Sony Calls On Twitter To Suspend Musician Who Posted 'Stolen Information'

Earlier this month, Sony lawyer David Boies sent a letter to various news outlets demanding that they stop reporting on hacked emails.

Boies told news organizations to destroy the “stolen information” that was hacked, and said that Sony didn't consent to any publication of the material.

Many observers quickly dismissed the threats on the grounds that news organizations have a free-speech right to publish newsworthy material, as long as they didn't break any laws to obtain the information.

There's no real question that at least some of the information revealed in the hack is newsworthy. The clearest example probably comes from Project Goliath -- a Hollywood initiative to convince state law enforcement authorities to target Google for allegedly enabling piracy.

On Monday, Boies sent out yet another threatening letter, this time to Twitter. He is demanding that Twitter suspend the account of musician Val Broeksmit, who tweets under the name @bikinirobotarmy. In the last two weeks, he's tweeted links to a host of hacked information, including a portion of a script for the new James Bond movie, Spectre, and information about plans for a sequel to Pineapple Express, according to Ars Technica.



If Twitter does not comply with this request, and the Stolen Information continues to be disseminated by Twitter in any manner, SPE [Sony]will have no choice but to hold Twitter responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by Twitter,” the letter states.

Twitter reportedly suspended Broeksmit's account on Dec. 18 -- before receiving Boies' letter -- but restored it within 24 hours.

In the last two days, many legal commenters took to Twitter to point out that the Communications Decency Act immunizes Web platforms from liability for any damage caused by users' posts.

While that's broadly true, the Communications Decency Act's immunity doesn't apply if users post material that infringes copyright. But even when users link to material that's infringing, Web platforms can rely on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbors. Those immunize Web platforms from copyright liability as long as they take down posts in response to complaints.

Regardless of legalities, even if Twitter suspends Broeksmit and deletes his posts, it's not clear how that will benefit Sony, given that the information is available elsewhere. Besides, Broeksmit currently has more than 21,000 followers, many of whom probably have already read -- and maybe even copied and reposted -- his tweets.

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