Blogger Who Leaked Chinese Democracy Faces the Music
It is hard to say whether the leak of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy was a welcome relief (after more than a decade of rumors) or an offensive disregard for the band’s creative rights. Regardless, blogger Kevin Cogill broke the law and he has finally been punished.
A Los Angeles judge handed down a guilty verdict on Tuesday that called for 1 year of probation with 2 months of house arrest, a relative slap on the wrist compared to his original sentence. At one point, Cogill faced a year in prison and a whopping $100,000 fine. His punishment was reduced when magistrate Paul Abrams determined that Cogill did not seek to profit from the leak.
Cogill’s sentence comes at a time when RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and other trade groups are waging war on file sharers. The RIAA recently made an example of Minnesota filesharer Jammie Thomas-Rassett, who is facing fines upward of $2 million. While Cogill’s retribution pales in comparison to this, he will face some public humiliation at next year’s Grammy’s when he appears in an anti-piracy commercial.
Cogill maintains that he never meant any harm. He tells The Guardian, “I never intended to hurt the artist,” he said. “I intended to promote the artist because I’m a fan.” Axl Rose and gang apparently did not appreciate the gesture.