Business News Legal

British man arrested over illegal hacking and distribution of unreleased music

By | Published on Monday 16 September 2019

The City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit has confirmed it arrested a man in Ipswich last week over allegations he hacked into the websites and cloud storage accounts of certain unnamed artists to access and then illegally distribute unreleased recordings. It’s alleged the man then sold the stolen music in exchange for cryptocurrency.

The arrest followed police raids on properties in both North London and Ipswich itself. The City Of London Police’s actions were the result of an investigation opened in the US by the District Attorney of Manhattan. His office began investigating the alleged hacks following complaints from the management reps of affected artists, identifying that at least one of those involved in the hacking was based in the UK.

Confirming last week’s arrest, Nick Court from the City Of London Police said: “Today’s action marks a significant point in our investigation into the individuals responsible for stealing music and selling it on illegal streaming websites, worldwide. This sort of crime causes significant financial loss to those who work so incredibly hard to produce, write and make music for their fans to enjoy”.

Commenting on his unit’s collaboration on this case with the Manhattan DA’s office and global record industry trade group IFPI, Court added: “[This] demonstrates the capability of enforcement agencies to work across international borders to disrupt criminal activity and identify those involved so they can be put before the courts”.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr added: “As one of the world’s leading creative capitals, New York City is dedicated to protecting artists’ intellectual property and ensuring that those who steal it face the music”.

“As demonstrated by this investigation, my office has the expertise, resources, and partnerships to help cybercrime victims reach across the globe to get justice”, he added. “I thank our extraordinary colleagues at the City Of London Police for their strong collaboration on this case”.