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Hackers get community service for Michael Jackson raid

12 Jan 2013

A pair of British men have avoided jail but have ben handed community service orders for their roles in the breach of servers containing unreleased music by the late Michael Jackson.

The UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said that the court had sentenced James Marks, aged 27 and James McCormack, aged 26 to a six-month suspended sentence and 100 hours of community service work for two counts of computer misuse.

The pair were involved in a breach last year of servers belonging to Sony's record label. Among the material taken were unreleased recordings from the so-called "King of Pop" which Sony had purchased from Jackson's estate in 2010.

In total, the hackers were said to have obtained as many as 7,900 music tracks over the course of the breach.

"These men stole thousands of copyrighted files belonging to Sony Music," said Soca spokesperson Mick Jameison.

"Our remit is to protect businesses as well the public, and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement and industry partners to tackle online criminality."

The breach, which was announced last May when Marks and McCormick were arrested and charged, was the latest in an embarrassing series of breaches to befall Sony. In 2011 the company fell victim to a series of attacks from hacking crew LulzSec which forced the company to close its online gaming operation for more than two months.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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