Dear Gutless Media Companies

So Paramount joins the Gutless Wonder brigade:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-team-america-to-screen-in-place-of-the-interview-at-texas-theater-20141218-story.html

I’m astounded that I have to ‘splain this to them (and to Sony and to any other media company).

Folks, this is an incredibly STOOPID thing to do.

The hacker culture is a meritocracy based on a form of ‘taking coup’ and please note this important bit that the WIKI gets right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counting_coup

Escaping unharmed while counting coup was considered a higher honor than being wounded in the attempt.[1] A warrior who won coup was permitted to wear an eagle feather in his hair.[1] If he had been wounded in the attempt, however, he was required to paint the feather red to indicate this.[1]

So the folks who pulled off this hack have just had a huge ego bump. They ‘counted coup’ and have a pure feather to show for it. In fact, now they get two of them. Their bosses are happy. Their budget will go up. A lot. They get celebrated for decades to come. Their underlings and camp followers will look up to them and want to emulate them. Bonuses will be handed out, parties held, and status built.

THEY are now the folks who are the “go to guys” when someone wants to get something done.

It is absolutely essential that they NOT be allowed to ‘count coup’ without dipping that feather in red paint.

Something like an immediate and global release of the movies in question, or at least making it available globally on DVD, would turn this ‘coup’ entirely on it’s head. The net result of the attack would be NOT what was wanted, as the movie would have wider release rather than less release. The ego bump turns into an ‘aw shit’. The bosses are unhappy. Budget goes down instead of up. Instead of a celebration they get ‘whispers in the hallway’. Their underlings (if any remain) snicker while the camp followers find a different camp to cheer for; and different things to emulate. Bonuses go elsewhere, the only parties are wakes, and status is lost.

It really is that simple.

What you reward, you will get in exponential quantities.
What becomes a stinking pile of poo around the hacker is never tried again.

Simply put: The only way to deal with a bully is to get up and in his grill with all you have; even if you get a black eye or broken nose in the process. The alternative is daily beatings for the rest of your life. Just make sure you make them hurt and they don’t want that in the future.

So the most immediate way you can deny them the emotional ‘hit’ of victory is to give them exactly what they did not want: maximum eyeballs on that movie. Period.

Longer term, you can assemble your own hit team to go back at them. Crawl down the wire and get in their house. (That will be rather hard since their connection goes through China who will let their hacks out but try to block your inbound, so this will be an asymmetrical battle; but worth doing. IF they are busy defending they will have less time to attack you.)

We can also see some of this “pile on” today with Al “where’s the camera” Sharpton trying to get on the bandwagon of squeezing things out of Sony. Iran, Russia, China and a half dozen other National Hacker Armies will be watching this and saying “Hey, that worked! Why aren’t you guys doing that?” and more will come, soon.

Appeasement does not work against attacks. Never has. Never will.
Counter attack works, even if you get pain in the process.

When you find yourself in the mouth of a lion, you take the largest bite of their nose that you can. (Saw a video of a mongoose or badger or some such doing just that and getting away, but can’t find it on youtube and it may be Animal Planet proprietary only). FEAR gets you eaten alive. Counter Attack gets you freedom.

Sheesh… have these guys never been on the wrong side of town or been surrounded on their way to class by ‘upper classmen’ who wanted some drug money?… (Yes, rhetorical. But they could at least take a martial arts class at their private school… In Karate as a lowly 7th -purple- belt I managed a ‘mutual slaying’ in a sparing exercise with a black belt. The instructor stopped the class and explained to everyone what that was, and what it meant in tournament, and why I had done something very very good. It is better to have a ‘mutual slaying’ than be slain as a coward.)

But perhaps it is no surprise that the courage shown in all their movies is just as phony as the rest of their acting.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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7 Responses to Dear Gutless Media Companies

  1. Ian W says:

    Reminds me of this proverb I saw online:
    “”It is better to live for one day as a lion than for a thousand years as a sheep” Tibetan proverb

  2. p.g.sharrow says:

    From talking heads comments, Fear of Bullies with Law Degrees is much more on the minds of media leaders then any damage the hackers and their friends could cause.
    Too bad computer security is such a low financial priority at corporate head quarters. Maybe this is the wake up that they need. Corporate Computer Security Consultant might be a growing niche. ;-) for someone with the right resume. Your earlier “Dear Sony” post needs to be shopped in the right “Good Old Boy” network. Too bad I don’t know any of them. pg

  3. punmaster52 says:

    An awful lot of proverbs come out of the Orient, Ian. Do they do anything else in that part of the world?

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    I find it astonishing that high up corporate decision makers (I refuse to use the word leaders or managers) and most of our posturing politicians never seem to consider these long term consequences of rewarding unwanted behavior. It is very much like what you get if you give in to a child screaming for cookies. You will only get more screaming for cookies in the future.

  5. Another Ian says:

    Rudyard Kipling’s “Danegeld” comes to mind

    “Once you pay up the danegeld
    You never get rid of the Dane”

  6. J Martin says:

    Giving in to blackmail is next to giving in to terrorism. Something Maggie Thatcher had right. Release the films. War with North Korea if necessary.

  7. philjourdan says:

    Great analogy! Boy, you have been hot lately! The old Chiefio is back! And I agree about caving. Sony is learning. Even the MSM is now laughing at them! Saying Un is the new CEO! Well he is since they are dictating terms to Sony.

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