Friday, October 31, 2008
Reduced Charges for GnR Leaker
Reduced Charges for Guns N' Roses Uploader, Deal "in the Offing"
By David Kravets October 30, 2008 | 3:51:19 PM
Federal authorities said Thursday they are reducing the criminal charges levied against Kevin Cogill, the Los Angeles man accused of uploading nine pre-released Guns N' Roses tracks from the aging band's upcoming Chinese Democracy album.
Los Angeles federal prosecutor Craig Missakian declined to say why the US attorney's office has changed the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, a move limiting Cogill's maximum prison exposure from five years to one.
Cogill's attorney, David Kaloyanides, said prosecutors "decided that a misdemeanor was more appropriate."
On Tuesday, the authorities and Kaloyanides are expected to pick a trial date. However, "A deal may be in the offing," he said.
According to court records, Cogill, who runs the music site antiquiet.com, uploaded nine songs from the 14-track album on June 18. Court records allege he confessed to the FBI. The case was cracked by an investigator with the Recording Industry Association of America, according to court records.
Cogill also faces monetary damages if the band sues him.
The felony Cogill was charged under requires the authorities to prove the distribution of pre-released, commercial material over the internet for financial gain or commercial advantage.
Under the misdemeanor statute, the authorities must prove copyright infringement of the right of performance, distribution or reproduction accomplished for commercial gain or financial advantage. Using the internet is not required and the material does not need to be pre-release.
Chinese Democracy is to debut next month.
The nine tracks Cogill allegedly uploaded are: "Chinese Democracy," "Better," "The Blues," "Madagascar," "There was a Time," "IRS," "Rhiad and the Bedouins," "Prostitute" and "If the World."
posted 4:20 PM