Tuesday 15 January 2013, 12:18 | By

Sony Music hackers sentenced to community service

Digital Legal

Sony Music

The two men accused of hacking into Sony Music’s servers and stealing unreleased music by a number of high profile artists, including Michael Jackson, have been found guilty. They were each sentenced to a six month suspended prison sentence and 100 hours of community service, reports The Guardian.

As previously reported, James Marks and James McCormick were arrested in March last year and initially denied the various copyright and computer misuse charges laid upon them, their lawyer saying at the time that they were just massive fans of Michael Jackson who had got carried away. However, when the case came to court both pleaded guilty.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s Head Of Organised Crime, Gregor McGill, said in a statement on Friday: “In simple terms, these men broke into a computer system and took music files that were not theirs to take. It was the prosecution’s case that these men were fully aware that the files they obtained on their computers were subject to copyright and that they took steps to sell on and to share the music with a wider audience in internet forums”.

Originally accused of accessing 50,000 files in the hack, they were convicted of taking 7900, though after sentencing on Friday, Marks tweeted that he had only downloaded 300. However, he also said that he accepted responsibility for his actions and apologised to Sony via the social network.


  • CMU Podcast: Adele, Cox Communications, Paul Weller, Dancing Jesus
  • German supreme court says web-blocks allowed
  • IPO confirms no current plans to revisit private copy exception
  • Here’s another story about Adele breaking sales records, and some tour dates to flesh it out
  • Jack Garrett wins BRITs Critics’ Choice