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Give Sony a chance : 10 Reasons not to publish stolen files

The Sony hack disaster has gone way too far to the point where people are now attacking the company for wanting to recover their own stolen data.

After Sony contacted news publishers directly and asked them to delete files, many were not happy and decided to ramp up their criticism. However, there are bigger issues at stake that have been sidelined and forgotten. It's time to look at those and gather perspective before this becomes a disaster.

Here are 10 reasons not to promote leaked sony files:

1. It gives the hackers an ego boost that empowers them to do more damage and see how much corporate information can get published online.

2. It puts fear into thousands of Sony employees as they pray that their conversations won't appear word for word in news stories at their expense.

3. Sony employees should have the same basic privacy rights as other Americans when it comes to confidential data and there's no reason why they should be punished.

5. Financial spreadsheets and documents stored on Sony servers are not for public consumption and are not in the public interest. These are internal documents and no one should be promoting them.

6. Screenshots of Sony's file system and archives don't provide readers with information that is valuable or necessary; and it only has one intention : To harm or critique the company.

7. Sony didn't break the law and yet it somehow doesn't even have the basic right to challenge the leaks and ask for their own data to be removed from the web, when millions get panicked by Facebook privacy changes and demand that their data is protected. Seriously? Have we lost our humanity?

8. Providing people with parts of leaked scripts and going thru them to tell everyone what their about, including characters, and plot points, exploits the hard work of the writers at their expense and ruins the surprise of the movie itself.

In fact, that even damages the whole marketing machine behind a movie prior to its release because people know so much about it. That's totally abusing creative work for no reason, and people have no right to promote that leaked content as if it were their own, then make money off of it because readers are so curious about the leak. There's a reason a script shouldn't be leaked, it's not supposed to be revealed until audiences watch the movie.

9. Leaked documents can be misinterpreted and exploited to further damage the Sony name when they did no harm to others. It's very easy to miss the context of some of the leaked emails and go too far in exploiting those conversations for just added hype. Why damage people like Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio? Why take it out on Aaron Sorkin for being painfully honest or embarrass Will Smith's kids as if they were objects in an amusement park? That's not ethical and they don't deserve to be put into that spotlight.

10. Salary information, social security numbers and movie budget breakdowns are not newsworthy. Would we want our data to be out in the open like that? Would we really want people to scrutinize the finer points of our earnings which then leads to arguments in the office about who's getting paid what and when, leading to more tension and worsening relations at work? All that does is damage a corporation that abides by the same rule of law and hurts all its employees in the process, and then to top it off, their medical records are exposed. How distressing can that be? Take a step back and think how painful that is for Sony and everyone related to the company. It's a soul-destroying moment.

If those reasons aren't strong enough to make people think twice then there's a real problem in the entertainment industry today. Everyone needs to look at the bigger picture. Sony is being destroyed by its own industry while hackers are winning. Yes, we admit some of the aspects of the hack are notable and should be covered in the news, but exploiting leaked data to the point where news stories end up being marketing campaigns for piracy goes way beyond journalism. It isn't fit to print.

It's also disappointing to see that some public figures and newspapers are now arguing against each other over the ethics of this hack. Do we really want to burn Sony to the ground after all the good its done for the past several decades, not to mention the thousands of jobs it has supported? While Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin don't deserve a round of applause they owned up to their mistakes and apologized. Many more people are going to suffer needlessly because of these files appearing in the news, and it's time to stop this.

As an industry, we've crossed the red line and the damage needs to be reversed. It's time to support Sony and go past their faults, and give the company a chance to re-build.

film industry network members