You probably heard about Sony Pictures’ flick The Interview, held back from its debut due to a hacking attack and following threats to movie goers. The movie is now coming out in theaters and digitally, and it’s also going to appear Xbox Video.
Microsoft Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs was very clear in expressing the reasons behind the move:
As has been widely reported, Sony was the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack with the intent of preventing the distribution of this film. Despite the effort to block this movie, it will now be shown in many theaters and will be available online. This is good news. A cyber-attack on anyone’s rights is a cyber-attack on everyone’s rights, and together we need to defend against it.
In the United States, freedom of expression is a fundamental principle that is protected by law. Our Constitution guarantees for each person the right to decide what books to read, what movies to watch, and even what games to play. In the 21st Century, there is no more important place for that right to be exercised than on the Internet. After substantial thought, we decided to stand up with Sony and work with others to ensure that freedom of expression triumphs over cyber-terrorism.
We of course appreciate that there are varied views regarding this film. That’s true of many works and many issues. We’re not endorsing this movie or any other. We are supporting the Constitutional right of free expression, and we hope that by acting together, we will help deter other attacks.
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton also commented in a press release:
We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for The Interview. It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech. We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.
want to thank Google and Microsoft for helping make this a reality. This release represents our commitment to our filmmakers and free speech. While we couldn’t have predicted the road this movie traveled to get to this moment, I’m proud our fight was not for nothing and that cyber criminals were not able to silence us.
No doubt the issues we have confronted these last few weeks will not end with this release, but we are gratified to have stood together and confident in our future. I want to thank everyone at Sony Pictures for their dedication and perseverance through what has been an extraordinary and difficult time.
In addition to Xbox video, The Interview will appear on Google Play, YouTube Movies and on a dedicated website.