Sony Attorney David Boies Threatens Media Over Hack Stories

How to Prevent a Studio Hack - H 2014
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

How to Prevent a Studio Hack - H 2014

He sent a letter to news outlets, referring to the leaked data as "stolen information"

Sony Pictures Entertainment lawyer David Boies sent a letter to news organizations Sunday, cautioning them against using information that hackers have leaked about the studio. 

In the letter, first reported by The New York Times, Boies referred to leaked Sony documents as "stolen information" and demanded that the files be ignored, or destroyed if they had already been downloaded. 

"We are writing to ensure that you are aware that SPE does not consent to your possession, review copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading or making any use of the stolen information, and to request your cooperation in destroying the stolen information," the letter reads.

The letter adds that the leak is the result of "an on-going campaign explicitly seeking to prevent SPE from distributing a motion picture." The hackers are "using the dissemination of both private and company information for the stated purpose of materially harming SPE unless SPE submits and withdraws the motion picture from distribution." The film in question is the forthcoming Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview, which Guardians of Peace has asked Sony to pull. 

Read more Sony Hackers Release Eighth Batch of Leaked Files

The Hollywood Reporter is among the news groups that received the letter, which doesn't reference specific stories but instead discusses general coverage of the hack. Some media outlets, notably Gawker, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, have been aggressive in reporting information disclosed by the massive hack. Other outlets, including The New York Times, have revealed some information but have been more reluctant, instead mostly linking to other sites. 

Sony's hiring of Boies, one of the nation's most high profile litigators, indicates how seriously it is taking the disclosures from the hack. The studio has endured the publication of many embarrassing email threads involving Sony execs, along with salary and profit information.

On Sunday, a hacker claiming to be a member of the group Guardians of Peace, which has taken credit for the Nov. 24 breach on Sony's systems, sent journalists an eighth batch of Sony files.

This included the email box of Sony Pictures Releasing International president Steven O'Dell. It contained emails about release strategy for The Interview.