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Louis CK Makes A Million Bucks Offering A Special Online For $5

The first time I saw a Louis CK special I was appalled, I’ll confess. He was talking about his five-year-old daughter and saying (I’m paraphrasing here), “Sometimes they are the cutest, sweetest, most loving little child you ever saw, and then, BOOM, she becomes a total asshole.”

My daughter was a newborn at the time and after years of infertility and loss I was madly in love with this tiny new person and just decided to go ahead and hate him because MY PRECIOUS SNOWFLAKE was never, ever going to be like that! No way.

Ahem. My daughter is five (AND A HALF! she would say), and all I can say is, I get it.

Anyhoo, Louis CK has joined other creative types that have decided to dump the middleman distribution and production companies and make his own comedy special (which he produced) and then offer it for sale on his website for $5.

He decided to do it as simply as possible, even though he was warned that doing it that way meant people would pirate and torrent the video. So instead of going crazy with security, he decided to simply ask people NOT to do that. He says on his site:

Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I’m just some guy. I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can’t stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the video, and let other people find it in the same way.

It made so much more money than he expected that he decided to give a lot of the money away (after putting $250,000 back into his company). He gave over $220,000 to his employees as bonuses (damn), donated  $280,000 to five charities (The Fistula Foundation, The Pablove Foundation, charity: water, Kiva and Green Chimneys), and claims to be keeping the rest to do “terrible things that are none of our business”.

He talked about this experience on the Jimmy Fallon show.

I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing in the future! If you’d like to buy his special, you can do so here.

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