GnR uploaded plea deal could eliminate time altogether.
Somebody call the F.B.I.
The FBI arrested Kevin Cogill in August this year for uploading tracks from the yet-to-be released Guns n’ Roses Chinese Democracy to his music site. While Cogill was originally charged with a felony, his charges have since been dropped to a misdemeanor, and an expected guilty plea in December could keep him out of prison altogether.
Cogill’s adventure began on June 18, 2008, when he somehow got ahold of the unreleased Guns n’ Roses tracks and uploaded them to his music blog, antiquiet. After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the band’s attorneys, Cogill removed the music from his site, but the RIAA brought the case to the FBI. After Special Agent Jensen D. Penalosa investigated the upload and tracked Cogill down, a warrant for his arrest was issued on August 27. The court complaint alleges that Cogill "knowingly and willfully distributed a copyrighted work being prepared for commercial distribution" and that he "[made] the songs available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, knowing that the works were intended for commercial distribution."
Cogill was originally charged with a felony, but in October, these charges were dropped to a misdemeanor. Felony charges for each copyright violation in a case like this could be punished with up to three years in prison, or up to five years "if the offense was committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain."
The new misdemeanor charges, however, reduce Cogill’s jail time to a maximum of one year, and a plea deal, a notice of which was filed on November 4, could reduce or eliminate even that time altogether, according to our sister publication Threat Level. Cogill is expected to plead guilty to one federal count of copyright infringement in December, and any reduction in sentencing would be attributed to a lack of a criminal record and cooperation with authorities during the investigation. There is no word on whether Cogill will reveal his source for the GNR songs as part of his plea deal.
Source ARS Technica.com >HERE<