Peter Jackson, Kim Dotcom, Cliff Curtis feature in latest batch of leaked Sony emails

Sony goes on the front foot.

Sony has warned media organisations that the latest round of hacked Sony Pictures emails posted to Wikileaks are not "fair game" to publish.

In a letter, Sony lawyer David Boies says, "Wikileaks is incorrect that this stolen Information belongs in the public domain and it is, in many jurisdictions, unlawful to place it there or otherwise distribute it."

Sony was hacked in November, with emails between executives copied and made public. The FBI pinned the blame on North Korea, which had taken offence at Sony comedy The Interview but a number of security experts are dubious about this on a technical level.

The emphasis on leaking emails that are embarrassing to the company, and in particular those that reveal infighting between Sony staff, lends credence to the theory that an aggrieved ex-employee could have had a hand in the leaks.

The latest batch of emails posted to Wikileaks feature mention of a number of New Zealanders, including Sir Peter Jackson, Jane Campion and Cliff Curtis.

However, it's all pretty neutral stuff. Sir Peter and Ms Campion are on a long-list of potential directors for Sony's forthcoming epic Cleopatra (both were mentioned as possibilities on industry sites.

Neither made the shortlist; in Sir Peter's case due to commitments with another studio). Another email mentions that Mr Curtis (as reported in September, before the hacks) is cast as Jesus in the forthcoming Resurrection (previously titled Clavius).

The New Zealand government's incentive scheme for offshore film-makers is discussed. Unsurprisingly, Sony is keen for it to be expanded.

The most intriguing emails relate to Kim Dotcom. There's some interesting discussion of a possible no-limit counter-suit for damages by Kim Dotcom if studios launch a civil action (they did, he didn't). Otherwise, it's pretty familiar territory, though those following the Megaupload saga will find the language and areas of sensitivity quite fascinating.

Emails on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) reveal a close relationship between US negotiatiators and studios, but also counter-pressure from another strong US business lobby – the IT industry, which has generally been critical of the trade agreement's secret negotiations and potential to protect old-world content distribution by territory agreements.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz