The FBI is gunning for the Guns N' Roses leaker.
A Los Angeles-area blogger who admittedly posted nine tracks in June from the forever-in-the-works Chinese Democracy album was arrested today on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws.
FBI spokesman Thom Mrozek says agents took 27-year-old Kevin Cogill into custody at his residence in Culver City for uploading the songs to his website, antiquiet.com.
Rather than a federal offense, some may argue Cogill was doing a public service. After all, Axl Rose and his rotating band of hired henchmen have been perfecting the tunes for well over a decade and still haven't released the album. But that's up to the courts to decide.
Bail has been set at $10,000 and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 17. If Cogill is convicted of the copyright-infringement charges, he could face three to five years in a federal lockup.
"Guns N' Roses representatives have been made aware of the arrest and are leaving the matter to the authorities," band spokesman Larry Solters said Wednesday.
As word spread online of the songs being posted, traffic spiked, shutting down Cogill's server and prompting Guns N' Roses' label to issue a cease-and-desist letter. Cogill quickly complied and deleted the songs, but, unfortunately for him, the feds' geek squad was on the case. They quickly used online tools to track down Cogill, who went by the moniker Skwerl.
Under questioning, he admitted he put the songs on the Web, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint. However, Cogill did not say how he came into possession of the tracks.
Cogill's attorney was not immediately available for comment. But someone named Johnny Firecloud posted a message on antiquiet.com calling on readers to turn up at the hearing with their MP3 players in a show of support.
"In all likelihood, he'll be back fighting the good fight from his couch by this evening," writes Firecloud.
While there's still no official release date for Democracy, a track from the album, "Shackler's Revenge," will appear on Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360, hitting stores Sept. 14.