from the obviously dept
Well, that Sony hack that has alternatively been blamed on everyone from disgruntled ex-employees to current Sony employees to freaking North Korea is getting stranger. Most of the strangeness, or at least eyebrow-raising content, comes from some of the files pulled in the hack that are being distributed throughout the internet. Most notably, a 25GB torrent is making the rounds that purportedly includes everything from executive salaries, employee identifying information and compensation packages, and early comments on the torrent file that were postulating theories as to how all this happened appear to have been coming from Sony-linked addresses. It seems all too facile at this point to publically speculate that some very embarrassing information about internal Sony dealings will be coming to light in the coming days.
Perhaps the least noteworthy result of the hack is the release of some Sony films onto the internet, where they have been downloaded in somewhat large numbers.
As first reported here on TF, following the hacks last week several unreleased Sony movies leaked online. Fury, featuring Brad Pitt, was by far the highest profile and today we can confirm that the title has been downloaded by BitTorrent users more than a million times.A million times on a torrent available worldwide? Meh. Still, everyone had to know that the making available of Sony films was not a crime that would go unnoticed by the industry, nor by the politicians
Mike Weatherley MP, the recent IP advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, has published several piracy reports including one earlier in the year examining the advertising revenue on pirate sites. He believes that companies with no direct connection to the hack or subsequent leaks should shoulder some blame.Got that? Piracy, a huge international problem, shouldn't be dealt with directly. Instead, this enormous, mega-large super-problem should be indirectly tackled by forcing parties that took no part in the crimes to do...well, what exactly? Because this is the UK we're talking about, where ISPs are already proactively blocking so-called infringing sites, and it hasn't done a whole lot of good, since those blocks are easily subverted by proxies and other easily accessible methods. So what should ISPs, who've already cooperated thus far, be forced to do now?
“Piracy is a huge international problem. The recent cyber-attack on Sony and subsequent release of films to illegal websites is just one high-profile example of how criminals exploit others’ Intellectual Property,” Weatherley writes in an email to TF. “Unfortunately, the theft of these films – and their subsequent downloads – has been facilitated by web-hosting companies and, ultimately, ISPs who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.”
The only answer from MPs like Weatherley appears to be: "MOAR!" Absent from his speech is any actual content, by which I mean solution. What does he want ISPs to do? More. More of what is already not working, the blocking of sites? Yes. How should this be done? Silence. Why would this be more effective than what's being subverted today? Silence. Why? Because Weatherley likely knows that he's pushing for something that doesn't make sense.
Overall, it’s clear that forcing technology companies into shouldering blame for the actions of others is a difficult game and one that has yet to make any noticeable dent in piracy volumes. Still, that won’t stop rightsholders pursuing claims against them and influential characters like Weatherley pushing for reform.Easier than going after the actual criminals or pushing for business model reform, I suppose.