As Sony Continues Threatening Reporters, NY Times Reporter Wins Pulitzer For Reporting On Sony's Emails

from the that's-called-reporting dept

We've been discussing Sony's ridiculous threat letters to members of the press (including us) with claims about how they should not read, share or report on the leaked Sony emails, hinting at how this violates all sorts of laws. As we've explained, that's a bunch of hogwash. While the original hacking almost certainly broke the law, reporting on what's in there after it's been leaked remains entirely legal. And, if you want even more support for why it's important, with the latest Pulitzer Prizes being awarded, it's notable that one of the winners for investigative journalism went to Eric Lipton of the NY Times for a series of stories that he's done exposing the influence of lobbyists -- and that includes Lipton's excellent reporting (with Nick Wingfield) using the leaked Sony emails to detail how the MPAA was trying to bring back SOPA via influencing various State Attorneys General.

That reporting has been tremendously important in exposing how the MPAA has sought to undermine the will of the public that was so outspoken concerning SOPA, but which had no way to speak out about what was happening behind closed doors because of those very doors. The fact that these emails have shone a bright light on questionable moves by the MPAA has also highlighted why we need more transparency on the policy making front and an end to backroom negotiations. That doesn't mean whoever released Sony's emails was necessarily right to do so, but those reporting on them absolutely have done incredibly valuable and important work. And, yes, it's legal to do so, contrary to Sony's silly threats.

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  • identicon
    Christenson, 21 Apr 2015 @ 1:56pm

    Better Response to Sony's Demand

    Guys:
    The proper response to Sony's demand is to remind them that for every ridiculous threat letter, another article about it can be posted on Techdirt, with a snigger -- and they can therefore send all the letters they want!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 21 Apr 2015 @ 2:02pm

    that includes Lipton's excellent reporting (with Nick Wingfield) using the leaked Sony emails to detail how the MPAA was trying to bring back SOPA via influencing various State Attorneys General.

    It's times like this I wonder why the Founding Fathers, with all their tremendous foresight and wisdom, never thought to put a "no means no" provision into the section on Congress's power to make laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 21 Apr 2015 @ 2:06pm

    Death rattle...

    Is that the death rattle of the mighty thunder lizard that I hear? Will Sony be a subject of study by future paleontologists? Stay tuned to these Internet channels and find out!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PRMan, 21 Apr 2015 @ 2:13pm

    Seems like all-Sony day here on Techdirt

    Seems only fitting, given that they sent you that nice letter.

    Hey, Mike, maybe you can search the e-mails over on Wikileaks and find some other juicy stuff in there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 21 Apr 2015 @ 2:20pm

    Dear Sony,

    ""Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel." - Mark Twain

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 21 Apr 2015 @ 2:33pm

    Streisand effect

    By now Sony should have learned that these empty threats only remind people that Sony's not exactly a white hat company. Their threats only serve to stimulate our memories of the Sony BMG rootkit scandal. I believe people should have gone to jail, as installing rootkits on other peoples computers is not exactly legal.

    And of course not only removing Linux from the PS3, but also the way that Sony went about it. Never mind that Sony reputedly has a history of being hacked and rehacked, Apparently without the will to make an effort to uphold their responsibilities. Some 100,000,000 people are estimated to have personal data stolen from Sony.

    Why does anybody buy from this company?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 3:28pm

      Re: Streisand effect

      I took the rootkit scandal as a license to torrent any and all Sony Music and Pictures for life. Thanks Sony!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 2:33pm

    Don't buy their shit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 3:20pm

    Oh look, there's Mike Masnick shilling for Google again.

    Hey Mike, everyone knows Google bankrolled the bogus SOPA protest, mkay? And it was like 4 years ago, so you can stop spiking the football anytime you want.

