Pirates have set sail on Sony’s recent film releases, with 4 of the big titles being leaked online. In some cases, way ahead the film’s cinema release.

Films like Fury, Mr. Turner, Annie and Still Life have hit peer to peer sites like Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents.

“Fury now has been downloaded via piracy sites more than 1.2 million times, while Annie has topped 206,000 downloads by unique IP addresses” the trade reported Monday morning (Sydney time).
“[Sony] is hopeful Annie won’t be pirated as much because family films aren’t subject to as much illegal downloading as titles that skew more toward young males.”

All of the films leaked have giant Sony watermarks placed in the corner, a clear indication that they aren’t for you to view. This is believed to be connected to the recent hacking of their systems by a hacker community called ‘Guardians of Peace’, which also threatened to release sensitive data it had stolen. The hack forced staff at Sony to panic, as they needed to find their pen licences and resort to old techniques of business trading.

While we don’t condone anything like pirating movies, Sony should employ better practices of keeping their material under wraps. Having copies of these films in this sort of accessible format is a crime waiting to happen. These digital files they use to share their movies between studios and distributors need to have a better form of encryption, or just don’t make them digital at all. These stupid practices are costing them millions every year. Rather than always jumping to blame the so called ‘hackers’ that get these screeners and DVD quality movies, blame the source where they get them from. They just don’t come from the magic land of fairies and unicorns. Just do better.

The tech site ‘re/code’ reported that Sony was exploring the possibility the hackers were working on behalf of North Korea, as the attack coincides with the imminent release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s new film The Interview. But we find this just merely a coincidence. I’m sure if North Korea was planning to fight back over the film, Kim Jong-un would have sent the much less desired Korean Colonel Burton straight for Sony’s Headquarters in Tokyo.

So what have we learnt today class?