Sony wanted 'The Interview' on iTunes for Christmas, but Apple rejected fast timetable

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2014
In attempt to make its controversial film "The Interview" available to view on Christmas Day, Sony Pictures reportedly pursued a deal with Apple that was brokered by the White House itself, but the timetable to place it on iTunes was apparently too aggressive.




Sony's behind-the-scenes efforts to put the motion picture before the eyes of the public on its originally intended release date were revealed by The New York Times. Citing people familiar with the matter, it was said that Sony sought a singular deal with Apple, but the company "was not interested, at least on a speedy time table."

Apple declined to comment, but the report claimed that Sony had actually asked the White House for help in brokering a deal.

Other potential technology partners were said to be concerned that they could become hacking targets if they were to release the film, which depicts actors Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists instructed to assassinate Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea.

Offended by the premise of the movie, hackers said to be from North Korea compromised Sony Pictures Entertainment and threatened to attack theaters that played the film. That led major theater chains to announce that they would not be showing the movie on its opening day of Christmas, even though the U.S. government said there was no credible terrorist threat.

How we are getting ready for Christmas Day... #TheInterviewMovie pic.twitter.com/HA6LsV7pAL

-- Alamo Austin (@drafthouse)


Sony responded by canceling the release of the film, which drew sharp criticism from free speech advocates, including President Barack Obama. The pressure compelled Sony to investigate avenues for releasing the film on its originally intended opening day, which apparently led to the White House brokering talks with Apple that didn't pan out.

In the end, "The Interview" will see a limited release at selected cinemas on Dec. 25 after all. In particular, the group Art House Convergence has agreed to play the film at about 250 small theaters around the U.S.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 110
    Hmmmm... Surprised they couldn't make his happen. Not like I want to see the movie, but still.
  • Reply 2 of 110
    Your corporatist government at work.
  • Reply 3 of 110
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    I don't think it's hacking fears which are compelling the rejection across multiple online services including iTunes.

    It's already a seriously busy day of the year for bandwidth - all those people on their new devices, between software updates, media and new software downloads, adding a highly publicised film with little more than last-minute preparations is a recipe for disaster on any service. That's before we recognise the DDOS attacks that will likely take place.

    We've already seen how much traffic keynotes and iOS updates create, and those are with long prep schedules.
  • Reply 4 of 110
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,249member
    Hmmmm... Surprised they couldn't make his happen. Not like I want to see the movie, but still.

    I agree, seems odd.
  • Reply 5 of 110



    David Carr had a good take on it -- Americans should have stepped in and made it available online, everywhere. squash those who would attempt to silence our freedom of speech.

     

    The industry, old and new, digital and analog, should step across a line together, holding hands with consumers and letting the world know that we prize our goofy movies, along with the important ones, and the freedoms that they represent. If disparate competitors managed to set aside self-interest and acted for the common good, it could be the social viewing event of the century. I’d do anything to do my bit for artistic freedom, including watching a buddy-movie comedy that stars Mr. Rogen and James Franco.

     

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/business/media/hacking-at-sony-over-the-interview-reveals-hollywoods-failings-too.html?_r=0

  • Reply 6 of 110
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,088member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daveinpublic View Post



    Hmmmm... Surprised they couldn't make his happen. Not like I want to see the movie, but still.



    Apple’s iTunes servers would have been crushed by the traffic. They probably need more time to beef up the bandwidth.

     

    Beside that, NOBODY watches movies on iTunes and NOBODY listens to/buys music on iTunes. It’s dead. Ask any Pandora/Amazon/Google/analyst freak and they’ll tell you. It’s all over but the crying for Apple. Why Obama picked iTunes instead of Amazon Prime will be the subject of much trolling.

  • Reply 7 of 110
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,249member
    lkrupp wrote: »

    Apple’s iTunes servers would have been crushed by the traffic. They probably need more time to beef up the bandwidth.

    Yes, I bet you are correct. I was trying to think of a rational behind declining Sony's request. It wasn't that Apple didn't relish the business ... rather they were worried it might take down iTunes over Christmas by sheer demand.
  • Reply 8 of 110

    Sony is being cowardly.  They keep saying they have no means of distribution, but they have access to the playstation network.   Thats over 90 million devices worldwide, not even including Vita(which really doesn't up the count that much), and I am not including the PSN app, the video unlimited services, etc.  If they wanted this available to people that bad, they could have started with their own services.

     

    I would love to see some company step up, pay Sony the costof the movie, and release the damn thing for free world wide as a big middle finger to anyone who wanted this movie supressed, but I just don't see that happening. 

  • Reply 9 of 110
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,433member
    But what about the cyber terrorist threats that now that Sony pulled it from theaters that they had better not ever release it in any form or even allow it to be "leaked"? Surely Sony must be running in fear considering how quickly they pulled it from theaters? Why would they be so foolish as to risk an iTunes or Sony Playstation release? /s
  • Reply 10 of 110
    Your corporatist government at work.

