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South Park To Be Available Online Free and Legal

Zonk posted about 6 years ago | from the i-like-the-crazy-future dept.

Television 277

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.

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277 comments

Illegally? (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 6 years ago | (#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? (5, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 6 years ago | (#22884670)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884676)

are you sure? i bet viacomm would beg to differ

Re:Illegally? (5, Informative)

boguslinks (1117203) | about 6 years ago | (#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? (5, Informative)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 6 years ago | (#22884692)

They don't own it, Viacom owns it.

Re:Illegally? (2, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#22884898)

Whether it's tacit or explicit approval, everybody wins. Hell, even Microsoft is "cool" sometimes, right?

Re:Illegally? (1)

luder (923306) | about 6 years ago | (#22885292)

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


True, in the last conference they gave me a few sheets of paper and a pen!

Re:Illegally? (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | about 6 years ago | (#22884706)

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:Illegally? (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 years ago | (#22884952)

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 flow through to the ripping off of the consumer, the record industry has been notorious for decades. This latest "fuck you" to the consumer is perfectly in line with an industry that has long held everybody save the shareholder in absolute contempt.

More free, legal TV online (5, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | about 6 years ago | (#22884616)

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".

Re:More free, legal TV online (4, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#22884788)

"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*

Re:More free, legal TV online (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#22885196)

And miss out on the William Shatner commentary track that's on the DVD? No way, dude!

Re:More free, legal TV online (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885208)

Star Trek V? Didn't the numbering go 1, 2, 3, 4, 6? You must be joking about this "5" thing.

Re:More free, legal TV online (1)

Dionysus (12737) | about 6 years ago | (#22884904)

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.

Re:More free, legal TV online (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885016)

I'd rather pay $2 on iTunes, get to keep it and have no commercials..

Re:More free, legal TV online (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | about 6 years ago | (#22885218)

I'd rather pay $2 on iTunes, get to keep it and have no commercials..
That's the price of the American conscience, right there. Two dollars less than the value of an episode of, "The Office"'s fourth season.

Re:More free, legal TV online (4, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | about 6 years ago | (#22885168)

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:More free, legal TV online (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#22885254)

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.

Re:More free, legal TV online (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | about 6 years ago | (#22885236)

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, but they need to try harder to make it less annoying than piracy.

Well, link (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884628)

http://www.southparkstudios.com/ [southparkstudios.com]

Works fine with Mozilla, etc. I believe it's flash.

Re:Well, link (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 6 years ago | (#22885032)

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).

Re:Well, link (0)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#22885106)

Chokes with Linux / Firefox.

Re:Well, link (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885278)

Chokes with Linux / Firefox.
It works fine on Ubuntu Gutsy. I've watched several episodes there over the last week.

I hate flash video on Linux, though. When the hell is Adobe finally get Flash using accelerated video? It's ridiculous when my processor usage jumps to 99% whenever I try to watch a tiny flash video, where VLC doesn't even hit 10% doing h.264 720p fullscreen using XVideo out.

Informative? Huh? (4, Informative)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 6 years ago | (#22885120)

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.

Re:Well, link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885312)

Unfortunately not in the UK yet :(

Although they get some props for actually displaying a custom "Sorry England, its coming soon" rather than the customary "You are outside the US, you must be godless barbarians who cant possible want/have the means to view this and anyway arent going to anytime soon. So There."

Its actually a lot nicer when companies do this because at least you know they have thought of your market area and have some plans to offer the service to you to when reasonably practical.

Obligatory (5, Funny)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 6 years ago | (#22884630)

First (Cat) Piss.

Now we'll see which mods have seen s12e03 yet.

Re:Obligatory (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#22884858)

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?

Re:Obligatory (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 years ago | (#22885134)

'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 (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | about 6 years ago | (#22885178)

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.

Re:Obligatory (1)

megaditto (982598) | about 6 years ago | (#22885304)

Are you talking about the web production team or about Matt and Trey?

