Tag Archives: FBI

GNR Leaker Off the Hook

Guns N' Roses - Chinese DemocracyRemember the kid who was arrested in 2008 for leaking a few unfinished tracks off Chinese Democracy? Kevin “Skwerl” Cogill pled not guilty, his charges were reduced, and a year ago he was sentenced to house arrest. One other condition of the sentence was that Cogill would have to “participate in a public service announcement designed to educate the public that music piracy is illegal.”

Well, that PSA never happened, and Wired points out that as of yesterday, he’s no longer under the court’s jurisdiction. That is to say: he got off scott free.

“I knew as soon as this went down, nobody would give a shit about me doing a PSA,” Cogill said in a recent telephone interview. […]

The proposed court-ordered PSA was vaguely defined from the beginning, he said. “We had some conversations about it, hypothetical conversations,” Cogill said. “I said everybody is going to laugh at it.” […]

Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the RIAA, which alerted the FBI to Cogill’s unlawful uploading, said in a Wednesday e-mail that the RIAA has “discretion whether or not to move forward” with a public service announcement.

“Due to various elements of this case (not to mention unnecessarily high production costs), we chose not to produce one,” the e-mail said.

So there you have it, kiddies. Filesharing will get you in big trouble. There is one more lesson in all of this:

The best advice he got was from his Los Angeles lawyer, Kaloyanides. “He told me,” Cogill said, “‘to shut my fucking mouth and don’t say shit to the feds.'” But Kaloyanides was retained too late, after Cogill spilled the beans and handed over his laptop.

Remember: you have the right to remain silent. Don’t say shit to cops unless you have a lawyer with you.

Guns N Roses: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

GNR Leaker Sentenced to House Arrest

Guns N' Roses - Chinese DemocracyWired: Guns N’ Roses Uploader Gets House Arrest, Will Make Anti-Piracy Ad.

Kevin “Skwerl” Cogill, the blogger who uploaded nine tracks from Chinese Democracy to Antiquiet prior to its release date, got a slap on the wrist, won’t have to pay a fine, and will make a radio or television message “talking about the importance of protecting copyright holders’ rights in their songs and movies.” Classic. Watch for the smirk.

According to a post on his site, “…Skwerl’s got plenty to say on the matter – he’ll break down the details soon enough.”

GNR Leaker's Charges Reduced

Kevin Cogill, the blogger who posted nine songs from some dumb album that’s coming out soon, has had the charges against him reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. His maximum prison time, if convicted, is down to one year from five. He still faces monetary damages if Axl opts to sue 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, (pdf) 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.

Cogill’s lawyer seems to think a “deal may be in the offing.” I thought the Man was going to make an example of this case, but it looks like prosecutors are either not very confident in the merits of their case, or else maybe the U.S. attorney’s office has more important things to do…like trying to track down a single prosecutable case of actual voter fraud.

Jeez, did we really only make it ten days without a Chinese Democracy-related post? Irving Azoff certainly knows how to keep his bands in the news, doesn’t he?

Chinese Democracy Leaker Pleads Not Guilty

Chinese Democracy (Cover A) (Bb)Billboard reports that the Alleged Guns N’ Roses Leaker Pleads Innocent. The Associated Press says he pleaded not guilty. Not sure if there’s a legal difference. Not sure if it matters. Either way, Antiquiet‘s Kevin Cogill faces three years in federal prison if convicted, and five years if the court finds he posted the songs for commercial gain. Yipes.

In other news, you can now pre-order the stupid album from Best Buy either on CD ($13.99) or vinyl ($19.99).

GNR leaker creates defense fund

Kevin Cogill, the blogger at Antiquiet who got busted by the FBI for hosting leaked tracks off Chinese Democracy, has set up a defense fund:

I am trying to take full responsibility for my predicament. I consider the burden of legal fees ultimately mine to bear; I have independently raised the funds required to retain my attorney. However, it has definitely been by far the biggest expense I have ever faced in my entire life, and my resources are very limited while formidable costs shall continue to pile up. It’s beyond daunting, being a single independent citizen facing a full-force prosecution by the most powerful government in the world.

Fight the power…or something. Whatever.

Also, while initial reports claimed that the tracks were made “available for streaming, but not download,” one commenter on Antiquiet’s site claims that the MP3 files had been re-tagged with Antiqiuet’s site info and were readily downloadable. Remember kids, if you can listen to it, you can copy it. We’ve been telling you that shit since 2001!

BREAKING: Blogger Arrested for Streaming "Chinese Democracy"

The AP reports that 27-year-old blogger Kevin Cogill was arrested in Los Angeles and held for “violating US copyright laws” for streaming parts of the 14 year delayed Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy.

According to an arrest affidavit, Cogill admitted to agents that he posted the songs on his Web site. Prosecutors said Wednesday the leak could result in a “significant” financial loss for the band.

Cogill will not face any special Internet restrictions, but was ordered to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 17.

Cogill’s girlfriend was in court for his appearance and afterward said, “Rally the troops,” but declined further comment.

Rally the troops, indeed.

Update: Kevin Cogill’s website is Antiquiet; the AP apparently doesn’t want to give him traffic.

Update #2: GNR leaker creates defense fund.

Update #3: The Smoking Gun has the FBI affidavit.

FBI Files on Louie Louie

The Lascivious “Louie Louie” – The FBI had some dirty minds. My favorite verse: “Tonight at ten I’ll lay her again / We’ll fuck your girl and by the way / And … on that chair I’ll lay her there / I felt my bone … ah … in her hair.” It’s way more fun to sing it this way.