Comedian Louis CK Accepts Bitcoin, Shuns DRM / By Holmes / 14 August 2015

Louis CK is a globally recognised comedian. He is leading the pack by becoming the first major comedian to accept bitcoin as a payment method. The company he has chosen to use is BitPay, a pioneering payment processor in the Bitcoin space. CK’s choice to utilise their processing system mirrors his past, bypassing traditional outlets with a direct to consumer model.

In 2011, CK financed his own stand-up comedy special. He sold it directly to consumers on his website using no digital rights management (DRM). DRM a set of access control technologies, imposing a range of restrictions on what users can do with digital media.

– CK

According to CK, large companies which use DRM charge a higher fee for content, along with restrictions. “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. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely.”

The choice to provide DRM free content is perceived as risky by publishers, copyright holders, and individuals, as users can share the content at will, without penalisation. CK explained, “If I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?”