Sony has changed its position and will offer screenings of "The Interview" after all on Christmas Day. It won't be in a huge number of theaters, maybe 200 to 300 around the country.
Here's Sony's tweet making the announcement.
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President Obama said today that Sony made a mistake in deciding to cancel "The Interview."
That's not who we are. That's not what America's about....We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States...
...Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they do when they start seeing a documentary they don't like, or news reports they don't like. Or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.
...The company shouldn't have been deterred from releasing its movie "any more than we stop going to a football game because there might be the possibility of a terrorist attack, any more than Boston didn't run its marathon this year because of the possibility that somebody might try to cause harm."
Obama said he wished Sony called him before making the decision. Good to know that Sony can just pick up a phone and get put through to the President. Can any other corporations do that?
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Following threats by hackers to launch attacks on theaters who show "The Interview", a comedy movie by Sony Pictures about a planned assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sony announced yesterday it is canceling the release of the film. The announcement followed decisions by several movie chains not to show the movie. Sony has no plans to release the film in the future.
Some criticize Sony's cancellation saying they are giving in to cyberterrorists, and it's a slippery slope. Others say better safe than sorry.
According to Reuters, the U.S. believes North Korea, not keyboard terrorists sitting in their parents' basement, is behind the Sony hacks and threats.
Why didn't Sony just release it to cable "On Demand", Netflix, iTunes and Amazon?
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On behalf of Sony, lawyer David Boies has written a letter to media organizations (available here)threatening to sue them if they publish the materials hackers obtained from its computer network.
Can Sony win such a lawsuit? Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy analyzes the issue and concludes "Probably not, at least as to most of the information that media outlets would want to publish."
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