After Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 Sony purchased the rights to all of his released and unreleased songs for over $250 million. Jackson’s back catalogue, which included unreleased material from the “Bad,” “Thriller,” and “Off the Wall” recording sessions was allegedly stolen by two computer hackers.
Sony confirmed today that Michael Jackson’s entire back catalogue was compromised. A source told the Chicago Suntimes:
“Everything Sony purchased from the Michael Jackson estate was compromised. It caused them to check their systems and they found the breach. There was a degree of sophistication. Sony identified the weakness and plugged the gap.”
The Michael Jackson catalogue included unreleased duets with Will.i.am and Freddie Mercury. Fox News reports that music from Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Olly Murs, the Foo Fighters and Avril Lavigne was also stolen in the breach.
Two men were arrested for hacking Sony. James Marks, 26, and James McCormick, 25, plead not guilty last week in London. They were freed on bail and are expected to stand trial in early January. Marks and McCormick were charged computer misuse and copyright offenses.
This is the second big hack into Sony’s system in the last year. User information, including credit card data and email addresses was stolen from Sony’s PlayStation and Sony Online Entertainment networks last year. Lulz Security claimed responsibility for the attack. The Suntimes reports that Lulz has not been linked to the Michael Jackson hack.