Thursday, August 20, 2009

Police track culprits behind Leona Lewis/Timberlake leak

An international music industry organization and a record label are teaming up with police to track down the computer hackers responsible for leaking an unreleased track by British singer Leona Lewis.

The IFPI, an industry body representing music labels around the world, says its anti-piracy unit is working with Simon Cowell's SyCo label to locate the source of the leak.

Cowell produces both American Idol and the British X Factor TV talent shows. Lewis won X Factor in 2006 and her debut album Spirits hit the top of the global charts.

The duet with Justin Timberlake, Don't Let Me Down, is a new song for her second album, slated for release this November.

"[We] are working with law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Europe to trace the individuals who stole the Leona Lewis/Justin Timberlake track," Jeremy Banks, the head of the IFPI's internet piracy unit, said in a statement on Wednesday.

He added that the IFPI was "actively monitoring and removing illegal copies of this track from the internet to minimize the disruption caused by the leak."

The music industry has been sensitive about internet piracy, with soaring digital downloads chomping into CD sales.

Banks says leaks like these are "highly damaging" for record labels because they invest "considerable budgets in marketing and promoting music ahead of release."

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