Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media The Internet Entertainment

South Park To Be Available Online Free and Legal 277

Posted by Zonk
from the i-like-the-crazy-future dept.
garnetlion writes "South Park is coming online, free and legal. My brief research has not indicated if it will use DRM, require some silly Windows-only software or be otherwise substandard. According to a Wired blog article, 'Parker and Stone said they were inspired to start the site when they got 'really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time. So we gave ourselves a legal alternative.'" In this regard South Park joins fellow Comedy Central notable The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whose archive was made freely available online late last year.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

South Park To Be Available Online Free and Legal

Comments Filter:
  • Illegally? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:43PM (#22884612)
    But they literally have the right to copy their own show (that's the meaning of copyright) so how is it illegal for them? And how is DRM free?
    • Re:Illegally? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:48PM (#22884670) Homepage Journal
      Not sure how their particular deal works, but I think if Comedy Central actually owns the show they make, then they could have actually been criminally breaking the copyright of their own employers and in theory could be sued for it. IANAL, etc.
      • Re:Illegally? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by deanlandolt (1004507) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:18PM (#22885908) Journal

        Not sure how their particular deal works, but I think if Comedy Central actually owns the show they make, then they could have actually been criminally breaking the copyright of their own employers and in theory could be sued for it. IANAL, etc.
        Wow -- it's all almost as illogical as academia, where professors have to beg permission from publishers to distribute their own works to students. Almost.
        • Re:Illegally? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by edwdig (47888) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:37PM (#22886110)
          Wow -- it's all almost as illogical as academia, where professors have to beg permission from publishers to distribute their own works to students. Almost.

          It's the same exact thing. The author gives the publisher some or all rights to their work in exchange for money and/or royalties. If they have a problem with it, they should have negotiated for more rights.
    • Re:Illegally? (Score:5, Informative)

      by boguslinks (1117203) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:48PM (#22884682)
      Dont' assume they have the copyright to the show just because they're the creative guys behind it. When Arthur C. Clarke reprinted a chapter from 2001: A Space Odyssey in the sequel novel, he had to get permission from the publisher of 2001.
    • Re:Illegally? (Score:5, Informative)

      by snowraver1 (1052510) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:48PM (#22884692)
      They don't own it, Viacom owns it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Whether it's tacit or explicit approval, everybody wins. Hell, even Microsoft is "cool" sometimes, right?
        • by luder (923306) *

          Hell, even Microsoft is "cool" sometimes, right?


          True, in the last conference they gave me a few sheets of paper and a pen!
          • by HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:11PM (#22885788)
            If it's the same orange pen I got, it summed up vista and office 2k7 nicely:
            it looked like a fairly standard retractable ballpoint. It had features that were pretty but pointless (led lights) that were activated using the interface (clicker at the end) that is normally reserved for the pen tip Hide/Unhide function. To Unhide the pen tooltip, you had to turn the barrel (requiring both hands). Making it twice as difficult to use as opposed to it's implied functionality.

            Furthermore, it crapped out on me halfway through the keynote.
    • Re:Illegally? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:50PM (#22884706) Journal
      The point is that they and everyone else has no 'legal' way to download it and watch. They are siding with john q. here. If there is no legal way, then everything else must be illegal.

      It's not like South Park and The Daily Show are shows that no one has ever heard of before, so it's good to see that mainstream content producers are in agreement with pretty much all the consumers of that content. I hope that it catches on, and with widespread attention in the MSM. There is nothing like some very popular people telling the world that *Hey, this should not be illegal!* to get the ball rolling.

      I'm sure there will be more support for such activity when the RIAA finally admits they wasted all the money from the Napster case suing grannies and basically ruining all the good will that the recording industry ever had. Not many artists will continue to support that kind of stupidity when it gets rubbed in their face harshly like that.

      woot! I'd like to see an entire network follow suit... say SciFi or Commedy Central or you pick... but one whole network that just says fuck it, lets let them download the stuff...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        I'm sure there will be more support for such activity when the RIAA finally admits they wasted all the money from the Napster case suing grannies and basically ruining all the good will that the recording industry ever had. Not many artists will continue to support that kind of stupidity when it gets rubbed in their face harshly like that.

