Sony in the North Korean Sony Hack
Sony made a satirical comedy about the buffoon North Korean leader, a man educated in Switzerland and secretly loves many Western lifestyles. The movie cost $45 million and shows the leader being killed in self defense, it was not a CIA assassination plot. In fact, in the scene, the North Koreans fire first at a tank being driven by Seth Rogen and James Franco and out of the blue, one of them realizes they can fire back and do so, killing the leader.
Because of this, North Korea attacked with its cyber warfare unit (as they had against South Korea) and throwing the first salvo of a cyber war, where hackers can cause equal damage to a nuclear bomb. Iran has this capability. So does the USA and Russia. But, NK attacked a US company forcing it to either not release the movie in any form or face more extortion via the hacked files.
Many were shocked that Sony bowed to the demands of a terrorist country. Even President Obama called the decision was a bad mistake. North Korea called the decision a smart decision in so many word and still warned Sony about any ideas of releasing the film. Sony made the film for the American and British audiences. There would be little market for it in Asia because the content. The truth is, the fear factor tossed out there by the successful hack attack has made all governments respond cautiously. However, before Sony decided, it contacted all of its normal distribution channels that all their movies move through. None of them were willing to show the movie because of the NK threat, whether real or not. Sony cannot release a movie without them and Sony owns no theater chains. They considered DVD release, it was the same problem. They are now talking to Netflix, who may stream it.
Faced with no way to make money on the film because there was no distributor for it, Sony had no choice but to not release it. So, while it was a bad decision to bow to terrorist demands, Sony had no other choice. Once the movie distributors were in fear of what NK might do, the threat was enough. Sony has vowed that the film will be released somehow, pay for view or streaming. They could also allow the film to be pirated. While that may happen, Sony would not recoup any money for making it. Sony may be pulling a delaying action, that is, not releasing it now, and in the meantime, make repairs and strengthen server infrastructure until they cannot be hacked again. Then, release the film.
Obama has vowed to retaliate in his own time. This should be interesting. Recall the "red line" in Syria that was crossed and Obama did nothing? If this is going to happen again, North Korea will be so emboldened to do it again at something they don't like. The US could send a virus into NK's computer network as payback. It certainly caused the Iranians angst upon their nuclear weapons enrichment.
The Interview was recently reviewed in a private screening. It did not fair too well, either. Just saying.