The first series of data included emails relating to Sony’s involvement with the MPAA and their global efforts to stop piracy. Sounds like a laudable goal right? Well it turns out that Sony and the other members of the copyright gang have a much more targeted and sinister thing in mind. They appear to want to try and take out Google. This came to light through a sting of emails that discussed project Goliath. The emails that have been leaked so far show that the MPAA and others are willing to go to war against Google in order to change the tide in their war on piracy. The efforts are very clear, they want ISPs to start doing their policing work for them with comments like: “We start from the premise that site blocking is a means to an end” and “There may be other equally effective measures ISPs can take, and that they might be more willing to take voluntarily.” The only problem is that Google (or Goliath) is in the way.
The fear they have of Google is very clear in comments like: “what Goliath could do if it went on the attack”. They (the MPAA and others) are working to make Google look like the bad guy and that they are siding with the pirates in this case. The emails outlined plans to “amplify” negative news about Google and also to starting putting more and more pressure on them. Google, on the other hand, is getting to the point where they have had enough. With take down requests hitting in multiple millions every month they know that the copyright industry is trying to simply overwhelm them in order to get their way. Google is on the verge of taking their toys and going home. This would put the copyright guys in a bad place. They know that Google wields a lot of power and also know that their efforts have backfired on them before: “In the post-SOPA world, we need to consider the extent to which a strategy presents a risk of a public relations backlash”
However, Sony and the MPAA’s fear of Google is not the only thing that the leaked emails and documents have shown. There are comments from Sony execs calling certain actors “whores” and also making small jokes about President Obama. We see a very different side of the movie industry in these leaked emails and it shows them in a very bad (although not surprising) light. Meanwhile the group, Guardians of Peace, continue to release emails and documents and promise more to come. Sony will survive this one, but it is certainly going to put the entire copyright lobby into a bad PR situation. You can bet that as more information comes out the global copyright push will have to make a serious shift in their stated goals or they will risk another backlash like they saw with SOPA. This backlash might not affect the executives directly, but it would put the people in Washington that they rely in at risk of losing their jobs. Of course that might not be a bad thing at all.
We cannot wait for the next batch of documents to hit the internet and to see what additional information comes out about the goals of Sony and their MPAA buddies. It will be entertaining at the very least. Right now Sony is threatening any site that hosts links to the files will very large fines and law suits so when the documents do hit, people will need to get them very quickly…
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