"Chinese Democracy" Leaker Sentenced To Probation

July 15, 2009 1:58 PM ET

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.

Related Stories:
"Chinese Democracy" Leaker Enters Guilty Plea
Did Guns n' Roses Leaker Know He Broke the Law? Kevin Cogill Asks for Financial Aid
"Chinese Democracy" Leaker Arrested on Suspicion of Violating Federal Copyright Law

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »