LA Man pleads guilty in Guns N' Roses piracy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A man accused of illegally posting songs on the Internet from an unreleased album by rock band Guns N’ Roses pleaded guilty on Monday and faces up to one year in prison, a prosecutor said.

Kevin Cogill, 28, pleaded guilty to a copyright violation, said Craig Missakian, assistant U.S. attorney.

The charge was reduced from a felony to a less serious misdemeanor because he is cooperating with authorities to identify the original source of the leak, Missakian said.

Cogill posted tracks from the album “Chinese Democracy” onto Web site months before its November release, and was arrested in August at his Los Angeles home.

“I think the Internet affords a level of anonymity to people that lulls them into believing that what they are doing is either not criminal or beyond the reach of the law,” Missakian said. “But that’s certainly not the case.”

Cogill, who is free on bail, faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine at his sentencing scheduled for March.

Authorities have yet to arrest anyone responsible for leaking the track originally, but Missakian said their investigation continues.

Cogill apparently posted the songs online seeking nominal financial gain and because, as a fan of Guns N’ Roses, he wanted others to hear the new album, Missakian said.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Todd Eastham