Blogger arrested for leaking Guns N' Roses MP3s
A blogger going by the name of Skwerl on music site Antiquiet was arrested by the FBI at 7:00 am PDT on Wednesday for making nine demo tracks from Guns N' Roses' upcoming album "Chinese Democracy" available to the public for download.
Skwerl, nee Kevin Cogill, admitted to authorities that he had posted the songs on Antiquiet, and was charged with violating federal copyright laws.
Britney Bernstein, another blogger for Antiquiet who was in attendance at Cogill's initial hearing, wrote, "In the end, the Judge ruled that his bail be in the form of a signature bond at $10,000. What that means is that Skwerl has to remain within the Central District of California until his next court date or someone has to cough up that 10K."
His court date is scheduled for September 17.
"Chinese Democracy" has been in production for over ten years, and has been sporting a slow leak for at least five. In 2003, the band's management served radio DJ Eddie Trunk with a cease-and-desist order for playing a track that was expected on the album.
Until 2007, album leaks were a yearly occurrence. Since 2007, though, leaks have been far more frequent.
Oddly, it's a professional wrestler known as "Mister Saint Laurent" who has practically built a career around "Chinese Democracy." Last year, after his team leaked four tracks from the album, Saint Laurent says Universal Music Group was targeting him for prosecution, while Guns N' Roses lawyers were actually trying to "talk them out of it." In his blog today, he posts the belief that Universal Music Group is the reason why five FBI agents showed up at Skwerl's door instead of the usual subpoena.
He told Betanews this afternoon, "There's no doubt the Skwerl leaks came from within the music industry. Nobody in the Guns N' Roses community had those tracks, not even the most well-connected hoarders."