    I am always confused by statements like these. Is our government corporatist when it's not busy being too hard on corporations, shackling them with all kinds of onerous regulations?

    Which is it?
  • Reply 11 of 110
    I think Apple was wise to stay away from the controversy. That is what I think was their strategy is. North Korea and China are tight, Apple and China are tight. It's a stupid, moronic, if not scandalous movie which is not the hill one would die on for freedom of speech.
  • Reply 12 of 110
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm a bit skeptical. Why just Apple? Why not Amazon, Netflix and Google too? Of course by just singling out Apple all the arrows will be pointed in one direction. I'm already seeing comments about how Apple is cowardly and how Apple is more concerned about profits and selling iToys in China than free speech. Meanwhile other online content providers can stay silent and no arrows are flung their way,
  • Reply 13 of 110
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member

    Not very cool.

     

    The movie isn't very good apparently though.

  • Reply 14 of 110
    At this point it doesn't really matter. Another shitty movie that is only interesting due to the news generated around it. Hollywood is truly bankrupt creatively.

    There's nothing to recommend an assassination movie around the holidays in the first place.

    And quite frankly, in the grand perspective, what Sony did doesn't matter. They behaved with what they thought was corporate responsibility. It isn't their job to be courageous in this regard. Folks are just a little but ass-hurt that they were made to feel like their country (USA) came in behind 1st place in the imaginary game of nationalist one-upmanship they love to play. It's juvenile, and it's something to be gotten over in the span of the ten minutes it takes you to drink your tasty Starbucks beverage.

    Oh no! The terrorists have won! *slurp slurp*

    You win, too, cowboy. You were spared the agony of Seth Rogen flick.
  • Reply 15 of 110
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MikeSmoke View Post



    I think Apple was wise to stay away from the controversy. That is what I think was their strategy is. North Korea and China are tight, Apple and China are tight. It's a stupid, moronic, if not scandalous movie which is not the hill one would die on for freedom of speech.

    Please submit a list of the hills not worth dying for...

     

    (I promise not to censor it)

  • Reply 16 of 110
    mikesmoke wrote: »
    I think Apple was wise to stay away from the controversy. That is what I think was their strategy is. North Korea and China are tight, Apple and China are tight. It's a stupid, moronic, if not scandalous movie which is not the hill one would die on for freedom of speech.

    Couldn't have said it better myself.
  • Reply 17 of 110
    ecats wrote: »
    I don't think it's hacking fears which are compelling the rejection across multiple online services including iTunes.

    It's already a seriously busy day of the year for bandwidth - all those people on their new devices, between software updates, media and new software downloads, adding a highly publicised film with little more than last-minute preparations is a recipe for disaster on any service. That's before we recognise the DDOS attacks that will likely take place.

    We've already seen how much traffic keynotes and iOS updates create, and those are with long prep schedules.

    I hadn't considered that aspect.

    lkrupp wrote: »
    Beside that, NOBODY watches movies on iTunes and NOBODY listens to/buys music on iTunes. It’s dead. Ask any Pandora/Amazon/Google/analyst freak and they’ll tell you. It’s all over but the crying for Apple. Why Obama picked iTunes instead of Amazon Prime will be the subject of much trolling.

    Dead? What?!

    rogifan wrote: »
    I'm a bit skeptical. Why just Apple? Why not Amazon, Netflix and Google too? Of course by just singling out Apple all the arrows will be pointed in one direction. I'm already seeing comments about how Apple is cowardly and how Apple is more concerned about profits and selling iToys in China than free speech. Meanwhile other online content providers can stay silent and no arrows are flung their way,

    Good questions.
  • Reply 18 of 110
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I'm a bit skeptical. Why just Apple? Why not Amazon, Netflix and Google too? Of course by just singling out Apple all the arrows will be pointed in one direction. I'm already seeing comments about how Apple is cowardly and how Apple is more concerned about profits and selling iToys in China than free speech. Meanwhile other online content providers can stay silent and no arrows are flung their way,

    And not just content providers...

    Why hasn't Samsung stood up to be counted?

     

    Seems like they'd have something at stake here,

    in an obliquely hypothetical way.

  • Reply 19 of 110
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Why didn't Sony ask Google to put it up on YouTube? Or as the US government to host a secure site where people could watch it?
  • Reply 20 of 110
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    boredumb wrote: »
    mikesmoke wrote: »
    I think Apple was wise to stay away from the controversy. That is what I think was their strategy is. North Korea and China are tight, Apple and China are tight. It's a stupid, moronic, if not scandalous movie which is not the hill one would die on for freedom of speech.
    Please submit a list of the hills not worth dying for...

    (I promise not to censor it)

    Child pornography.
    State executions.
    Any hill labelled 'Not worth going there' and likely to induce teeth sucking.
    Any morally conjectural hill where 'yours' is the only head in view.
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