"South Park" Fans Speak!

Published on August 28, 2007
by Kara Swisher

“South Park” fans take note: I don’t think creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are digital idiots. But, I will admit it, I do sometimes wonder about Hollywood entertainment behemoths who own the content they and other talent make.


In my post yesterday about the deal “South Park” creators Stone and Parker (pictured here) made with Viacom related to creating a new kind of digital hub for the show and also other content, I used a Stone quote from a New York Times interview in which he noted that the only quick place to get an episode of the raucous animated series in some places was to download it illegally.

I then slightly mocked him for not getting on the fast-moving viral bandwagon sooner and coming up with legal and easy ways for fans to get great copies of shows.

Sam (who apparently has no last name) of the Web site South Park X, where one can apparently get such copies he notes, took exception, pointing out that the pair has always been pirate-friendly.

Wrote Sam to me in an email:

Many many times in the past Matt Stone and Trey Parker have defended our sites, and while many believe we are ‘illegal download sites,’ we have not once been contacted by ‘South Park’ or Comedy Central lawyers or representatives.”


Well, Viacom, owner of Comedy Central, where “South Park” airs, might have had its hands full with suing someone with a bigger wallet, like Google, but Sam’s point is well taken.

From an interview in December 2006 with Reason Magazine, Stone and Parker had the following exchange:

Reason: When it looked like Comedy Central wasn’t going to rerun the Mary episode, people were still able to download it illegally online. Did you see that as a victory for free speech, or did you think, ‘My God, these people are stealing our intellectual property’?

Stone: We’re always in favor of people downloading. Always.

Reason: Why?

Stone: It’s how a lot of people see the show. And it’s never hurt us. We’ve done nothing but been successful with the show. How could you ever get mad about somebody who wants to see your stuff?

Parker: We worked really hard making that show, and the reason you do it is because you want people to see it.

That’s pretty clear, though I am sure Viacom’s busy lawyers might beg to differ.

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