By Evan Ackerman
People have been posting Monty Python clips on YouTube for years… Not to put too fine a point on it but, YouTube users have been distributing copyrighted multimedia content without authorization. Shocking. Rather than go after poor college kids with lawsuits like the RIAA and MPAA have decided to do, the Pythons themselves started their own YouTube channel with this description:
For 3 years you YouTubers have been ripping us off, taking tens of thousands of our videos and putting them on YouTube. Now the tables are turned. It’s time for us to take matters into our own hands.
We know who you are, we know where you live and we could come after you in ways too horrible to tell. But being the extraordinarily nice chaps we are, we’ve figured a better way to get our own back: We’ve launched our own Monty Python channel on YouTube.
But we want something in return.
None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.
As of yesterday, Monty Python’s DVDs are now #2 on Amazon’s Movies and TV bestsellers list, which is an increase of 23,000% (yes, thousand) over pre-YouTube sales. Okay, so this model obviously can’t work for everything, but the point is that free content can actually get people to pay for what they like. The key is to embrace new media creatively rather than try and suppress or destroy it. Easier said than done, perhaps, but if Monty Python can do it…
Latest video from the Python’s YouTube channel, after the jump.