The payment processor Stripe Inc. is one of the key parties enabling the Sony film The Interview to be rented and purchased online after it was pulled from theaters following terroristic threats.
The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, was supposed to be widely available in theaters on Christmas Day, but many venues backed out due to security concerns. The movie's plot involves an attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
"We're happy to be involved because we think it's important that the Internet remains an impartial platform," said Patrick Collison, founder of Stripe, in a Dec. 24 blog post.
Stripe also works with organizations such as the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defend digital freedom. And the company partnered with Chilling Effects to restrict takedown notices from being used as a censorship tool.
"We don't always endorse what businesses sell through Stripe, but we do think it's critical that we and our peers don't act as gatekeepers for what is and isn't acceptable content," Collison said.
The film is also being made available for purchase through Google Play, YouTube Movies and Microsoft's Xbox Video.
In January, Stripe integrated its technology with Ecwid, an e-commerce tools developer for websites, blogs and social media pages. The company enabled its merchant clients to accept Bitcoin as a payment option in March. Collison also sits on the board of Stellar, a new consensus-based protocol similar to Ripple for transmitting money.