Sony Hackers Warn Against 'Interview' DVD Release19 Dec, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
DOJ and FBI formally link North Korea to cyber attack
Sony Pictures has received new email threats from the cyber terrorists with North Korean ties responsible for the studio canceling the theatrical release of ‘R’-rated buddy comedy The Interview from Seth Rogen and co-starring James Franco.
CNN reported that studio executives in the evening of Dec. 18 received warnings from the group called Guardians of Peace informing them not to consider distributing the movie on DVD or electronic means, including, interestingly, channels frequented by pirates.
“#GOP: Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy,” read the email.
In the movie, Rogen and Franco play wannabe tabloid-TV producers who score an interview-turned-assassination attempt on North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.
The Department of Justice and FBI have formally linked North Korea to the Sony hack.
Chris Dodd, CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, called North Korea’s involvement a “despicable, criminal act.”
“The FBI's announcement that North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures is confirmation of what we suspected to be the case: that cyber terrorists, bent on wreaking havoc, have violated a major company to steal personal information, company secrets and threaten the American public. It is a despicable, criminal act,” Dodd said in a statement.
#GOP, which has laid siege to Sony Pictures since before Thanksgiving for greenlighting The Interview, told Sony executives it would make “additional trouble” should there be a retail release of the film.
“We still have your private and sensitive data,” read the email.
Releasing the movie on DVD and Blu-ray is considered largely immune from cyber attacks and could enable Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to recoup much of The Interview’s production and marketing costs considering the widespread media attention.
Wedbush Securites analyst Michael Pachter believes Sony will release the movie in retail channels next year.
“My guess is that they will figure out a way to monetize it,” Pachter said.
Other industry watchers have suggested that studio attempts to recover costs through an insurance write-down would preclude any home video release.
Sony Pictures spokesperson Steven Argula said the studio had no official comment on the latest turn of events.