Is David Boies going to bark all day by sending cease and desist letters to media on behalf of Sony, warning them not to use leaked Sony e-mails and other documents in their reporting, or is he going to bite by seeking an injunction?
The WSJ reported in Sony Tells Media Not To Use Leaked Documents that Mr. Boies sent a letter to media outlets barking: “If you do not comply with this request and the Stolen Information is used or disseminated by you in any manner,” then, “[Sony pictures] will have no choice but to hold you responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by you.”
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001), held that the a radio station could not be liable for broadcasting a story using stolen information so long as the station did not partake in the theft. This is not to say that the hack wasn’t a horrible invasion and breach of an American company’s privacy and security, respectively. It is to say that a dangerous precedent would be set if media was muzzled by the law — or put in fear by frivolous lawsuits — under such circumstances.
In Reservoir Dogs, the noir movie directed by Quentin Tarantino, Mr. White, played by Harvey Keitel, says to Mr. Blonde, played by Michael Madsen: “You almost killed me! Asshole! If I knew what kind of a guy you were I never would’ve agreed to work with you!” Mr. Blonde’s response: “Are you gonna bark all day little doggie? Or are you gonna bite?” Mr. White doesn’t bite. Nor will Mr. Boies.
That’s because the law is not on Sony’s side.
This is the first blog post on the new website of Ryan E. Long PLLC. We hope you like the new site. We sure do. And that is thanks to Kevin Robbins of Ironclad360, L.L.C., an excellent New York based web design company. We also hope you like our entries, which will cover thought provoking and/or inspiring stories we read about in the press or encounter in our practice. One article that we saw which peaked our interest was Mavericks with Medals on WSJ.com.
The reason why we liked the article is that we thought Mr. Sean White, the subject of the article, is a dying breed of American — independent, creative, and yet highly effective. Through his entrepreneurial zest, Mr. White was able to achieve success “his way.” Mr. Sinatra would be proud. But not only that. Mr. White’s different way of training, which shunned, to some extent, being cast with everyone else, enabled him to make moves nobody else ever saw before. Of course, there is no doubt that efficiencies of scale come about from mass production. And yet sometimes these efficiencies of scale from the Ford style mass production are made possible only be the likes of Mr. White. Take, for example, the Wright Brothers. They beat out the better funded Langley for the first to flight. We think what explains the Wright Brothers success is ingenuity, creativity, and, of course, persistence and bravery. We also think, too, that Mr. White shares these traits. Our clients do, too. Whether you are talking about music, fashion, technology, or hospitality, our clients are in the vanguard of their industries because of their tenacity and willingness to do what it takes to succeed. We applaud them. And we certainly applaud Mr. White.