Justice has been served as Adrian Kwiatkowski, the man charged with copyright infringement and possessing criminal property after pirating music from artists such as Frank Ocean and Lil Uzi Vert, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison by a British court.
The BBC reports that Chief Crown Prosecutor Joanne Jakymec also stated that Kwiatkowski may have to pay a fine or offer some form of financial restitution.
Kwiatkowski was arrested by the City Of London police in 2019 following an investigation conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Reportedly, several artist managers stated that music had been stolen from their clients’ cloud accounts by Kwiatkowski’s online persona, Spirdark. The managers also discovered that some of their clients’ music had been sold online.
Kwiatkowski was caught red-handed when authorities found an email address he used to register a cryptocurrency account. They then linked the email to his U.K. home address which was connected with IP address that was used to hack the cloud accounts where the music was held.
A search of Kwiatkowski’s home uncovered a hard drive that held 1,263 songs by 89 different artists. His MacBook also possessed 565 stolen audio files from the aforementioned artists plus Ed Sheeran, Kanye West, and Post Malone, Complex reported.
Spirdark irresponsibly outlined his entire process used to gain access to the music on the seized hard drive. Authorities discovered the hacker accumulated $147,000 via illegal music exchanges via bitcoin transactions.
“Kwiatkowski had complete disregard for the musicians’ creativity and hard work producing original songs and the subsequent loss of earnings,’’ Jakymec stated. “He selfishly stole their music to make money for himself.”
Adrian Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty to three charges of unauthorized access to computer material, 14 charges of selling copyrighted material, one charge of converting criminal property, and two charges of possession of criminal property.