Microsoft and Sony announced on Wednesday that “The Interview” will be available via Microsoft’s Xbox Video platform.
This means that anyone with an Xbox gaming console, Windows Phone, or Windows 8/8.1 computer or tablet will be able to watch the controversial film starting at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
“A cyber-attack on anyone’s rights is a cyber-attack on everyone’s rights, and together we need to defend against it,” Microsoft wrote in a statement on its official blog.
“After substantial thought, we decided to stand up with Sony and work with others to ensure that freedom of expression triumphs over cyber-terrorism.”
The move comes just as Google announced that “The Interview” will be available via YouTube. Numerous theatre chains, including Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, have also announced that they will be showing the movie on Dec. 25.
Here’s the full statement from Microsoft that we pulled from its blog:
Today, in partnership with Sony Pictures, we announced that Xbox Video customers would have access to either buy or watch the movie “The Interview” starting at 10 a.m. PT today. The movie will be available to our customers in the United States who have an Xbox console, a Windows Phone, or a PC or tablet running Windows 8 or 8.1.
As has been widely reported, Sony was the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack with the intent of preventing the distribution of this film. Despite the effort to block this movie, it will now be shown in many theatres and will be available online. This is good news. A cyber-attack on anyone’s rights is a cyber-attack on everyone’s rights, and together we need to defend against it.
In the United States, freedom of expression is a fundamental principle that is protected by law. Our Constitution guarantees for each person the right to decide what books to read, what movies to watch, and even what games to play. In the 21st Century, there is no more important place for that right to be exercised than on the Internet. After substantial thought, we decided to stand up with Sony and work with others to ensure that freedom of expression triumphs over cyber-terrorism.
We of course appreciate that there are varied views regarding this film. That’s true of many works and many issues. We’re not endorsing this movie or any other. We are supporting the Constitutional right of free expression, and we hope that by acting together, we will help deter other attacks.
We’re glad our customers can make this choice, as can viewers on Google’s YouTube service and Google Play.
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