BitTorrent Inc. Offers Digital Release Bundle of ‘The Interview’ Film to Sony
The days may be dark at Sony lately, but finally someone is stepping up to give the company a platform to release their highly controversial Seth Rogan film The Interview. It may be unconventional, but BitTorrent Inc. says their platform is perfect for Sony.
After weeks of personal information being hacked and leaked by a group called the Guardians of Peace, alleged to be working on behalf of North Korea, Sony caved and pulled the movie. The decision was made after theater chains like Carmike Cinemas and AMC decided not to show the film amid terrorist threats.
Once Sony felt the financial pressure coupled with the personal pressure, they decided not to release The Interview and took criticism from President Obama, who said:
Sony is a corporation, it suffered significant damage, there were some threats against employees, I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced. Having said all that: yes, I think they made a mistake.
After taking the backlash, Sony announced that they were open to an online release if a service could provide them with one. Obviously, someone like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime stepping up to the plate would be a costly endeavor, but a major step forward for the online streaming community.
Unless any of these services is negotiating behind closed doors though, it doesn’t look like anyone is stepping forward. The fear of another costly company attack still looms overhead as the Guardians of Peace have not backed down from their attack on Sony.
BitTorrent Offering Their Services to Sony
Amidst the looming fear, BitTorrent Inc. told Venture Beat that their platform is open to Sony utilizing their technology to distribute the content.
“A trend has emerged among commentary in the days since Sony announced they would not release the motion picture, ‘The Interview.’ There have been calls for Sony to release the film online. And many have contacted us asking: Would they be able to release the movie using BitTorrent? Though we normally would not offer commentary during such a trying time for another company, the answer is yes. BitTorrent Bundle is, in fact, the very best way for Sony to take back control of their film, to not acquiesce to terrorist threats, and to ensure a wide audience can view the film safely. It would also strike a strong note for free speech.”
Utilizing BitTorrent Bundle would be a highly unconventional release, but legal. Sony would be able to publish their content through BitTorrent Inc. and charge their price. With terrorist attacks on theaters still considered legitimate, viewers could watch the content from their homes rather than risk their lives if they want to see the film.
The Plot Holes in the BitTorrent Offer
There is a hole in the plan though. Anyone who uses BitTorrent also knows how to use piracy sites, much like the late Pirate Bay. Within a matter of hours, The Interview would most likely be uploaded to any of these piracy services and people wouldn’t have to pay Sony at all, costing them possible millions.
Because of the threat of piracy soon after a digital download is made available, some people in the torrent community have even proposed the idea of releasing the film directly to pirate sites at a financial loss. The notion of uploading to piracy sites is something BitTorrent disagrees with entirely.
We disagree, however, with some that have suggested that Sony should make the film available through piracy sites. That would only serve to encourage bad actors. It’s also important to make the distinction that these piracy sites are not ‘torrent sites.’ They are piracy sites that are wrongfully exploiting torrent technology.
If Sony did make a deal with BitTorrent Inc., it would be a mighty stand in favor of the torrent community. BitTorrent believes it to be a strong note for free speech, but Sony risks a massive financial loss if they decide to allow the film for digital download anywhere.
Sony hasn’t released a statement of how they plan on releasing the film yet, but if they choose any platform other than the movie theaters it will be monumental; whether it be torrent, online streaming or simply video-on-demand.
Images from BitTorrent, Ken Wolter and Shutterstock.