This one is the least likely because it means Sony thinks this film is so toxic after the hack that they want to get rid of it and that there’s a buyer in Hollywood who believes they could withstand whatever potential hacks might by thrown at them. Given that the investigation now seems to indicate the hack is the work of North Korean state sponsored cyber-terrorists, who would want the hassle and risk to their business at any price?

There are a lot of posts (here, here, here are a few examples) in the last day about whether or not Sony Pictures might seize the day in the midst of their current hacking crisis. I’m talking specifically about the idea that The Interview could be released online now that hacker threats of physical violence have caused most theater chains refuse distribution of the film.

That’s to protect say a theater owner who wouldn’t want to be showing a movie while it’s available for you to download to your phone for less money than a single adult admission. I doubt this is the reason, but having seen the complexity of content window management up close I can at least understand it.

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There are a lot of posts (here, here, here are a few examples) in the last day about whether or not Sony Pictures might seize the day in the midst of their current hacking crisis. I’m talking specifically about the idea that The Interview could be released online now that hacker threats of physical violence have caused most theater chains refuse distribution of the film.

So now we come to the real reason. Sony won’t release The Interview because they are just not driven enough to make it happen. There’s no leadership at Sony anymore, not in the same way that Morita-san created the great worldwide brand based on quality and design. Sony has enough money and lawyers to solve any licensing issue or contractual window restriction that stood in the way. While the cost of lawsuits and recovering the IT infrastructure from the hack will run into the millions, think about the earned media (aka word of mouth) brand value that would be created by going online to show the movie “North Korea does not want you to see”? You can’t buy that kind of positive media coverage and that’s certainly what Sony needs after a month of horrible disclosure after another.