Michael Jackson back catalog stolen in Sony hack

From CNET:

Two U.K. men have been charged with illegally downloading the singer’s entire 50,000-track back catalog, including unreleased songs.

Hackers have reportedly broken into the music label’s servers and downloaded Michael Jackson’s entire 50,000-track catalog, including many songs that have never been released, according to a report in Britain’s Sunday Times (behind paywall). Sony purchased the catalog in 2010 from Jackson’s estate for $250 million–billed as the biggest recording deal in history.

“Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised,” a source told the newspaper. “It caused them to check their systems and they found the breach. There was a degree of sophistication. Sony identified the weakness and plugged the gap.”

Two men in the U.K. have been arrested and charged in the crime, according to The Guardian. They have reportedly been released on bail and are scheduled to stand trial in January 2013.

The intrusion, which netted collaborations with the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am and late Queen front man Freddie Mercury, was discovered weeks after the massive security breach on Sony’s PlayStation Network last April. After a mysterious weeklong outage on the service, the company finally informed some 77 million customers that critical personal information, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birthdays, usernames, and passwords were obtained illegally obtained by an “unauthorized person.”

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