work, well.
so anyway, seeing the people who have fought about it on pirate bay and that there is a crisis of concious and everythign that’s been written and to see that i’ve gotten paid. Just so interesting and hope-giving an dcool .
Today Buzzfeed announced it received $15.5 million in investments to expand their operations and continue to hire people for new verticals they wish to launch beyond the recent hire of Ben Smith for Buzzfeed Politics.
Look for my video interview with Ben, Jonah and Andrew Kaczynski on Reuters.com later today.
i don’t think that is how it has to be. music in the cloud can change this.
New technology platforms can’t save old, obsolete business models. That’s old thinking. Cloud won’t save “recorded music” which is like photographic film at this point. Songs are free. Performance is not. T-shirts are not. Etc.
The real questions should be: Are there new business models? What are they?
Bottom line: I haven’t purchased music regularly except for a rare speciality item during the past five years.
When the web started, I used to get really grumpy with people because they put my poems up. They put my stories up. They put my stuff up on the web.
I had this belief, which was completely erroneous, that if people put your stuff up on the web and you didn’t tell them to take it down, you would lose your copyright, which actually, is simply not true.
And I also got very grumpy because I felt like they were pirating my stuff, that it was bad. And then I started to notice that two things seemed much more significant. One of which was… places where I was being pirated, particularly Russia where people were translating my stuff into Russian and spreading around into the world, I was selling more and more books.
People were discovering me through being pirated. Then they were going out and buying the real books, and when a new book would come out in Russia, it would sell more and more copies. I thought this was fascinating, and I tried a few experiments. Some of them are quite hard, you know, persuading my publisher for example to take one of my books and put it out for free. We took “American Gods,” a book that was still selling and selling very well, and for a month they put it up completely free on their website. You could read it and you could download it. What happened was sales of my books, through independent bookstores, because that’s all we were measuring it through, went up the following month three hundred percent.
I started to realize that actually, you’re not losing books. You’re not losing sales by having stuff out there. When I give a big talk now on these kinds of subjects and people say, “Well, what about the sales that I’m losing through having stuff copied, through having stuff floating out there?” I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question. Which is, I’d say, “Okay, do you have a favorite author?” They’d say, “Yes.” and I’d say, “Good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book, put up your hands.” And then, “Anybody who discovered your favorite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book raise your hands.” And it’s probably about five, ten percent of the people who actually discovered an author who’s their favorite author, who is the person who they buy everything of.
They buy the hardbacks and they treasure the fact that they got this author. Very few of them bought the book. They were lent it. They were given it. They did not pay for it, and that’s how they found their favorite author. And I thought, “You know, that’s really all this is. It’s people lending books. And you can’t look on that as a loss of sale. It’s not a lost sale, nobody who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free.
What you’re actually doing is advertising. You’re reaching more people, you’re raising awareness. Understanding that gave me a whole new idea of the shape of copyright and of what the web was doing. Because the biggest thing the web is doing is allowing people to hear things. Allowing people to read things. Allowing people to see things that they would never have otherwise seen. And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.
— Neil Gaiman on Copyright, Piracy, and the Commercial Value of the Web