Re:Obligatory (1)

spun (1352) | about 6 years ago | (#22885418)

I met Matt and Trey a few times. Partied with them at their 'Lapdance 2000' party at Sundance, for instance.

Re:Obligatory (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#22885342)

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.

I downloaded it 20 minutes after it was broadcast. (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 6 years ago | (#22885272)

...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.

You bastards! (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 6 years ago | (#22884632)

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?

Re:You bastards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884958)

Thanks to their piracy, Parker and Stone have to settle for gold-lined swimming pools instead of the platinum.

Which damn Jew thought of this ?? Kyle, suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884660)



Which damn Jew thought of this ?? Kyle, suck my balls !!

Is this really new? (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 6 years ago | (#22884684)

I thought that's what www.southparkzone.com was for?

Or was that not legal?

Re:Is this really new? (2, Insightful)

BlackCreek (1004083) | about 6 years ago | (#22884916)

I thought that's what www.southparkzone.com was for?

My thoughts exactly. I have been (legally) downloading South Park from the web for some months now.

I've seen slashdot publishing old news many times, but this is the first time (I can recall) that I see it posting old news that I had read about in a "normal" newspaper.

Re:Is this really new? (1)

hendridm (302246) | about 6 years ago | (#22885046)

I don't believe those are legal (at least I doubt they've gotten permission from CC). When you view the eps, there's a little "Add Link" option:

Help us to keep the episodes online by adding a link!
If you found this South Park episode somewhere on the internet (for example: megavideo.com, myspacetv.com etc.) you can submit the link/url of that video to us. The submitted links/url will be checked by us before adding them to the database.

Seems to me they are just aggregating links from around the net, just like many other non-sanctioned TV show site (like familyguyx.net, as an example).

The South Park STUDIO vids are often higher quality, as far as I've seen. The drawback over South Park ZONE is that you have to view 3 (short) advertisements, and I couldn't get mine to go completely full screen (which I like).

Reports are incorrect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884704)

The reporter was said to be cheesing his balls off when filing that report.

Wrong tense. (4, Informative)

The-Bus (138060) | about 6 years ago | (#22884708)

The episodes are already online. Not "coming soon", not "to be"... you can see them right now.

Re:Wrong tense. (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 6 years ago | (#22884828)

The episodes are already online. Not "coming soon", not "to be"... you can see them right now.

Not "to be", eh? Well I guess that finally answer that question.

Re:Wrong tense. (4, Informative)

Azarael (896715) | about 6 years ago | (#22884914)

They aren't available in Canada (and elsewhere?) yet.

Re:Wrong tense. (5, Funny)

Pazy (1169639) | about 6 years ago | (#22885068)

Even worse when I tried to watch it said 'sorry england' now im pissed cause im Scottish and in Scotland :( lol

Re:Wrong tense. (1)

jameson (54982) | about 6 years ago | (#22885148)

Perhaps not in Canada, but I have been watching them here in Germany for over a week now. Well, not all the time, but still.

Re:Wrong tense. (2, Informative)

Daas (620469) | about 6 years ago | (#22885352)

Even better, you can get free online episodes of South Park, the Daily Show and the Colbert Report legally on

www.thecomedynetwork.ca

Unless you are in Canada (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885000)

NOPE! CANADA HAD IT FREE BEFORE US (1)

linumax (910946) | about 6 years ago | (#22885094)

If you are in Canada go to comedycentral.com and it will redirect you to thecomedynetwork.ca, there you can watch ALL Comedy Central shows + archive (including all seasons of Southpark) for free.

On Leopard it uses Silverlight, I've been using it for a while for Daily Show/Colbert Report and South Park and have not encountered any ads yet, but each episode is divided into couple of clips which is not a big deal.

Re:Wrong tense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885398)

Only if you're in the States. I get a message saying "Sorry England. Full Episodes Coming Soon".

Yo ho ho, it's a pirate's life for me...

Talk about illegal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884718)

How about my god damn invention of the roller blade. Some asshole saw my prototype and got it patented before I did. Talk about illegal! HE STOLE IT FROM ME!!!!!!! I could have been rich beyond my wildest dreams.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION LEADING TO THE PERSON WHO STOLE THE ROLLER BLADE FROM ME! God bless.

laxity (3, Interesting)

esocid (946821) | about 6 years ago | (#22884732)

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] .

