Last year Sony Pictures was hacked, and thousands of emails were stolen and effectively used as weapons against executives, film-makers and those within that creative industry. Saucy emails were shared showing executives bashing movie stars, and there were even leaks related to talks that had taken place with regards to potential Nintendo movies. In fact, much of what you're seeing in headlines today actually emerged around five months ago.
We picked up on the emails last year related to a Mario movie that was revealed by Buzzfeed. We won't, however, be joining in this time with the further leaks that have appeared on Wikileaks.
Why? To break into first person, I've discussed this with the management team and we've decided, as a group, that we won't support further coverage from these Sony Pictures leaks. Our reasoning is as follows:
- These emails were stolen at the time - not leaked by an employee - and were ultimately (as the story evolved) used for ugly purposes beyond snooping around at potential film projects etc. It was an invasion of the privacy of Sony Pictures, but more importantly of a number of individuals, and some emails were used maliciously to attack these individuals.
- Sony Pictures, within its rights, condemned and criticised a number of these leaks.
So what's changed now that Wikileaks has published them?
Now, there'll be counter-arguments around freedom of speech, and comparisons made to that which made Wikileaks famous - the previous leaking of files from the Iraq War and Diplomatic cables. In those cases there's an argument for the public interest being applicable, as the topics related to politics, war, and events that can cost lives and affect many others besides. That's a perspective I can understand and largely agree with - emails about movies though? Not exactly in the 'public interest', beyond the fact we can be nosy.
Should we have published that first article? At the time it was a case of content spilling into the public domain, and in the case of the 'Mario movie' being rather harmless and fascinating for Nintendo fans; arguments for and against that publication can be made. It's in light of how that initial leak evolved, however, becoming a barely palatable snoop show that attacked individuals, that we've opted to now sit out of the belated emails published by Wikileaks.
We won't be posting these Sony Pictures emails again on Nintendo Life, nor digging around Wikileaks. To be perfectly blunt on their importance, too, they give little more than indications that people want to make movies with Nintendo IPs, with dollar signs swirling in their eyes. No deals were confirmed in the leak despite some 'confident' wording in emails - as was made clear when those involved issued statements last December.
In summary, people try to make movies all the time, so it's hardly earth shattering, and perhaps some will see the light of day. In recent times Nintendo has allowed its characters to appear in Wreck-it Ralph and Pixels, so is clearly open to the idea.
More importantly, we don't feel the re-leaking of these emails five months after their initial spread is constructive, and don't want to play even a small part in encouraging them further.