Hacker, Adrian Kwiatkowski, who stole music from Ed Sheeran and Lil Uzi Vert sentenced to 18 months KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Saturday, October 22, 2022

Hacker, Adrian Kwiatkowski, who stole music from Ed Sheeran and Lil Uzi Vert sentenced to 18 months

Hacker who stole music from Ed Sheeran and Lil Uzi Vert sentenced to 18 months.

Bad habits lead to...jail. Adrian Kwiatkowski is facing prison after absconding with unreleased music he reportedly hacked from singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and hip-hop artist Lil Uzi Vert following an investigation that began in 2019.

Ed Sheeran is a polarizing musician. Some love his songs, others believe he’s a pop sellout chasing a check, and one man apparently just wanted to hack him. That man was Adrian Kwiatkowski, who authorities say hacked the “Bad Habits” singer-songwriter along with rapper Lil Uzi Vert, getting away with some of their unreleased material. Kwiatkowski, a 23-year-old from England’s Ipswich is now facing 18 months in jail for his actions, says BBC News.

“He selfishly stole their music to make money for himself by selling it on the dark web,” said Chief crown prosecutor Joanne Jakymec, as quoted by the BBC.

A search of Kwiatkowski’s laptop revealed that the hacker had 565 audio files, some of which were unreleased tracks from both musicians—two specifically belonged to Sheeran. After selling the material on the black market for cryptocurrency, reports show that Kwiatkowski made £131,000, or roughly $148,085.

Authorities launched an investigation in 2019 after multiple musicians claimed to have been hacked by someone under the pseudonym of Spirdark. After tracing Spirdark’s email and IP address to the UK, the City of London Police were alerted and Kwiatkowski was arrested that September. In addition to the 565 audio files on Kwiatkowski’s laptop, authorities found an external hard drive that contained an additional 1,263 songs by 89 artists.

The 23-year-old, from Ipswich, a town in eastern England, admitted to 19 charges, including possessing criminal property and 14 copyright offenses.

“Kwiatkowski had complete disregard for the musicians’ creativity and hard work producing original songs and the subsequent loss of earnings,” Joanne Jakymec of the Crown Prosecution Service told AP. “He selfishly stole their music to make money for himself.”

In 2019, a complaint by Frank Ocean’s representatives was made to the New York District Attorney’s office, stating someone was accessing and downloading unreleased music from the Dropbox account owned by Ocean’s producer, the Ipswich Star reports.

After the management of several other musicians reported that an individual online known as “Spirdark” had gained access to their clients’ accounts, City of London Police worked with U.S. authorities to investigate the case. The email address tied to Spirdark’s cryptocurrency account was linked to Kwiatkowski and the IP address of the device used to hack one of the artists was traced to his home address.

In Sept. 2019, Kwiatkowski was arrested by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit; one of Kwiatkowski’s confiscated hard drives contained 1,263 unreleased songs by 89 artists, Sky News reported.

Three years after the initial arrest, Steven Dyble, a lawyer for Kwiatowski, said elements of the way his client committed the offenses were “utterly naive” and told the local paper that, “It was a bit like committing a bank robbery in broad daylight using your own car which was registered in your own name.”

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