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Sony threatens Twitter with legal action if it doesn't ban users linking to leaks

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has already tried threatening members of the media with legal action in a bid to stem the spread of information stolen from its servers by hacker group Guardians of Peace last month. Now it's also decided to try targeting the means of disseminating that information — Motherboard reports the company has promised to sue Twitter unless it bans accounts that are linking to the leaks.

The threat was made in a letter sent by Sony lawyer David Boies to VIjaya Gadde, Twitter's general counsel, and conveyed that the company would "hold Twitter responsible for any damage or loss arising" from the use or continued dissemination of the stolen information. In the letter — which was similar to one sent to publications including The Verge last week — Boies said that his client "does not consent to Twitter's or any Twitter account holder's possession, review, copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading, or making any use of the Stolen Information," and that Sony requests Twitter's cooperation in suspending any accounts found to be sharing the leaked data.

Sony asked that Twitter share the threat with one user who had been linking to the leaks

The letter reportedly requests that Twitter share details of the threat with a specific user: musician Val Broeksmit. Broeksmit, who tweets as @bikinirobotarmy, previously received a direct message from Sony copyright expert Ellliot Ingram after he linked to emails obtained in the cyberattack. "Rather than complaining to Twitter and risk them taking action against your account," the mail read, "we thought we'd get in touch first and ask if you would remove the tweets that we've identified." Broeksmit told Motherboard he didn't take the letter seriously, but that his Twitter account was temporarily suspended.

Social networking site Reddit has taken to banning users who post links to Sony's stolen information, but Twitter has yet to adopt a formal stance to the issue. Under the service's rules, users are not allowed to post personal and private data in tweets themselves, but Twitter says it can't apply that rule to other sites and stop users linking to such information. Sony's legal threat might mean the social network has to revisit the policy.