Hackers ‘Steal’ New Leona Lewis, Timberlake Track

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A police investigation is underway after an unreleased track, believed to be from Leona Lewis's new album, leaked onto the Internet. Hackers allegedly managed to gain access to computers at Simon Cowell's Syco - part of Sony BMG - and get their hands on the track, which sees Lewis team up with Justin Timberlake. IFPI are helping with the investigation.

During the last couple of days there have been rumors that an unreleased track from Leona Lewis’s new album had leaked onto the Internet. The track, “Don’t Let Me Down” is from the singer’s anticipated second album and sees her team up with Justin Timberlake and producer Timbaland.

Now, according to a report, the leak has been confirmed by Simon Cowell’s Syco, part of Sony BMG.

The report in Britain’s The Sun tabloid, says that ‘hackers’ targeted computers at Syco and lifted the track and later put it on the Internet, but the author seems a little confused over how these things work.

Sure, the assertion that there can be “huge kudos” to be gained by the ‘hackers’ in leaking a track like this is absolutely correct, but the article goes on to say that there is a huge financial motive too.

“Dodgy file-sharing websites pay hackers top dollar for stolen tracks as they try to attract more downloaders to the site so they can rake in more money from advertisers,” is the claim from the article.

But everyone familiar with these situations understand, as soon as a track is leaked onto the Internet word gets round very quickly. Soon everyone has a copy and the track is available from dozens of other sites, probably within minutes. It’s very difficult to imagine that paying a hacker “top dollar” would be a worthwhile investment for any site – their offering would be pirated in seconds.

A Syco spokesman confirmed that the label is working with IFPI, BPI and the police to track down the leakers. “We will certainly look to bring charges against those who are responsible. We cannot give any more details at this stage for operational reasons,” he said.

At this point it seems that Syco are doing a reasonable job of containing the leak of the mp3 itself – scanning various sites which have listed the track as available reveals that most have been subject of takedown notices from Sony. At this point it appears that the track didn’t leak via the Scene, as searches on the usual release databases reveal no sign of the song.

Despite the evil hackers and investigations by anti-piracy police and the real police, coupled with rantings by Cowell, anyone can listen to the leaked song on YouTube. Go figure.

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