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Michael Jackson Hackers: U.K. Duo Sentenced for Illegally Downloading 8,000 Files From Sony Servers

Brenda Chase, Getty Images

LONDON (AP) – A pair of U.K. hackers has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service for the theft of unreleased Michael Jackson tracks from Sony Music Entertainment.

Officials say that music aficionados James Marks and James McCormick used their home computers to break into Sony’s U.S. servers and scour them for Jackson-related material. Britain’s Serious and Organized Crime Agency says the pair downloaded nearly 8,000 files, including completed or partial tracks, artwork, and videos.

The 27-year-old Marks and 26-year-old McCormick were arrested in May 2011 after Sony alerted U.K. law enforcement to the breach. Chat logs recovered from their computers showed that they planned to sell or trade some of the files.

They were handed suspended sentences and ordered to do community service at central England’s Leicester Crown Court on Friday.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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