Louis CK Collects $1M in PayPal Sales of DRM-Free Show

By Jason Boog Comment

In less than two weeks, comedian Louis CK has counted $1 million from sales of his “Live at the Beacon Theater” comedy DVD on PayPal. The comedian sold the DVD for $5 to fans without any digital rights management (DRM) protection.

Nearly all digital books currently contain some sort of DRM protection–making it harder for readers to take notes, read on different devices or share the book. Publishers and authors should read Louis CK’s argument against using these tools to restrict your readership.

Here’s more from the post: “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, 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.”

One fourth of the money will go to these charities: The Fistula Foundation, The Pablove Foundation, charity: water, Kiva and Green Chimneys.

Here’s more from Louis CK: “I’m breaking the million into four pieces. The first 250k is going to pay back what the special cost to produce and the website to build. The second 250k is going back to my staff and the people who work for me on the special and on my show. I’m giving them a big fat bonus. The third 280k is going to a few different charities … That leaves me with 220k for myself. Some of that will pay my rent and will care for my childen. The rest I will do terrible, horrible things with and none of that is any of your business.”

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated as the story evolved.