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?

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