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Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc has agreed to pay up to $8 million to resolve a lawsuit by employees, who claimed that their personal data was stolen in a 2014 hacking scandal tied to the studio's release of comedy film "The Interview."

The settlement between Sony Pictures and its current as well as former employees was disclosed in papers filed on Monday, 19 October, in a federal court in Los Angeles.

Under the deal, Sony will pay up to $2.5 million --  $10,000 per person --  to the employees for identity theft, and up to $2 million --  $1,000 per person -- for protective measures they took after the cyber attack.

Sony has also agreed to pay up to $3.49 million to cover legal fees and costs, according to court papers. The settlement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner.

Reports said Sony, in a move to avoid such lawsuits in future, will ensure identity-theft protection services for its employees. 

Sony has also agreed to pay up to $3.49 million to cover legal fees and costs, according to court papers. The settlement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner.

"The Interview" starred Seth Rogen and James Franco, and depicted the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The North Korean government had slammed the release of the film and called it an "act of terrorism" while threatening to retaliate against the comic provocation.

North Korean hackers then attacked Sony servers, deleted massive amounts of data, released online emails and other sensitive employee data and pirated and distributed via torrent copies of new movies in the making by Sony like 'Fury', 'Annie' and 'Mr Turner'.

Eventually, "The Interview" was released on a small scale and later made available through digital downloads.

Terming the data breach as an "epic nightmare" the former employees filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures. They said that the company's negligence caused them economic harm as they were forced to reinforce credit monitoring to confront further risk of infringement.

In June, Klausner rejected Sony's bid to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the employees could pursue their claims that Sony was negligent and violated a California confidentiality law.

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