The Business Times

Sony blows chance to be cool again

Published Tue, Dec 23, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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THE Sony incident has taken on global proportions, creating discussions and debates on everything ranging from extortion, blackmail and cyber terrorism to freedom of expression and what has been described as "corporate cowardice". The cyber-attack, Sony's reaction and the fallout it created have elevated the incident into a crisis with no less than the US President weighing in, which was probably appropriate given the precedent Sony's apparent surrender is likely to create. All these issues are entirely relevant and deserve robust debate. But they aren't the only issues. There is one more.

Most people will argue that as with most things, money is at the centre of it all. Money was what motivated Sony to make the picture in the first place and it was money - or the risk of losing hundreds of millions of dollars - that motivated the Sony leadership to do what they did in the wake of the threats following the massive hacking it suffered. According to sources inside Sony as well as industry observers, the financial cost could hit US$200 million, "not including reputational damage". Sony executives were apparently influenced by financial advisers over spiralling costs to the company as more revelations emerged and were persuaded by lawyers about the potential costs of lawsuits if the picture release went ahead. T…

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