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British hackers who broke into Sony Music's servers to steal unreleased Michael Jackson tracks escape jail
From: Erica Absetz <eabsetz () opensecurityfoundation org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 12:22:36 -0500
Two British computer hackers who stole unreleased Michael Jackson
tracks after breaking into Sony Music's servers have escaped jail.
Jackson fanatics James Marks, 27, and James McCormick, 26, planned to
sell the exclusive tracks after targetting Sony, who own the copyright
to the late singer's work.
But the pair, who met through an online fan forum, were thwarted when
officers traced the hack to their home computers.
Marks, from Daventry, and McCormick, from Blackpool, were each ordered
to do 100 hours of community service and handed one year suspended
sentences today at Leicester Crown Court.
The pair stole a total of 7,900 files from the Sony system, including
tracks, component parts, artwork and videos.
The fans specifically searched for Jackson's material, which had been
the subject of much speculation since his high-profile death from a
drugs overdose in June 2009.
Investigation: Police discovered chatlogs between the two hackers that
suggested they planned to sell or trade the stolen material
After downloading the files to their home computers, McCormick wrote a
computer script, enabling them to speed up the process and steal
material from other artists.
Chatlogs between Marks and MCCormick revealed that the pair had
planned to trade some of the prized files.
They were arrested in May 2011 after Sony Music identified the
security breach and notified the police.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency launched an investigation that led
to the pair, who admitted two offences under the Computer Misuse Act
and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act in September last year.
The Jackson estate sold the rights to his back catalogue to Sony Music
nine months after his death.
The $250 million deal was the biggest in music recording history,
giving the record label the rights to sell the pop legend’s entire
back catalogue as well as unreleased tracks.
The music giant can also sell the artist's music in advertisements and
Mick Jameison, from the Serious Organised Crime Agency's Cyber
Department, said: 'These men stole thousands of copyrighted files
belonging to Sony Music.
'Our remit is to protect businesses as well the public, and we will
continue to work closely with law enforcement and industry partners to
tackle online criminality.'
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- British hackers who broke into Sony Music's servers to steal unreleased Michael Jackson tracks escape jail Erica Absetz (Jan 14)