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Men indicted for pirating Ryan Adams’ music

Accused of posting songs on Web before official release date
/ Source: The Associated Press

Two men are accused of violating copyright laws by posting music by alternative country artist Ryan Adams on a Web site before its public release, federal officials said Thursday.

A federal grand jury indictment says Robert Thomas of Milwaukee and Jared Bowser of Jacksonville, Fla., obtained and made portions of Adams’ album “Jacksonville City Nights” available for copying by the public last August — about a month before the record’s commercial release on Nashville-based Lost Highway Records.

“Any perception that copyright violations are victimless crimes is just plain wrong,” U.S. Attorney Jim Vines said Thursday. “Theft of music, trade secrets and other intellectual property victimizes the creators of such works, who have a legal right to determine how their work is distributed.”

Vines said the crimes also victimize the companies that foot the bill for the creative process, in this case Universal Music Group, parent company of the Lost Highway label and owner of the song copyrights.

If convicted on all counts, Thomas and Bowser each face up to 11 years in prison.

Vivendi Universal is the parent of Universal Music Group.