(AFP) – Aug 27, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AFP) — US federal police on Wednesday arrested a blogger for posting songs from a yet-to-be released Guns N' Roses album titled "Chinese Democracy" online without the rock band's permission.
Kevin Cogill, who uses "Skwerl" as an Internet name, is charged with violating copyright laws by putting nine of the band's unreleased songs on his www.antiquiet.com website for visitors to hear.
Skwerl wrote the following message on his website in June when he invited visitors to listen to the unreleased Guns N' Roses songs:
"I always said that the more that Axl and Geffen jerked around trying to figure out how to release this finally finished album that we've all been waiting over 13 years for, the greater the chances would be that it would slip out of a pressing plant or office somewhere and wind up in the hands of some asshole with a blog."
Lawyers for Guns N' Roses sent Cogill a "cease and desist" letter demanding he remove the songs from the website, court documents indicate.
A person using the name "Skwerl" responded to the letter with an email saying that not only did he post the songs but the surge in visits to the website overwhelmed his computer server, causing it to crash, the FBI said.
The email also told band attorneys that the songs were deleted from the website's machines.
Cogill admitted to putting the songs online, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent who arrested the Los Angeles man.
"So remember when we let you guys listen to some (allegedly, ha) new Guns N' Roses songs we got our hands on?" Skwerl wrote on antiquiet website on Monday.
"Well, either way the FBI sure does. They've been investigating and talking to me about that event ever since. If there are any lawyers out there horny for some high-profile copyright law battle, drop us a line."
Cogill could be sentenced up to five years in prison if he is convicted as charged and the motive is determined to be financial profit.
Prosecutors contend that leaking the songs on the Internet could cost the band dearly in lost revenues.
Guns N' Roses is preparing to release "Chinese Democracy," an album it has taken 14 years to create. The band has promised one of the songs will be on a "Guitar Hero" video game version released in September.
The California band known for front man Axl Rose guitarist "Slash," and bassist Michael "Duff" McKagan sold more than 90 million albums between 1987 and 1993.
The "Guns" were a product of the shady side of Hollywood, with songs focused on wild living, violence, drugs and girls.
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