Britsh hackers James Marks and James McCormick made headlines in the music and tech worlds recently after the two men pleaded guilty for hacking into servers owned by music conglomerate Sony Music Entertainment. A Report from The Guardian states that they downloaded almost 8,000 files. Apparently they used their technical knowledge to exploit a weakness in Sony’s servers and swiped previously unreleased tracks from Sony Music stars like Beyonce and Michael Jackson. Their motive for doing so was to confirm a suspicion that the posthumous material released by Michael Jackson were sung by impostures.
When the hacking pair were arrested in 2011, they stated to Michael Jackson’s family and friends “that they would never do anything to harm the legacy that is Michael Jackson’s music.” Afterwards, Marks and McCormick eventually agreed to a plea deal. They received six-month sentences, suspended for one year, and were each ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.
Marks tweeted about the sentencing this past weekend. He insists that he and McCormickdownloaded300 illicit files, not 7,900 that he was suspected of. He did however go on to express remorse for his actions. “[I] fully accept I accessed the server”. “I’m grateful to the judge for being lenient,” he wrote, “and apologise to Sony … I wish to move on and rebuild my life.”