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Hackers 'steal' Michael Jackson back catalogue

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Two British hackers have been accused of stealing more than 50,000 files from Sony Music, including the entire back catalogue of Michael Jackson.

More than 50,000 tracks have allegedly been illegally downloaded by the two hackers from the UK. The majority of the stolen files are believed to be by the late pop star.



Last Friday, James Marks, 26 and James McCormick, 25, appeared in Leicester crown court and denied charges under the Computer Misuse Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.



The two men were arrested last May, but will not face trial until January 2013.



A Sony Music spokesman:"We confirmed the breach last May and immediately took steps to secure the site and notify authorities. As a result, the two suspects were arrested.There was no consumer data involved in the incident."



The alleged security breach comes less than a year since the personal data of more than 70 million Sony PlayStation Account holders was stolen.



Nine months after Michael Jackson died in 2009 aged 50, post a drugs overdose, the Jackson estate signed away the rights to his back catalogue to Sony Music. The deal, worth $250m, and the biggest in music recording history, gave the record label the rights to sell the pop legend’s entire back catalogue as well as unreleased tracks. Sony is also allowed to use Jackson’s music in advertisements and games.



Jackson died with hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, but any profits from the arrangement, will go into a trust fund for his children.