Free South Park!

I Find Karma (
Wed, 18 Feb 1998 00:34:38 -0800

This week's Time magazine version of the Netly News at

talks about

as giving away bootleg copies of South Park episodes that you can
download straight off the Net. So now Rohit you have no excuse not
to see them all. is also a very comprehensive South Park site -- with
links to (it seems) every other South Park web page.

Tune in this Wednesday at 10pm on Comedy Central to see the ultimate
battle between good (represented by The Cure's Robert Smith) and evil
(represented by Barbra Streisand) in what continues to be the most
tasteless, humorless, offensive show on the planet.

Oh, here's the Netly News article about intellectual property blah blah blah:


> Can't wait for the day when all the episodes of your favorite TV shows
> are available online, so you can watch whatever you want to watch when
> you want to watch it? If you're a fan of South Park, the foul-mouthed,
> flannel-board-style cartoon on Comedy Central, that day is here. Scores
> of Websites, from Mr. Hat's Hellhole to, are
> giving away bootleg copies of the cable-TV show. I smelled an
> intellectual-property-rights disaster in the making--how long can this
> go on?--so I called Joe Hager, the 19-year-old sophomore at Drexel
> University who was the first to put the cartoon on the Net.
> It's easy, says Hager. Park-ophiles simply record episodes on their
> VCRs and squeeze the signals into their PCs using a nifty piece of
> digitizing software called RealVideo. A few simple instructions put
> the episodes on the Web, where anyone on the Internet can point, click
> and view them within seconds. Hager started distributing South Park in
> August, a few days after after RealNetworks began giving away its once
> pricey server software. Why did he do it? His justification is that
> while the show is enormously popular with 18-to-25-year-olds, most
> college students don't have cable. He figures he's performing a public
> service--and building an even bigger audience for the show. After all,
> anyone who has seen the grainy PC version knows that it's better on a
> big-screen TV.
> Meanwhile, everyone interested in the intersection of TV and the Net
> is sitting straighter in his chair. South Park's low production values
> make it ideal for online distribution. But look down the road a few
> years when Net connections get faster and RealVideo-type technology
> improves, and you can see how easy it will be for people to give away
> everything from CDs to feature-length films. I figured Comedy Central
> would be thrombosing about this blatant theft of copyrighted
> material. As usual, I figured wrong.
> "We really aren't sure what to do," says Larry Lieberman, a savvy Web
> user who happens to be the guy at Comedy Central charged with handling
> this situation. "We do want to protect our property, but we don't want
> to alienate our fans." Lieberman understands why South Park is ripe for
> the stealing: its surprise success caught Comedy Central in short
> supply. Fewer than a dozen episodes have been produced, and they are
> getting heavily recycled. "With a new episode every week, the itch gets
> scratched on television," says Lieberman. "But we can't create episodes
> fast enough." So in a curious way, the Net is helping keep the troops
> in line. That isn't to say the free lunch will run forever. Indeed,
> Lieberman says the network already has plans to shut down a few
> sites--the ones selling ads on their South Park pages. Some people!
> Read the Netly News daily on the Web at


My grandfather was a lesbian, so that makes me a quarter lesbian...
-- Eric Cartman, South Park