This rather strong On Sony statement by respected camera reviewer Lloyd Chambers caught my attention:
I’ll continue to objectively review Sony cameras and lenses because they are in the market and a major player.
As for myself, I have firmed up my previous reluctance to invest my money in Sony products. Along with a revolting phone call experience last spring with Sony personnel, Sony’s checkered ethical history (which continues today with outgoing attacks on Web sites), the Sony incompetence on their own security coupled with the Sony worst practice of a “root” updater Sony camera firmware, and now the whole spineless movie release thing, my discomfort with Sony has turned into contempt. This is not a company I wish to support with my spending. At the same time, I feel no need to have that view adopted by anyone else; I am simply expressing how Sony looks to me as a a company. Vote with your own wallet as you see fit.
Doesn’t happen too often that gear issues become geopolitical. In the aftermath one could read inspiring outpourings of nationalism such as, “If I had one of their cameras I’d paint out their logo or sell it in response to their total surrender to North Korea.”
Granted, it’s an act of cowardice to give in to absurd anonymous political pressure — I assume you’re well aware of the saga surrounding Sony’s pulled movie The Interview. Don’t forget, the headquarters of Sony are within Pyongyang’s medium-range missile reach. Still, barking dogs do not bite.
Whoever in the name of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened Sony and by now the U.S., whoever is behind this ridiculous attempt to pressure free speech, creativity and the free world altogether, whoever takes fiction for reality deserves our utmost contempt and not to be taken for real. Even more so because in the film Kim’s actually a pretty cool guy.
Sony is not to blame. They’re an Asian company not used to face pressure head-on. Encouraged by a global uproar Sony will release the film one way or the other. Whoever tried to prevent the release of the film will in the end be responsible for making The Interview one of the most popular films. Simply because prohibition attracts interest.
Sony now, on the other hand, is a company so big the head often doesn’t know what the brain thinks. One leg walks this way, the other one that way. The Sony empire produces everything entertainment. What wonder that some of its divisions perform better, some worse.
It’s not the job of Sony’s Hollywood division to make some kind of principled stand. Their job is to run a business and make a profit in the face of liability concerns. Which begs the question what any of this has to do with Sony’s camera business, a completely separate entity within Sony’s vast corporate empire. It’s exactly this imaging division that dares to take the big bulls by the horns. A nobody a few years ago, now even Canon is rumored to soon be using a Sony-derived sensor…
Credit where credit is due. Forget the keyboard warriors and tough Internet guys. The Interview saga isn’t just evil mischief. It’s lawyers and public perception that grounded the movie. For now. In the long run the cyberterrorism threats will turn out as a movie’s best publicity campaign ever. Nevertheless, Sony should be aware that it has as a consumer and entertainment company it has an obligation to stand up for freedom and free speech. That’s why they better start working on the sequel, The Interview II. Kim will be happy to learn that Hustler’s Larry Flynt promised to release an own The Interview parody…