Re: Free South Park!

Mike Masnick (
Wed, 18 Feb 1998 10:36:22 -0500

At 12:34 AM 2/18/98 -0800, I Find Karma wrote:
>> "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!

Funny how he changes his story... In October, he claimed that they were
going to go after those sites (see story below). Following that, I believe
there was a huge uproar from fans, and now this back tracking. What's
interesting is that following this original incident in October many of the
servers, including Hager's (the initial "This Week On South Park" site)
became so overloaded that ISPs and college began forbidding people from
using them for this purpose. Hager's response, and many followed suit, was
to stop streaming the shows, and simply to make them available by FTP
(which, in some ways, goes against the concept of streaming - but I was
fine with it, because a locally stored copy certainly plays with fewer
buffering glitches than one coming through my 28.8 modem.) Still, I think
the initial decision by Comedy Central simply drove more people to the web
sites (it's how I found it).

>Web no laughing matter for Comedy Central
>Executives at cable-TV's Comedy Central channel are flattered,
>they say, but they're also frustrated by fan-sites set up for the
>animated "South Park" program. They're taking issue with some
>sites offering full-length episodes of the show using Internet
>streaming technology, according to Media Daily, an online
>publication. Larry Lieberman, Comedy Central's VP of strategic
>planning and new business, is said to be worried about copyright
>protection, as well as audience levels, worrying the Netcasts may
>cannibalize the cable channel's viewership. Put another way,
>Lieberman told Media Daily, "We feel strongly that 'South Park' is
>best viewed on television, not on a two-inch screen." He
>reportedly said Comedy Channel is preparing to take action against
>streaming sites.