    Is Google going to fly you to the EU to do some lying? In case it might lower their anti-trust fine? That's a long flight I bet. Anyway, see ya around, Pirate boy!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Just Another Anonymous Troll, 22 Apr 2015 @ 5:57am

      Re:

      Google certainly isn't getting their money's worth. Mike didn't even mention Google.
      Also, SOPA sucked. Full stop. That's where the protest came from, not Google.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 21 Apr 2015 @ 3:27pm

    I didn't know that "Google bankrolled the bogus SOPA protest".

    I didn't want SOPA. None of my friends that knew about the issues wanted SOPA. It appeared that only a few big companies wanted it.

    No element of the SOPA protest appeared to be bogus. It was genuine, wide-spread grass-roots concern. In stark contrast to the manufactured pro-SOPA lobbying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      Mike and the other Google stooges lied about SOPA. After the DNS part was pulled from the bill, they still insisted it would "break the internet" (yes, that's where that now-widely mocked piece of hyperbole originated).

      Google profits from piracy as they sell ads on sites that promote piracy, either via adsense, or one of their other shell ad services. 97% of the billions Google makes comes from advertising, which is why they, and Masnick, hate artists and love piracy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 4:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Google may profit from piracy but that is only on sites that haven't received a DMCA takedown or have not been confirmed that it is copyrightable material. Also if they did make any money from those sites it would be miniscule in comparison to their main advertisers. If you have the magical program that knows instantly what is piracy and what isn't, you could make millions by selling it. Google would probably pay you a lot for it since they already have to deal quite a lot with DMCA issues and it would help eliminate a lot of expenses.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Google basher, 22 Apr 2015 @ 9:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Google snipeing

          "Google may profit from piracy"

          Actual citation please.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 23 Apr 2015 @ 3:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Google snipeing

            He has no citation, it's a six degrees of separation kind of thing.

            Google makes money from advertising. A small percentage of both advertisers and sites that host infringing material. A percentage of those ads make money. Therefore, Google's income is from piracy.

            It won't get any more concrete than that, since it requires a creative interpretation of facts, not facts themselves. He's essentially saying that anyone who carries ads for second hand goods makes their money from stolen items, because a small percentage of them may well indeed have been stolen. Therefore, we should give Sony a free pass on everything they do, for some reason.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 5:33pm

        Re: Re:

        You're the most unoriginal liar I've ever seen.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Google is not responsible for piracy.

        Piracy is not responsible for your financial problems.

        Not only is your fixation on Google mentally unhealthy, it's completely misplaced, by multiple steps.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gwiz (profile), 22 Apr 2015 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re:

        97% of the billions Google makes comes from advertising...

        Terrestrial radio also makes double-digit billions from ad revenue. Do you hate them too? Just curious.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 21 Apr 2015 @ 3:33pm

      Re:

      "I didn't know that "Google bankrolled the bogus SOPA protest""

      That's because they didn't. Google did its best to ignore the SOPA issue, but eventually the popular uprising became too loud. Google only got on board relatively late in the game, once it was unmistakably clear which way the wind was blowing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 3:46pm

        Re: Re:

        LOL

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2015 @ 5:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The fuck does all that have to do with Sony's emails, anyway?

          Seriously, if you're going to take a shit on everything, at least do it in the right place instead of crapping everywhere like a mad dog.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 22 Apr 2015 @ 12:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Typical M.O. - if he can't find a way to defend whatever indefensible action is being taken, he has to fall back on lies and personal attacks. Admitting fault on the part of one of his beloved **AA members is inconceivable, although he does actually seem to have taken the more logical approach of simply not commenting occasionally. Not here, alas, but the obvious lies and distortion are laughable.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 22 Apr 2015 @ 6:43am

      Re:

      I protested it, for free.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Apr 2015 @ 4:41am

    I would love to see their emails now....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Archillies, 22 Apr 2015 @ 9:15am

      Re: I'd like to see their emails now

      I heard the security situation has not improved much so it may happen, who knows? But knowing Sony they just stopped using email.

      The NSA has the phone conversations and txt messages though....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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