Alleged Chinese Democracy Leaker Pleads Innocent

Nick Hogan
Kevin Cogill says he didn’t do it. The 27-year-old Los Angeles resident pleaded innocent on Monday in federal court to posting nine songs from Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy online earlier this year. According to Reuters, Cogill, who is charged with violating federal copyright law, will face trial at a yet-unspecified date. The blogger was arrested in August after the FBI claimed he posted nine songs from the long-awaited album on his site, AntiQuiet.com.

At the time, the Los Angeles Times reported that Cogill, known online as “Skwerl,” admitted in an affidavit submitted to federal agents that he put streams, not downloads, of the songs on his site, though he would not say how he managed to score a copy of the 17-years-in-the-making disc; he took the songs down after a few hours when GN’R's lawyers complained.

Cogill, who used to work for Universal Music, faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the misdemeanor. But to find him guilty, the prosecutors would have to show beyond a doubt that he unlawfully posted the songs in order to turn a profit, E! Online reports. The blogger was the first Californian charged under a three-year-old federal anti-piracy law that makes it a felony to distribute a copyright work on computer networks before its official release. Democracy, which has become something of a rock-and-roll punch line thanks to its epic recording time and myriad missed-release dates, is finally slated for release through Best Buy on November 25.