Commercial Terrorism – The New Frontier?

The Interview movie will no longer open December 25, 2014.  In fact, it might not open at all.  Did the terrorists win?

I hope not.

As a Business Lawyer I see this through the eyes of Sony and all other businesses out there, large and small.

I understand that Sony was weighing the risks to reputation, overall business, and employees.  Ultimately, from a business perspective, the cost of not releasing The Interview may have been less than the costs incurred dealing with lawsuits, injuries and damages they could have been exposed to by releasing it.

I understand it: but I still don’t like it.

As a Business Lawyer, I likely would have recommended the same course of action to the client.  This decision was not about “standing up to North Korea” for Sony, it was a business decision and those are best made without emotion or patriotism, regardless of how important those things are.

I still don’t like it.

If a large, multi-national company can be threatened into not releasing a movie, what chance does a small “Mom and Pop” business have when a hacker comes calling?   As a Business Lawyer I can advise a business that any blackmail threats should be reported to the police and the police should handle it: but how does that help the bottom line of the company?

As a Business Lawyer I can also advise a business that they can sue for damages incurred, but have to be realistic about the ability to collect any of those damages from anonymous hackers in foreign countries.

I am hopeful that Sony has not actually completely pulled The Interview, but instead is taking away the “firm launch date” so that any attacks cannot be easily coordinated.

If/when it comes out I will want to see The Interview (this actually has nothing to do with North Korea, I like Seth Rogan movies, yes, I said that out loud).   I hope you will join me, even if you don’t usually go for Seth Rogan movies.

We can’t let the terrorists win.

Inga B. Andriessen JD