Guns N' Roses song leaker sentenced, probe continues

Kevin Cogill avoids jail time after agreeing to tell authorities where he obtained songs he uploaded to his Web site.

Kevin Cogill, the man who pleaded guilty to leaking nine tracks from the then unreleased Guns N' Roses album "Chine se Democracy," was sentenced on Tuesday in Los Angeles to a year's probation and two months of home confinement.

Cogill is lucky not to be headed to jail. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Missakian recommended to the judge that Cogill spend some time behind bars, but the judge ignored it. "I wanted to send a strong message to people who might consider committing these kinds of crimes in the future," Missakian said.

Last August, Cogill became the first Californian charged under a 3-year-old federal antipiracy law that makes it a felony to distribute unreleased copyright works online. Cogill pleaded guilty to uploading the songs to his personal Web site last August before they went on sale. As part of Cogill's sentence he must make a public service message for the Recording Industry Association of America. A spokesman for the RIAA declined to comment.

The case may not be over. What likely contributed to Cogill's light sentence is that he has told authorities how he came into possession of the songs. Could other arrests be made?

"I can't comment on an ongoing investigation," Missakian said.

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About the author

Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.

 

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