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16 January 2013, 16:48

Michael Jackson recording hackers avoid jail time

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Scales icon James Marks and James McCormick, who pleaded guilty on counts of unauthorised access to computer material for hacking into servers belonging to Sony Music, have been sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for one year. In hacking Sony's servers, the pair had made off with a hundreds of unreleased recordings of Michael Jackson.

The court heard that both men were dedicated fans of the late singer's work and both claimed they hacked into the company's servers to prove that some of the material released after Jackson's death did not actually feature the singer's voice. According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Marks and McCormick downloaded almost 8,000 files from the servers, but Marks maintains that the two hackers only copied approximately 300 files.

Both defendants had originally pleaded not guilty but later entered a plea deal. In several messages on Twitter, Marks expressed mixed feelings about the end of the court case, said he had apologized to Sony and vowed to continue his investigation of the songs released after Jackson's death through legal means. In addition to the suspended prison sentence, both men were ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.


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