A 23-year-old hacker, named Adrian Kwiatkowski who allegedly stole two unreleased songs from English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and 12 songs from American rapper Lix Uzi Vert has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
The hacker is charged with hacking the artists’ cloud-based accounts, the stolen songs were then sold for cryptocurrencies. He allegedly generated a sum of $147,000 from these nefarious transactions.
Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty to a total of 19 charges, including copyright infringement and possessing criminal property. The hacker was charged with three instances of unauthorized access to computer data, 14 of making an article that violates copyright available for sale, one of converting criminal property, and two of possession of the criminal property, as per a report by the CPS.
A search in the hacker’s laptop also unveiled 565 audio files, seven devices storing 1,263 unreleased songs by 89 different music artists, including the unreleased songs from Ed Sheeran and Lix Uzi Vert. Additionally, the hacker also admitted to receiving bitcoins in return for the unreleased songs.
“Kwiatkowski had complete disregard for the musicians’ creativity and hard work producing original songs and the subsequent loss of earning” says Joanne Jakymec from the CPS. “He selfishly stole their music to make money for himself by selling it on the dark web […] We will be pursuing ill-gotten gains from these proceeds of crime.”
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