Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd Wednesday addressed the "tragedy" of the hacking of Sony, saying the issue was not the movie but the amount of data stolen by hackers from a single company.
Pointing out that it was being reported late Wednesday that North Korea was behind the attack on the studio over the Seth Rogen comedy, The Interview, Dodd said the issue was not the movie, but the ability of hackers to steal what amounted to 10 times the information in the Library of Congress.
He expressed "solidarity" with MPAA member Sony and said he hoped the culprits would be apprehended to make sure they did not represent a continuing threat.
Dodd spoke briefly to reporters at an MPAA event before leaving and did not address Sony's decision to cancel the film's Christmas Day theatrical release. But others in Washington were doing lots of talking.
A panel of talking heads on CNN agreed that the terrorists had scored a victory by pulling the movie. Former Obama press secretary Jay Carney said he thought Sony had made "a big mistake" and should at least make the movie available digitally so people could watch it in their own homes.
After there was speculation that Sony might release the movie on VOD, the company said it had no plans to do so.
Carl Bernstein called Sony's decision and the entertainment industry's treatment of the issue a terrible and craven moment for "unprincipled capitalism." He said he was saying that despite having a project with Sony he hoped would go forward.
Bernstein said he agreed with Newt Gingrich, something that didn't happen often, that this was a capitulation and a cyber defeat. He said he hoped the White House would get together with the entertainment industry and figure out a way to get the movie distributed in some form.
First Amendment attorney Alan Dershowitz said pulling the movie was a victory for the hackers and a big blow to the First Amendment.
As to covering the hack, Bernstein said the media has not been paying enough attention to the cybersecurity angle. He said most of the coverage has focused on the sensational, and called what he characterized as a lack of serious coverage "despicable."
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