‘DJ Stolen’ lives up to name

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

BER­LIN: Two Ger­man hack­ers al­legedly stole pop songs from Lady Gaga, Justin Tim­ber­lake, Ke­sha and Kelly Clark­son, sell­ing them on­line and forc­ing the ad­vance re­lease of sev­eral sin­gles, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

A 17-year-old stu­dent and a 23-year-old un­em­ployed man al­legedly used Tro­jan viruses to hack into the artists’ com­put­ers for about 12 months be­fore be­ing dis­cov­ered, Duis­burg chief pros­e­cu­tor Rolf Hafer­kamp said.

Dur­ing that time they earned more than € 10 000 (R91 800) in il­le­gal sales of tracks acquired from the stars’ com­put­ers.

The stu­dent, an am­a­teur DJ known as “DJ Stolen”, also al­legedly down­loaded a sex­u­ally com­pro­mis­ing photo of one artist and used it to black­mail her. Hafer­kamp would not com­ment on which artist it was.

Hafer­kamp said the po­lice were in­formed of the hack­ing af­ter a fan of Kelly Clark­son alerted her man­age­ment that un­re­leased songs of the singer were be­ing sold on­line.

Un­like in the US, Ger­man pros­e­cu­tors first launch for­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and then file crim­i­nal charges if they find enough ev­i­dence. Hafer­kamp said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion should be con­cluded by Jan­uary and could lead to crim­i­nal charges.

The al­leged hack­ers are still liv­ing with their par­ents in western Ger­many.

Spokes­men for the artists were not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment. – Sapa-AP

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