        What good will has the recording industry ever had? Between the manipulation and outright theft from artists to the foisting of crap pseudo-artists to maintain product fl

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by WNight (23683)
          And before that (and still ongoing) is paying off stations to play the music the studios want, not whatever the station wanted.

          Controlling retail channels was the scummiest. I don't care if you sell anything, but don't specifically handicap my ability to sell a competing product. There's competition and there's abuse of monopoly.
      • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:48PM (#22885480) Homepage Journal

        Yeah, but making it legal to download will take all the fun out of it ...

        • Re:Illegally? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Artuir (1226648) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:01PM (#22885650)
          I hate to burst your bubble but south park's creators have had this stuff up on their site for weeks. The summary makes it seem like it will happen soon but in reality all of the episodes have been viewable before now.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Yeah, but making it legal to download will take all the fun out of it ...

          And what will happen to Mr Twig dot net? He's been my go-to site for South Park for a long time and I'm not going to abandon him just because Comedy Central or Viacom or Haliburton says I can "get it from them" now.

          Have to be careful here. Just because Comedy Central does something that's in their own best interest does not suddenly make them "cool". They are still "the man" and I'm still planning to stick it to them, dude.

  • by DogDude (805747) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:44PM (#22884616) Homepage
    Just discovered last week... NBC has the entire season 4 of The Office online, watchable in full screen, with traditional TV-like ads interrupting the shows. Of course, nobody likes ads, but it's worth it to me, at least, and I'm glad to see some of the old-school media companies like NBC FINALLY starting to "get it".
    • by garett_spencley (193892) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:55PM (#22884788) Journal
      "Just discovered last week... NBC has the entire season 4 of The Office online"

      OMG ... that's almost as good as if Paramount were to offer Star Trek V for free download.

      *crosses fingers*
    • by Dionysus (12737)
      Only if you are in the US. If not, you won't be able to. Something like the Daily Show can be watched from wherever.

    • by an.echte.trilingue (1063180) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:23PM (#22885168) Homepage
      Yeah, but having seen Comedy Central's other offerings (Colbert Report and the Daily Show), I am skeptical. Take two sites:
      • The Official Colbert Report [comedycentral.com] site is slow, experiences frequent outages, has mediocre quality video, crashes several major browsers after 10-20 minutes of viewing, and shows you the same add every two and a half minutes. On the plus side, it looks pretty.
      • The pirate south park [southparkzone.com] site is slow, experiences frequent outages and has mediocre quality video. However, the shows are easy to browse and the adds are limited to things outside of the viewer window (and are blockable).
      From my perspective, the choice is clear here. I am sure that Comedy Central will do a worse job than the pirates did. It will be just like when they got Colbert off of YouTube and replaced it with something worse.

      The media companies are really slow to learn: the Internet gives them a potential gold mine, they just have to come up with a way to deliver their wares that sucks less than what Joe up the street can do. So far, they fail, Comedy Central and Viacom included.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        Reminds me of when Fox started cracking down on YouTube and claiming that Hulu would make up for it. There was a time when you could find virtually every episode and skit from Family Guy on YouTube. Now Fox's great legal alternative, that was supposed to be everything YouTube wasn't, offers a grand total 3 lousy episodes. Whoopty fucking do.
      • by Mex (191941) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:28PM (#22886016)
        " I am sure that Comedy Central will do a worse job than the pirates did. It will be just like when they got Colbert off of YouTube and replaced it with something worse."

        Did you even bother to check the South Park site? It's really good, actually.

        Full episodes, 3 segments per episode and usually one ad per segment. You can fast forward or back if you want and you don't get another advert.

        All seasons from the beginning at pretty good quality (not DVD but very good for online), except for the most recent season which apparently needs 1 month to be shown.
    • NBC has many of their shows online. There are problems, though.

      Their player is buggy, especially if you watch in fullscreen mode. Sometimes the show logo grows bigger after every ad, sometimes it reverts to small screen after every ad. Annoying, and no option to download the show and watch it in a non-buggy viewer.
      They don't always have a whole season. They'll often have a handful of shows, not in order, and the selection changes unpredictably.

      I like the idea of supporting shows I like with ad money,
    • Compared to the other broadcast networks, I think NBC has gotten it the best. While it's still not perfect, they are the only network that supports ALL platforms. I can watch their shows online for free (with some ads) with Linux. Other networks like ABC and CW actually go out of their way to block Linux users from viewing their shows online. If you watch it on a windows machine, there is no extra plugins to download (it's pretty much YouTube style flash), so Linux should work, but no, they block you.
  • Well, link (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    http://www.southparkstudios.com/ [southparkstudios.com]

    Works fine with Mozilla, etc. I believe it's flash.
    • Although, it isn't as smooth as Netflix's Watch It Now (which relies on Windows Media Player instead of Flash). Once navigation and usability is worked out, and the buffering/streaming is tuned, it'll be a fantastic site (I just finished watching all of Season 11 through the site).
    • Informative? Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:19PM (#22885120) Journal
      I know many of you don't rtfa, but sheesh, you had to have at least seen the summary, you know, the first story thingy at the top of this page...

      The very first thing after "garnetlion writes" is that very same "informative" link.

    • Don't even have to register or anything!

    • by Schnapple (262314) <tomkidd AT viatexas DOT com> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @04:25PM (#22885986) Homepage
      Blocked By Websense

      Reason: The Web category "Tasteless" is filtered.

      Wow, I wonder how something gets listed as tasteless?
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:45PM (#22884630) Journal
    First (Cat) Piss.

    Now we'll see which mods have seen s12e03 yet.
    • Re:Obligatory (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:01PM (#22884858) Journal
      I haven't seen it, but I heard about it. That's just too much. Cat Piss (CP) has been a running joke on drug sites for years. There even used to be an Erowid spoof, the Vaults of Meowid, complete with information about a supposed tryptophan derivitive 5-MeO-W. I've got to wonder, have Trey and Matt been visiting the Shroomery much?
      • by Shakrai (717556)

        've got to wonder, have Trey and Matt been visiting the Shroomery much?

        Naw, I can't think of anything [wikipedia.org] that would suggest [wikipedia.org] that Trey and Matt indulge in any semi-legal substances ;)

      • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Informative)

        by spun (1352) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (yranoituloverevol)> on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:23PM (#22885178) Journal
        I worked with Matt & Trey's web production team on an online video game store back in 2000. I met them and hung out a few times. They were dosed to the gills that year at the Oscars.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Trey Parker claims that he has never smoked weed in his life. But if you listen to the "drunken cannibals" commentary track on "Cannibal the Musical" he does drink like a fish and talk about dropping acid in college. Of course, he also ends up drunkenly bitching about all his ex-girlfriends, but that's just icing on the cake.
    • First (Cat) Piss.
      Quit cheesing around!
    • ...at about 600kb a second.

      That's the kind of service the studios should be aiming for if they want people to subscribe to something. It shouls also cost about $0.10 - that's what it would cost me on cable and I don't see why Internet is really much different, BitTorrent means I'm paying the bandwidth fees myself.

      When that's set up they might have a chance of getting me to "do the decent thing". Anything else is a ripoff.

    • by Hatta (162192)
      I found that Erowid spoof [thoughtspam.com] I mentioned earlier.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:45PM (#22884632) Homepage Journal

    really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time.
    They just admitted to piracy! Don't these two guys know that such a thoughtless criminal act takes the very food out of the mouths of.. um.. these two guys?
  • by LM741N (258038) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:49PM (#22884698)
    they killed DRM! You bastards!"
  • Wrong tense. (Score:5, Informative)

