Leaked Sony Emails Reveal Project Goliath: Grand Plan of Hollywood Studios, MPAA Against Google


The collaborative attack aimed at Google has major movie studios contributing money to fund the campaign.

With a target amount of $500,000, the money would be used to support the groups' legal attacks against the technology company for its participation, voluntary or otherwise, in the proliferation of piracy by helping consumers find stolen media.

The movement was uncovered when emails began to leak from the series of hacks against Sony. Dozens of emails divulge how lawyers from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and six major studios refer to "Goliath" as their top most adversary in their common goal to stop online piracy. They talked about the problems that were created by Goliath and how Goliath would react if the group pursues the attack.

After careful scrutiny of the documents, it was found that the pseudonym "Goliath" actually pertains to Google. There were also some emails that didn't use the pseudonym and just made direct reference to the technology company.

"There is much to commend an expanded Goliath strategy -- the status quo has not exactly been favorable for us and, absent our doing something, it doesn't promise to get better anytime soon," an MPAA lawyer expressed in a correspondence.

There is also a report that the movie studios are trying to build a partnership with Internet providers such as Comcast in a quest to block sites suspected of hosting copyrighted material.

Part of Project Goliath involves putting together a collection of evidence to be used against Google as a way to force change. While a concrete endgame wasn't outlined, the group made mention of carrying out site-blocking measures as a "means to an end."

There are emails that reveal Comcast's hiring of piracy experts. They are building an enhanced method of detecting pirated media that circulate around the web and devising a mechanism that would block them from being accessed by consumers. However, the group is also worried that doing so would gain a disastrous PR outcome, which is akin to the public response to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2012.

The group also wanted to get as much involvement as they could from the attorneys general. So far, Jim Hood of Mississippi confirmed his participation in the plan. The group wanted to get more participants on their side before taking legal steps.

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