Leaked emails from hacked Sony Pictures have revealed how executives of Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) tried to lobby Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) to block users accessing its video streaming service from location where it has not been launched. Sony told Netflix how illegal access to its content was another form of piracy and that some of Sony partners weren’t happy with what was happening in places like Australia. Wikileaks is behind the confidential email leaks.
The published emails from the compromised Sony Pictures platform offer an interesting insight into the delicate relationship between Sony Corp and Netflix, which licenses its studio content for its streaming service.
Some 17,000 email and another 30,000 documents were stolen from Sony following the 2014 attack on its entertainment arm. Sony isn’t happy with the disclosure of the stolen information, which also contains private and privileged communications, but Wikileaks is undeterred in pushing the confidential communications to the public domain.
The stolen documents also contain financial and negotiation details between Sony Corp and its various partners.
Streaming Netflix in Australia
One of the leaked emails details the communication between Netflix and Sony Pictures’ chief of distribution, Keith Le Goy. The communication bordered on the complaints about Netflix’s failure to end unauthorized access to its content in Australia, where users took advantage of virtual private networks to evade geoblocks.
Sony talked about its objection to illegal Netflix streaming in Australia in November 2013. However, Netflix officially entered the Australian market early this year.
According to Sony executives, streaming of their content through Netflix in unauthorized locations was equal to piracy. Sony’s Goy went on to state that the matter with Netflix was becoming a heated topic because their goals and those of Netflix appeared to be diametrically opposite.
Netflix hopes that friction with studios, including Sony, will reduce significantly after 2016 when the will have completed its ongoing global expansion.
Wikileaks pressing on
According to Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, the platform works to unveil the inner workings of influential organizations, of course, including governments. While Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) has vehemently opposed publication of the emails stolen from its hacked system, Assange is convinced that information contained in the so-called privileged and confidential communications are of public interest. That means that bringing them to the public domain is putting them where they belong.
The attack on Sony Pictures system, which the company said would cost it about $15 million to restore, was linked to its controversial film The Interview, a satirical movie about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.