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GNR Uploader Gets House Arrest


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DATE: July 15, 2009


Blogger gets year of probation for leaking Guns N' Roses 'Chinese Democracy' online


15 July 2009

Associated Press Newswires

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A blogger who admitted to leaking part of the Guns N' Roses album "Chinese Democracy" was sentenced to a year of probation on Monday.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Paul L. Abrams also ordered Kevin Cogill to serve two months of home confinement, subject his computers to government scrutiny and record a public service announcement for the Recording Industry Association of America.

Cogill pleaded guilty earlier this year to one misdemeanor count of copyright infringement for posting nine tracks from the long-awaited Guns 'N Roses album last year.

Cogill apologized for his actions in court Tuesday and said he didn't mean any harm by posting the tracks online.

"I never intended to hurt the artist," Cogill told Abrams. "I intended to promote the artist because I'm a fan."

Abrams noted that Cogill is an artist, and should have known better.

A federal prosecutor pushed for a short prison term to act as a deterrent to others.

"This is the type of case where I believe the court needs to send a strong message," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Missakian.

Too many people think of posting copyrighted work online as a "victimless crime," he said.

Cogill's attorney argued against a prison term, saying his client realized his wrongdoing and had suffered serious repercussions already.

"He did lose his job as a result of this case," defense attorney David Kaloyanides said.

Missakian said after the hearing that while prosecutors hoped Cogill would be incarcerated, the case should serve as a warning to others that the government takes copyright infringement violations seriously.

Abrams said he thought Cogill had learned his lesson, and did not think he would repeat his mistake.

As part of his plea deal, Cogill will have to allow authorities to search or seize his computers.

He will not have to pay any fines or restitution, although authorities at one point calculated the losses from his actions at more than $371,000.

Kaloyanides said after the hearing that arriving at any damage amount was difficult and that sending Cogill to prison could have created a backlash.

"It doesn't help to educate the public of the importance of respecting copyright law when you become too heavy-handed with punishment," Kaloyanides said.

Cogill will have some input into the public service announcement he records for the RIAA, which has used lawsuits to pursue people it suspects of illegally downloading music.

Kaloyanides said he hoped the ads would target fans who upload and download copyrighted works by explaining to them that they're really hurting their favorite bands.

"You need to reach the fans," he said. "He (Cogill) speaks their language."


DATE: July 14, 2009

SOURCE: Wired.com

Guns N’ Roses Uploader Gets House Arrest, Will Make Anti-Piracy Ad

By David Kravets July 14, 2009

A Los Angeles man who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of uploading pre-release Guns N’ Roses tracks was handed one year probation and two months’ home confinement Tuesday after agreeing to cooperate with the Recording Industry Association of America to produce an anti-piracy message.

Kevin Cogill was arrested last summer at gunpoint and charged with uploading nine tracks of the Chinese Democracy album to his music site — antiquiet.com. The album, which cost millions and took 17 years to complete, was released in November and reached No. 3 in the charts.

Cogill faced a maximum of a year in prison. The authorities, however, originally were demanding six months, claiming the amount of infringement equaled $371,000. The higher the number, the longer the potential prison term.

According to court documents, after Cogill agreed to help produce an anti-piracy public service address with the RIAA, the government withdrew the $371,000 figure and agreed not to fine him. Los Angeles federal authorities in March said the figure was a “reasonable estimate” that gave the defendant the “benefit of the doubt.” The calculations, the government said, were based on each downloaded Guns N’ Roses track being worth 99 cents on iTunes.

As part of the 28-year-old Cogill’s guilty plea in December, he informed the authorities that he received the music online and unsolicited — a confession prosecutors said might pave the way for more “targets” to be prosecuted.

Cogill uploaded nine songs from the 14-track album on June 18, 2008. Court records show he confessed to the FBI. The case was cracked by an investigator with the RIAA.

In March, the RIAA said it believed the infringement amounted to $2.2 million. (.pdf) The record labels said it would accept $30,000, instead of $2.2 million, if Cogill “was willing to participate in a public service announcement designed to educate the public that music piracy is illegal.”

Prosecutor Kevin Missakian said in a telephone interview that the public address will either be a radio or television message of “Kevin talking about the importance of protecting copyright holders’ rights in their songs and movies.”

Missakian added that the government was “satisfied” with the sentence, but “the government had asked for some jail time in hopes of sending a stronger message.”



DATE: July 15, 2009

SOURCE: UltimateGuitar.com

Chinese Democracy Leaker Sentenced To House Arrest

Kevin Cogill, the man responsible for leaking nine tracks from the long-awaited Guns N’ Roses album "Chinese Democracy" last year, has been sentenced to two years probation and two months of home confinement, reports Wired.com.

Cogill, or "Skwerl" as he is known on his website Antiquiet.com, was arrested last year and pleaded guilty to copyright infringement for the nine songs he leaked onto his website. If convicted, Cogill was looking at a maximum of a year in prison and $30,000 in fines. However his sentence was reduced and along with facing two years under probation and two months under house arrest, he will have to cooperate with the Recording Industry Association of America and produce an anti-piracy public service announcement.

Prosecutor Kevin Missakian says that the announcement will feature "Kevin talking about the importance of protecting copyright holders’ rights in their songs and movies." It is unclear whether the message will be made through radio, television, or both.

The Associated Press reports that Kevin appeared apologetic during the trial. He told U.S. District Magistrate Judge Paul L. Abrams that he "never intended to hurt the artist. I intended to promote the artist because I'm a fan." When it was suggested that Cogill face prison time, defense attorney David Kaloyanides insisted that his client had learned his lesson and has suffered enough for his crimes. "He did lose his job as a result of this case," Kaloyanides says.

Along with being under house arrest, Cogill will have to allow his computers to be searched or seized by the police.


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