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Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 12/14/2011

Louis C.K. makes profit off $5 online video: ‘I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked’


Louis C.K. on “Louie.” (Eric Leibowitz - FX)
Louis C.K. entered bold new territory Saturday, as he began selling his most recent comedy special as a $5 downloadable video without copy protections. Or as he put it, “No DRM, no regional restrictions, no crap. You can download this file, play it as much as you like, burn it to a DVD, whatever.”

The comedian only asked that people pay for the video, not obtain it illegally: “Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I'm just some guy.”

It seems the gamble has paid off.

In a message posted Tuesday, the Grammy-nominated comedian said he’s made a profit off “Louis CK Live at the Beacon Theater.” Production for the special and its accompanying Web site cost around $202,000, C.K. said. As of yesterday, 110,000 copies had been sold for over $500,000, which brings his profit to about $200,000. (“After taxes $75.58.”)

“I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have [expletive] loads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked,” C.K., who stars in his own hilarious and critically acclaimed FX show “Louie”, said. “If anybody stole it, it wasn't many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it. And so now we all get to know that about people and stuff. I'm really glad I put this out here this way and I'll certainly do it again.”

Louis C.K. promoted his “experiment” Monday during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the social media site Reddit. The comedian joked that if he made “8 million bucks” off the special he would make a movie. Maybe it’s not that funny after all?

By  |  11:02 AM ET, 12/14/2011

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