COPYRIGHT
Record labels, internet

Two US men, apparently fans of Ryan Adams fans, are the first two US individuals to fall foul of a new law making it a crime to publish songs before their release to the general public when they made portions of the singer’s latest album available on a Web site. Robert Thomas of Milwaukee and Jared Bowser of Jacksonville were indicted under a provision of the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (FECA) that makes it a separate federal crime to pirate music and movies before they are released to the public. The men are alleged to have posted portions of Adams’ “Jacksonville City Nights” on a fan Web site about a month before its official release last September. Adams records for Lost Highway Records, whose Universal Music Group parent did not grant authority for the Internet distribution. If convicted on all counts, the defendants each face a potential of 11 years in prison. The case was investigated by FBI agents and is being prosecuted by the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the United States Attorney’s Office.