Paramount Thinks That Louis CK Making $1 Million In 12 Days Means He's Not Monetizing

from the does-anyone-take-these-people-seriously? dept

One of the more annoying things about debates on copyright law, is that when we talk about alternative business models that do not rely on copyright, some people feel the need to insist that this means making less money -- or, even, making no money at all. There is just this assumption that an alternative business model means something along the lines of "give it away and pray," when nothing could be further from the truth. Yet this kind of thinking is so ingrained, that even in stories of artists making a ton of money, some maximalists simply assume that they're not making any money. We saw this recently in the comments to one of our recent posts about Jonathan Coulton which talks about how he made $500k last year -- at which point, someone said that such examples are useless since no one will pay.

It appears that Paramount's "Worldwide VP of Content Protection and Outreach" Al Perry also fits into the same unthinking mode. We've already discussed Perry's recent talk to Brooklyn Law School, but there was one section that caught my eye and deserves a separate post. It comes right at the beginning:
Perry opened by noting that one has to articulate a problem before seeking to solve it, and he refers to the problem as “content theft.” He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations, and that even if people like Louis C.K. decide not to do so, that’s a choice and not a requirement.
Now that seems bizarre and totally unsupportable. Remember, Louis CK made over $1 million in just a few days -- an amount that he admits was much higher than what he would have received just for a straight up performance. In what world does going direct-to-fans, building a good relationship, automatically mean no money made at all? Not the one we're based on.

Filed Under: al perry, jonathan coulton, louis ck, monetization
Companies: paramount


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    PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2012 @ 7:41am

    Wow, this literally makes no sense to me. Perhaps one of our usual suspects can educate me on how making a profit doesn't equal monetisation. Bearing in mind that as of Dec. 21st, CK had already announced that he was so far in profit he could afford to give $280K to charity after paying staff & costs.

    Quick story: I'd heard mention of Louis CK before this release, but I'd never heard any of his material. Looking through his filmography, that's no surprise since it's largely filled with writing gigs for TV shows I don't watch and some movies I had no interest in watching, and I don't tend to watch standup from complete unknowns (which CK essentially is where I'm coming from).

    However, as a direct result of this experiment I paid the $5 - for various reasons but largely due to it being virtually risk free on my part (no region restriction, no DRM, cheap price, instant delivery). I finally watched it last weekend. Pretty funny, and I'll probably check out his other standup soon.

    However, you know what I would *not* have done, ever? Bought a DVD, Blu Ray or DRM infected file. Not only would those have been inconvenient, but almost certainly overpriced and it could even be a crapshoot as to whether I was allowed to play the thing on my chosen devices. So, there would be no way in hell I'd blind buy those in the same way as I did the digital file, and so CK has absolutely received at least $5 that he wouldn't have had by going the traditional route.

    Oh, and because I did the above, guess what I didn't do with that money? Buy or rent product released by Paramount. I might continue that trend...

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