In another subtle legal blow to an industry that seems hell-bent on locking up its remaining listeners, Federal authorities announced last Thursday that they would not pursue felony charges in the case of KEVIN COGILL, a Los Angeles man accused of leaking nine tracks from GUNS N’ ROSES hilariously long-delayed new album, CHINESE DEMOCRACY (available exclusively at Best Buy starting November 23rd).
Despite some pretty serious words from former ax-man Slash (“I hope he rots in jail!”), the band has distanced itself from the whole controversy, saying “our interest is in the original source.” Yeah, maybe, or maybe you realized getting involved in the big piracy brouhaha is going to be really bad for business and make you look old.
Alienating and criminalizing the acts of ardent fans who have been strung along for 15 years and are past the breaking point with anticipation? Never a good idea, but definitely not for this one: the band’s appeal to causal listeners is long gone, and, after so much anticipation, there’s just no wiggle room for bad publicity. Especially when you’ve got CYPRESS HILL speaking out against you.
And, let’s be honest, it could get pretty bad. Sure, Metallica survived their ’90s Napster wrangling, but no one in that debate was calling for kids to be sent to the clink. And, while Cogill did leak parts of the album early, the tracks were low-quality bootlegs (something fans have traded back and forth since Bill Gates was a twinkle in his mother’s eye).
Ultimately, this would make a pretty messy test case in the courts, one that would go on forever and very probably call the government’s new regulations on internet distribution into question. Perhaps that’s why all sides suddenly seem interested in letting sleeping dogs lie.
Or maybe, they have another reason for trying to keep everything quiet: they’re worried more people might actually listen to the leak. We gave it a spin this morning, and we’ve got to say, hands off is probably the best tack to take – especially when you’re hawking a slate of cheesy, horribly overcooked anthems (and not in that righteous “November Rain” way).
Does anyone else find it sad that a 27-year-old blogger might spend a year in jail for posting an album that isn’t even really that good?
– Andy Phillips