    by The-Bus (138060) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:50PM (#22884708)
    The episodes are already online. Not "coming soon", not "to be"... you can see them right now.
  • laxity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by esocid (946821) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:51PM (#22884732) Journal
    I don't think Viacom was really strict about SP being online to begin with. I remember countless websites offering SP episodes for free, many of which were crappy websites, but were around for quite some time. I haven't frequented them in some time but I don't ever recall hearing any outburst from Viacom about SP being made freely available. It is commendable for Matt and Trey to come out and get Viacom to actually put it in writing that it is free online (via their website) but I still don't see any other sites getting hammered b/c of what they do. Another win for freely available content. Now if only they would host Cannibal! The Musical [cannibalthemusical.net].
  • by crow (16139) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @02:57PM (#22884822) Homepage Journal
    Remember after the Mohammad cartoon panic, the episode where they were making a big deal that they were going to show Mohammad? The end where they were going to show him was apparently censored by Comedy Central. Is it cut in the online version?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shados (741919)
      hmm? I always thought that the censoring by the network was PART of the joke...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Schnapple (262314)

        hmm? I always thought that the censoring by the network was PART of the joke...

        Sort of [wikipedia.org]. Basically, the SP guys wanted to make an episode about the Muhammad illustration controversy and when Comedy Central caught wind of it, they said they wouldn't allow the image Muhammad to be displayed in the show. So, Matt & Trey expanded the notion to basically be a story-within-a-story where in the show the characters were blasting the Fox network for refusing to show the image in an episode of Family Guy whereas

    • by wattrlz (1162603)
      Trey n' Matt don't strike me as the suicidal type. There are far too many people in the world who will dedicate their lives to ending yours unpleasantly if you do something like that, and more of them than you might think own computers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bogjobber (880402)
      They have showed images of Mohammad uncensored before in the Super Best Friends episode. It was before the Danish cartoon controversy while the Cartoon Wars episode was after, so I'm not sure if Comedy Central actually censored the cartoon or it was a political statement or joke.
  • no drm (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:01PM (#22884856)
    it's a flash based web player. there's no drm. same deal with all the new video from mtv networks. flash players, no windows stuff, etc.

    * i work for mtv networks doing video syndication, so i'm posting anonymously.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mavakoy (730866)
      It also doesn't work in England, with a "Sorry England. Full episodes coming soon" [southparkstudios.com] screen...

      And from the URL, it'll probably not work in other countries either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      it's a flash based web player. there's no drm. same deal with all the new video from mtv networks. flash players, no windows stuff, etc.
      So, if there is no DRM, does that mean the various video downloaders can save a copy in the clear to the user's hard disk?
  • So will Microsoft still charge to download episodes on the XBox 360 now? Will they refund everybody who got caught playing red rocket by buying episodes when they can now get them for free?
    • by EvilIdler (21087)
      Aren't the marketplace episodes 720p? I don't think the free episodes are all that high resolution.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by hachete (473378)
        If you're paying for high res South Park, I have a nice, shiny bridge to sell you
    • Will they reduce the cost of the DVD's to cost of production? will they let TV channels play the episode with no royalties? will they give back all the money they ever made from the show? Don't be a fucking dumbass, yea, stopping paid for DL's maybe, but refund people who bought it? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
  • Please do this for Frisky Dingo!
  • They don't mind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) on Thursday March 27, 2008 @03:38PM (#22885366) Homepage
    I have been watching South Park since the first season aired on Comedy Central. But then I got bored of waiting for a new episode every week, so I waited for a lot of episodes to pile up and then downloaded them off BitTorrent. Next, I found a site called southparkx.net, which offered news on South Park and offered episode downloads.

    Their FAQs said that "Matt and Trey do not mind when fans download their episodes off the Internet; they feel that its good when people watch the show no matter how they do it." I felt good when I heard this, not because they legalised what I was doing, but because they made a truly great show and didn't believe in all the evil copyright laws.

    Now, when they have offered a service to watch full episodes online, and to make small clips from episodes embeddable, I am a bigger South Park fan than ever.
  • My God!
  • Why is it that so many video sites other than youtube don't bother to buffer their video? I'm too cheap for anything faster than 768...
  • I remember watching the original xmas episode when it first came out, had to download that sucker on 56k dial-up. Christ, I feel like my parents talking about 45's. I feel old and it wasn't even that long ago!

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

Working...