Sony wants news organizations to delete data leaked after hack

The movie studio calls the leaked documents "stolen information" and threatened legal action if the files are not ignored and destroyed.

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Sony says leaks are intended to pressure the studio to cancel release of a movie, presumably "The Interview." Sony

Sony Pictures issued a warning Sunday to news organizations against use of information leaked after a massive security breach at the studio.

In a sternly worded letter first reported by The New York Times, Sony Pictures attorney David Boies referred to the leaked Sony documents as "stolen information" and demands that those that may have already been downloaded not be reviewed and destroyed.

"We are writing to ensure that you are aware that SPE does not consent to your possession, review copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading or making any use of the stolen information, and to request your cooperation in destroying the stolen information," Boies writes in the three-page letter, a copy of which was also sent to The Hollywood Reporter and Recode.

The letter goes on to threaten to hold news organizations that do not comply with Sony's demands "responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by you."

Sony Pictures representatives did not respond to a request for comment on the letter.

The letter highlights the security black eye that Sony's film and TV arm has spent the past couple of weeks trying to heal. Last month, a hacking group calling itself Guardians of Peace broke in to its computer networks and leaked thousands of financial documents and emails revealing the film studio's inner secrets to file-sharing sites. A handful of movies, including a few Sony has yet to release, have also been leaked.

Sony's letter came a day after hackers released a seventh wave of documents and promised "a Christmas gift" that would "surely give you much more pleasure and put Sony Pictures into the worst state."

The letter calls the leak part of "an on-going campaign explicitly seeking to prevent SPE from distributing a motion picture," saying that the hackers are "using the dissemination of both private and company information for the stated purpose of materially harming SPE unless SPE submits and withdraws the motion picture from distribution."

The movie in question is apparently Sony's forthcoming film "The Interview," a comedy due to be released later this month starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as two TV journalists who become embroiled in a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The plot of the movie has lead to speculation that the security breach may be the work of hackers acting on behalf of the government of North Korea.