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BitTorrent Inc. Offers Digital Release Bundle of ‘The Interview’ Film to Sony

BitTorrent Inc. Offers Digital Release Bundle of ‘The Interview’ Film to Sony

by Clay Michael GillespieDecember 23, 2014

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.

Also read: Sony Hack Drama Continues: Washington Wants North Korea to Compensate Sony for The Interview

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

BitTorrentAmidst 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.”

BitTorrent Sony Bundle

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.

Also read: In the Wake of The Pirate Bay Shutdown, Tribler Makes BitTorrent Completely Anonymous and Impossible to Compromise

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.

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  • Renioctib

    Dear relatives, articles undated and without a writers name attached would (should) normally be treated as spam. Bittorrent is of course the ideal method of distribution, but most people ‘arn’t there yet’. Nevermind though.. “We have never given up on releasing The Interview, and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment.

    • Obviously fake. You said it yourself.

    • TokyoWomenAreAmazing

      It’s unfortunate.

  • Sony should get in touch with The Pirate Bay when they reopen. TPB is notorious for financially helping those who give away their products. A video game who first launched on TPB had the community’s support on Stream Green light and they made millions from that. If Sony accepts Bitcoin, they can pay their donation address in the torrent.

    If Sony makes it known that they’re teaming up with Bitcoin and Piracy activists, they stand to make more money from this movie than any other they’ve ever released, especially due to its controversial nature. It’ll show Sony in a massively positive and revolutionary light.

    • TokyoWomenAreAmazing

      I agree with the first paragraph, but the second part is just wrong. Single Sony movie releases have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars just in theaters. There is no way they will make that much through TPB. I agree they will make millions, and if they support Bitcoin by accepting it, I’m sure Bitcoin will support them in turn (I will certainly buy a copy if Bitcoin is accepted, and ironically, I would have been the first to download this on TPB for free if they went the traditional route). If they go the BitTorrent release route in general, I will buy a copy. I absolutely 100% believe this is the way all movies should be released. Movie theaters are so obsolete it’s disgusting.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Rick, Sony is a large mainstream company, and therefore invested in the establishment. If they betray the establishment and team up with pirates, they will be ostracized and attacked by all their former allies. They will never do that.