Word came out yesterday that Sony Pictures has cancelled the Christmas day theatrical release of the Seth Rogen / James Franco film The Interview. This comes after the company has been suffering though the aftermath of a hacking and releasing of the information by a group known as the Guardians of Peace or #GoP. It is believed the hack was the work of North Korea. The film depicts North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the target of a CIA assassination plot. The hackers demanded that Sony cancel the release of the film. The studio refused for weeks and suffered repeated leaks of private emails, corporate information as well as the uploading of films such as Fury and Annie. But what changed Sony's mind was the five largest theater chains announced they would not screen the film, so Sony made the decision to scrap the release.
As of now Sony has no plans to release the film in any format.
But the hackers were not alone in making this happen. They only gathered the information. It would do them no good without the means to disseminate it. The means they used of course was entertainment and news outlets, most of who were more than willing to take the stolen information and share it with their readers. The hack and the reasons behind it were legitimate news stories. The information that came from that hack was basically stolen property and covering that information as news just helped those that were attacking the company. With Sony having given into the demands it has created a blueprint for similar situations in the future. Other groups will see what #GoP has done and use it against whoever they have an issue with. The only way to prevent this would be for the media to decide not be a part of it.