Irony: Sony Turns To Google, The Company It Was Plotting Against, To Stream The Interview

from the funny-how-that-works dept

To me, the biggest story to come out of the Sony Hack remains how the MPAA and the major studios were conspiring to attack Google by paying for state Attorneys General to drum up silly investigations of the company. Most everyone else in the press seems much more focused on the gossip and, of course, what happens to The Interview, the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie that some think was the reason for the hack in the first place (even if the evidence on that remains questionable). Either way, as you know, Sony briefly shelved the plans to release the movie (which has fairly dreadful reviews from those who have seen it), but then decided to allow a few independent theaters to show it, followed by the announcement this morning that it would stream the movie via YouTube.

There are lots of bizarre story lines related to this -- including, apparently, Apple turning Sony down when approached with a similar deal for iTunes. Or the whole idea of how this might actually show the Hollywood studios the value of releasing movies online at the same time as in theaters (a message many have been trying to send Hollywood for ages, which Hollywood is quite resistant to). And, of course, there's the whole story line about a giant company being bullied by a few stray threats about showing the film in theaters, which almost no one thinks were serious.

Still, the story that is most fascinating to me is tying this whole thing back to that original story, about "Project Goliath" and the plan to conspire to attack Google -- and the fact that when Sony needed to find a place to stream the film, it turned to YouTube, a Google-owned company. Huh. Of course, this fits with the long history of the legacy entertainment industry lashing out and attacking the creators of the innovations that industry most needs. The recording industry attacked radio when it first came on the scene, though it eventually enabled the music industry to grow so big. Hollywood, famously, claimed the VCR was "the Boston Stranger" to the movie industry -- yet four years after that statement was made, home video brought in more revenue for Hollywood than the box office. The RIAA sued one of the first MP3 players, yet digital music is a major, growing source of revenue these days. And, of course, Viacom engaged in a many years-long battled with YouTube.

Maybe, just maybe, one of these days the legacy entertainment players will get the message that innovators and entrepreneurs aren't the enemy. They're the ones providing Hollywood (and music and other industries) with all the tools to better serve the market.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:06am

    opportunity or piracy...

    There is no greater affliction than the blindness that afflicts those that cannot see what is in front of them... All they see is piracy and not a market ripe for picking...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:10am

    You know, I had no interest in this movie when I first heard about it. It holds the same level of significance for me today after the hack story. It sounded like a boring movie from the rumors; nothing has changed. I'll pass on this one like I do so many others. It is my firm opinion that the studios only make 2 maybe 3 good movies in a year and that's stretching it.

    Mindless movies for the masses doesn't interest me as I usually wind up with wanting my time back I spent watching it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CK20XX (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:10am

    Remember that the movie theaters were the ones to reject The Interview before Sony first decided to pull it from circulation. I wonder if, years from now, this film will be seen as one of the landmark moments in the long, drawn-out death of the traditional cinema.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:15am

    As a non-American, I will say this:

    When it's The Interview having trouble getting into American theatres, and not CitizenFour, the country is obviously doing something right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:18am

    Although to be fair, if you hate Google, having Google distribute a movie that you are having a hard time finding a distributor for because of companies worried that the same thing which happened with Sony could happen to them, is not exactly contradictory behavior.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:22am

    I won't be watching it

    I'm too worried that the North Koreans will blow up my computer if I do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:31am

    i sincerely hope that Google gives Sony the 'time-honored response' of 'FUCK YOU'!!

    Google has all but bent over backwards to aid the entertainment industries, who, incidentally, refuse to do anything and much less pay for anything, to help themselves! these industries also refuse to do anything that was truly preventative in downloading from the internet by keeping a tighter rein on the people who have access to the media on completion. they dont go after anyone who may have uploaded the material or given it to someone else to do so but jump all over those they say have then downloaded it! i cannot understand how that can really be legal. surely it's baiting people purposefully, isn't it, just so they can get court actions against people rather than take 'all reasonable precautions' to stop the process. if i get burgled because i didn't lock the door, i lose a hell of a lot of my claim from the insurers for being negligent, even though it was accidental. this is done on purpose by the industries and no one says a thing! strange!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      I think Google deserves a lot of credit for their interaction with the entertainment industry. They know the industry wants to destroy them, but they believe society is better off providing these services, even in their somewhat crippled form, then not doing it at all. Only when faced with complete insanity (like the Google News stuff in Europe) that would cost Google millions have they shut the door.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    David (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:37am

    What are the chances...

    Maybe, just maybe, one of these days the legacy entertainment players will get the message that innovators and entrepreneurs aren't the enemy. They're the ones providing Hollywood (and music and other industries) with all the tools to better serve the market.
    What are the chances of that, or: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:38am

    I would like to thank North Korea for opening the eyes of Hollywood execs for 1) showing how bad they protect their systems and 2) for showing them that releasing a new movie to more markets is a good idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Shadow Dragon (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 11:51am

    That's Schadenfreude

    Making hear about this,I feel an urge to belt out "Schadenfreude"
    http://youtu.be/YtYzsRMaQpo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mmrtnt (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 12:04pm

    Christmas Wish

    Maybe, just maybe, one of these days the legacy entertainment players will get the message that innovators and entrepreneurs aren't the enemy. They're the ones providing Hollywood (and music and other industries) with all the tools to better serve the market.

    God bless us, every one

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Leigh Beadon (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 12:47pm

    Progress!

    So it turns out all it took was a data breach, a suspected connection with an infamous dictator state, threats of violent terrorism, and an admonition directly from the President to make a movie studio do what they all should have been doing for five years at this point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Rabbit80 (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 2:03pm

      Re: Progress!

      Yet despite the global distribution that all these services offer, Sony still would prefer me to pirate it than take my money due to imaginary regional boundaries.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bill Rosenblatt, 24 Dec 2014 @ 1:23pm

    You missed the point.

    The high order bit here is the rank hypocrisy that Google would rightly be accused of if it did not make the movie available. Google is supposed to be all about free expression and being good on security. If they did not air the movie, they'd be seen as knuckling under to censorship and hacking. I think they made the right call.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 24 Dec 2014 @ 1:54pm

    I'm still waiting to see the incontrovertible evidence that naughty North Korea perpetrated this despicable act against one of the politicians (no matter what side they're on)donours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2014 @ 3:37pm

    Views

    It will be interesting to see how many actually take advantage of this viewing opportunity. I wonder how we might go about subtracting all the media who are watching so they might review the flick. Could it be that they are the only ones watching?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pronounce (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 3:41pm

    I Love Irony

    Because it's hilarious.

    But I don't find this scenario atypical. Too many incidents I recall of corporations on the one-hand fighting each other in court and on the other-hand joining forces for some project.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 24 Dec 2014 @ 5:25pm

    takedown ?

    Given the lack of penalty for making a false takedown request, how long do you think it will be up on YouTube? I wouldn't be surprised if it's 30 seconds or less, and I'd be even less surprised if the takedown request comes from Sony.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rick Rossing, VNFA (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 6:22pm

    Well, it's not like anyone's going to want to give their credit card numbers to Sony...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Karl (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 6:35pm

    Windowing

    releasing movies online at the same time as in theaters (a message many have been trying to send Hollywood for ages, which Hollywood is quite resistant to)

    To be fair to Hollywood (yeah, I know...), the people who have been resistant are mainly the theater owners.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 24 Dec 2014 @ 7:06pm

    I would hope so

    apparently, Apple turning Sony down when approached with a similar deal for iTunes

    *Right* before Christmas. I'm sure their employees are perfectly happy with this.

    Also, it's not on the PS network thingy, so...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    chillinfart, 25 Dec 2014 @ 6:11am

    "not available in your country"

    I should wait 4 years to see Sony putting it on Crackle. None of the named services offers the movie outside the US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew Pam, 25 Dec 2014 @ 10:25pm

    Funny typo

    The Boston Strangler, not the Boston Stranger!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2014 @ 5:41am

    I wont be watching it BECAUSE of the OBVIOUS hype.......by stupid people who see this as an acceptable form of entertainment propaganda..........NOBODY from ANY side should be doing it......and believe me, with what the US has been getting away with, if folks started "satairing" the US government with which there is MUCH material, and which hardly any US media distributer is BRAVE enough to touch........you might then start understanding, why this might not "seem" like satire............

    I want to see obama's head s'plode..........No, i dont, but how do you feel right now....."satarical"...........im not making excuses for a person i dont know that others keep shouting is evil.......im saying, YOUR NO BETTER, with the en masse manipulation through "entertainment".....oh so cery sowrry, .....satire.............no go beat your war drums, you peace loving people

    Report the facts, and stop the narrative

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2014 @ 10:36am

    cui bono? ...from ALL (hacking/sony/movie/nk/cyberfud) of this stupid mess. TD's reporting has been timid and poor IMHO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 26 Dec 2014 @ 1:19pm

    Trojan film?

    Maybe Sony thinks that North Korea will hack or DOS attack Google if Google releases the film to the public.

    If I was an evil fascist corporation like Sony, that's what I'd do. Make the movie toxic and then give it to my enemy as a gift.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2014 @ 3:32pm

    Sony is such a MAFIAA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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