Daily Show "Archive" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884740)

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.
As far as I can tell, the Daily Show just put a bunch of 5 minute clips [thedailyshow.com] online. Where do I find the real show? You know, like the whole thing.

Re:Daily Show "Archive" (3, Informative)

irishdaze (839248) | about 6 years ago | (#22885052)

Go here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml [thedailyshow.com] . Slide the slider to a date to get the Episode Number that aired on that date. Type that Episode Number in the Search box. The episode will be there in clips. For example, I went there: http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml [thedailyshow.com] , slid the slider to March 20, 2008. The first clip in the results showed it was Episode 13039. I then typed "13039" (no quotes) in the Search box. Voila! 5 clips were displayed. I added up all of the running times, and it was 18 minutes, 59 seconds, which seems to me to be about right for a 30-minute show (shy of commercials and non-informational transitions).

It's not the 1/2-hour unbroken stream you want, but it's there.

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884786)

They've been up for a week and a half already. Old news.

Sorry England (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884800)

Not available in the UK yet. Somebody get the guys over the pond for a while, so they'll be tired of circumventing their own geo-limited service.

Re:Sorry England (1)

dyefade (735994) | about 6 years ago | (#22885316)

Well it's not that surprising seeing as this whole thing was a copyright issue.

I like the fact that they made a special graphic for England though (featuring the Queen... yes America, that's all we're about really ;) ) are there other graphics for other countries?

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884812)

How long until the "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense" tag makes it.

Censored Mohammad episode (4, Interesting)

crow (16139) | about 6 years ago | (#22884822)

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:Censored Mohammad episode (2, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | about 6 years ago | (#22884888)

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

Re:Censored Mohammad episode (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | about 6 years ago | (#22885300)

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.

Should be free on Xbox Live & Playstation Netw (1)

GabriellaKat (748072) | about 6 years ago | (#22884832)

Now if they would only make it FREE on Xbox Live, Playstation Network and Joost ......I loved when I was able to download the free HD episode last year. I wouldnt even mind if they put adds in to support the cost of bandwidth. ~Gabbi

Re:Should be free on Xbox Live & Playstation N (1)

Pazy (1169639) | about 6 years ago | (#22885390)

UK Gamers cant even download them on Xbl and Psn yet. On XBL theres ~25 movies but thats it.

no drm (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#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.

not available in X (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22884886)

so the USA gets it for free while the other 96% of the globe still has to download it via alternative methods good to see GEOIP is being used to segment the globe just like TV the more things change the more they stay the same

USA only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885024)

which is shame, but they do say they'll support the UK soon... which I doubt :(

www.mrtwig.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22885076)

nobody posted it already? you guys are slipping.

all the episodes about an hour after they air. rm and avi.. www.mrtwig.net

Don't need no steekin flash.... (1)

BiloxiGeek (872377) | about 6 years ago | (#22885084)

1. Record on TiVo
2. Transfer to WinXP
3. Edit out commercials with VideoReDo
4. Copy to pyTivo server
5. Profit!!!^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Enjoy any episode of South Park anytime I please

Microsoft Points (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 6 years ago | (#22885104)

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?

Re:Microsoft Points (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | about 6 years ago | (#22885184)

Aren't the marketplace episodes 720p? I don't think the free episodes are all that high resolution.

Re:Microsoft Points (2, Funny)

hachete (473378) | about 6 years ago | (#22885358)

If you're paying for high res South Park, I have a nice, shiny bridge to sell you

Re:Microsoft Points (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | about 6 years ago | (#22885386)

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.

Free? They should pay us (0, Troll)

AngusOg (750443) | about 6 years ago | (#22885170)

Given the quality of this seasons episodes, perhaps they should be paying the viewers.

They don't mind (5, Insightful)

Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) | about 6 years ago | (#22885366)

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.
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