updated 12:35 pm EST, Wed February 15, 2012
Gaffigan to distribute DRM-free comedy special
Comedian Jim Gaffigan will take a page out of colleague Louis CK's book and distribute his next comedy special, Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe, exclusively over the Internet. The one-hour special will be taped on February 25 and be released in April. Gaffigan will charge $5 for the video available from his official website, and donate $1 to charity.
Louis CK's sale proved very successful, as he sold more than $1 million of his own $5 download in a few days. Gaffigan admitted he was inspired by his fellow comedian, though he is wary of the possible results. As both offerings are DRM-free, there is the potential of sharing and stealing the file after it's been bought once.
Gaffigan's charity of choice is the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which supports injured service members, veterans, and their families.
The model, at least in Louis CK's case, proved to be a success for all involved. Studios would have charged more for the video to the buyer, he said at the time, and cut into his own profits as well. The agencies would have similarly region-locked the video and made it more difficult to get the footage on to a mobile device.
Music labels and movie studios, as well as the RIAA and MPAA who represent them, consistently insist DRM protection is needed in order to keep users from freely and illegally distributing works. The RIAA only reluctantly agreed to remove most copy protection starting in 2007 after Apple, Amazon, and others agreed to variable song pricing. [via Hollywood Reporter]