"Chinese Democracy" Leaker Sentenced To Probation

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Seven months after pleading guilty to charges of leaking tracks off Guns n' Roses' then-unreleased Chinese Democracy, blogger Kevin "Skwerl" Cogill was sentenced to two months of home confinement, ordered to record a public service announcement for the RIAA and subjected to having his computers scrutinized by the government, Billboard.biz reports. Cogill was also sentenced to a year's probation.

In an e-mail to Rolling Stone after yesterday's sentencing, Cogill said he was "relieved" he won't be serving jail time, "Though I was pretty confident that we had made a strong case against it." As Rock Daily reported in December 2008, Cogill changed his plea from not guilty to guilty with the hope that the prosecution would only seek probation for the charges. Had Cogill gone to trial and been found guilty, he faced a year in prison, probation and a large fine.

"I'm being told home confinement isn't quite 'house arrest,' but the specifics will be up to the Santa Ana probation office. They decide what's appropriate on a case by case basis. So we'll see," Cogill told RS. As for the public service announcement he'll have to film for the Recording Industry Association of America, Cogill prefers to see the PSA as "pro-artist" as opposed to "anti-piracy." Cogill told the court yesterday that when he leaked tracks off Chinese Democracy, he was doing so to promote the band, not to hurt sales of an album that, at the time, wasn't even announced yet.

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