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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  1. identicon
    Justin, 16 Apr 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    There is nothing in copyright law that states the copyright holder is the only person that can make money from content.

    Except it does. If you have exclusive distribution rights (i.e. copyright) to a work then you have the exclusive right to monetize it. That's different from saying no one else can make money on it, but the copyright holder has the exclusive right to set the terms of monetization i.e. how it's going to be sold (digital-only, physical media, etc.) and who is going to sell it (iTunes, Amazon, etc.). You can even sell the copyright to monetize it, but then you lose the right to monetize it further.

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