Original news, posted on 21.10.2008

E! Online is reporting that, the California man charged with illegally leaking tracks of Guns N' Roses' near-mythical "Chinese Democracy", pleaded not guilty today [Monday, October 20] in federal court.

Kevin Cogill, a 27-year-old blogger known as "Skewrl" who uploaded nine tracks from the forever-in-the-works LP on his Antiquiet in June, was busted Aug. 27.

Cogill was charged under a three-year-old federal anti-piracy law that makes it a felony to distribute a copyrighted work on computer networks before its release. He was released on $10,000 bail.

If convicted of the misdemeanor count, Cogill faces a possible five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. However for a jury to find him guilty, prosecutors must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Cogill unlawfully disseminated the previously unreleased songs for profit.

Ex-Guns N' Roses and current Velvet Revolver lead guitarist Slash slammed Cogill in a recent interview, telling the Los Angeles Times, "I hope he rots in jail. It's going to affect the sales of the record, and it's not fair. The Internet is what it is, and you have to deal with it accordingly, but I think if someone goes and steals something, it's theft."

Assistant U.S. attorney Craig Missakian, who pursued the case with the FBI and recording industry, said, "In the past, these may have been viewed as victimless crimes. But in reality, there's significant damage."

Cogill posted the songs at a web sitecalled Antiquiet, where they were available for public access. The site crashed from the amount of traffic it received once word of the leaked tracks got out. Cogill took them down again after he was contacted by representatives of Guns N' Roses.

The tracks were allegedly taken from the band's yet-to-be-released "Chinese Democracy" album. Cogill, who used to work in distribution for the group's record label, says he received them from an anonymous source.

After his arrest, Axl Rose and crew issued a statement saying, "Though we don't support this guy's actions at that level, our interest is in the original source. We can't comment publicly at this time as the investigation is ongoing."

Welcome to the legal jungle.


The Los Angeles man accused of uploading nine pre-released Gun N' Roses tracks pleaded guilty Monday [December 15] to one count of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement.

Kevin Cogill faces a maximum of one year in federal prison, a $100,000 fine and five years probation when sentenced in Los Angeles federal court on March 3. But he faces no jail time in a deal (.pdf) cut with prosecutors, in which the 28-year-old agreed to cooperate with authorities.

"Mr. Cogill is cooperating with the government in our efforts to find the original source of the leak," federal prosecutor Craig Missakian said in a telephone interview.

This summer, Cogill was arrested and charged with uploading to his music site, antiquiet.com, nine tracks of the Chinese Democracy album. The album, which cost millions and took 17 years to complete, was released Nov. 23 and reached No. 3 in the charts.

"I got my hands on pre-release versions of Guns N' Roses songs — something my audience was heavily anticipating," Cogill, also known as "Skwerl," told U.S. Magistrate Paul Abrams. Asked if he uploaded the material onto his website for financial gain, Cogill said he didn't, "but I understand all the attention helped me."
Cogill had confessed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was tipped off to the uploading by an investigator with the Recording Industry Association of America.

Source: blog.wired.com
Band profile: Guns N' Roses
Posted: 16.12.2008 by Thryce

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TheBigRossowski - 16.12.2008 at 17:39  
@Marcel-You're my hero, lol.

This is okay though, let this guy do his time. He at least being made a small example of. I admit I download a few albums, but I buy them or delete them if depending on how I find it.

Leaking albums is just totally unfair. However, that is just the Dudes opinion.
Introspekrieg - 16.12.2008 at 17:51  
Slash: The Internet is what it is
This seems to be the major problem... no one knows what it is in regards to music. Blessing for exposing your music to more people or travesty in regards to piracy?
I think illegal downloading is really bad for bands that put out crap albums because listeners have the option to listen to an album before they buy it... although a majority I'm sure will still take anything for free.

Prisoner #1: What are you in for, homie?
Kevin Cogill: I illegally uploaded the new Guns N' Roses album to the internet.
Prisoner #1: Damn, I bet you got a big payoff...
Kevin Cogill: Well... sort of. I got some extra hits on my website and hey, I've been given more exposure by the high profile of this case.
Prisoner #1: Oh, so you're sort of a celebrity? That's great because I've always fantasized about having sex with a celebrity...
flamey - 16.12.2008 at 18:54  
Slash, I hated him anyway and that statement of his just took it a bit further for me. fucking greedy millionaires. there are far better bands out there who cant sell their records at all, and some artists who swim in dollars are saying that a person should rot in jail because he's making them gain less? i guess that's what greed is. the more you have the more you want.
rpsgc - 16.12.2008 at 20:20  
I never thought there would be so many jerks metal fans. Now I know there are. Now I'm glad I keep it to myself...

1- Nanowar does NOT copy Manowar, it's a parody, P-A-R-O-D-Y. Know what a parody is? I guess not.
2- Marcel get off your high horse. So the guy likes Sonic Syndicate, so fucking what? Does it make his opinion any less valuable? No it does not. However, your comment does make you look like a dick, therefore people should ignore your opinion.

Piracy is bad, sure, but how can anyone defend the labels? Support the RIAA? How can you sleep at night?!

Bands make money through concerts and merchandise.
Record labels make money through record sales (mostly).

Understood? Or do you need a picture? That said, screw the record labels. They're dinosaurs, they refuse to adapt and change, come into the 21st century, adopt digital distribution, the new business models, so fuck'em, let them die. They are losing money due to their own stupidity so they try to make money by suing people, including dead people, sick people, dying people and old people. Aren't they fucking angels?

Oh and Slash can kiss my ass. Yeah, people who upload songs really deserve being sentenced to life. What, murder, rape, pedophilia? Nothing can come close to uploading songs! That's a fucking crime against Humanity for fuck's sake! Execute that fucker, he surely deserves to die for his crimes!!1
Marcel Hubregtse - 16.12.2008 at 21:45  
Written by rpsgc on 16.12.2008 at 20:20

Bands make money through concerts and merchandise.
Record labels make money through record sales (mostly).

That is actually only true for well established big bands and big record labels (such as the majors, Roadrunner, Century Media, Earache, Nuclear Blast etc.)

Smaller bands (calibre Isole and smaller and even a band such as Krux) make next to nothing off tours. Smaller labels need to put in extra money and don't make a buck at all.
LeChron James - 17.12.2008 at 00:04  
$10,000 DOLLARS BAIL FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT?! COME ON! people who sell large amounts of narcotics get lesser bail amounts than that. dont even get me started about his fine...
Locke - 17.12.2008 at 01:14  
This dude should get a medal.
DrunkenFuck - 17.12.2008 at 08:54  
I couldn't help but laugh at Slash's comment:

I think if someone goes and steals something, it's theft.

Smurfkiller - 20.12.2008 at 00:16  
I know downloading is bad, period. But I'm gonna go ahead and say that Slash's comment just makes him look like a prick. Even if he is in the band or not, telling someone to rot in prison for just... leaking an album is sorta... messed up. I bet $100 that slash, when he was young would give copies of the music he listens to, to his friends. It's pretty much the same thing. At least be happy that you know that your music is actually going to people for them to listen. And the band is making a lot of money anyway.

At the same time... Downloading is still wrong and you should be punished for it. Bands, even horrible bands work their asses off to make albums and release them. Like, it's sad to see great musicians make amazing albums and make nothing because so many people are downloading their shit. I download too, but I try to buy every album I have later, depending on if it's good or it's a trendy media friendly MTV bullshit album. I think he should be punished but I don't think he should have his shit pushed in at the same time.

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