Sony has filed a lawsuit against a man in Sweden who leaked Beyoncé’s 4 album two weeks ahead of its release. The music giant is seeking $233,000 from the 47-year-old Gothenburg man.
The unnamed man reportedly works in the music industry and uploaded the release to The Pirate Bay, a popular Swedish digital data sharing medium. Sony claims to have suffered a major financial loss thanks to the premature debut, which damaged their marketing strategy, and sales revenue. The label went on to argue that the leak hurt the reputation of, and damaged it’s relationship with, Bey, who recently signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell.
Sweden has a reputation for piracy, and is expected to make an example out the man by enforcing a harsh sentence, which could include jail time.
In addition to the suit, Sony will go forward with civil litigation against the man.
Although Sony believes that it is owed more than $200,000 (or 1 million in kronor, in Sweden), the exact loss can’t be calculated, so says Stockholm University law professor, Marianne Levin.“I think so far [the calculations on damages] have not been done in a satisfactory way in situations like this, and the question is whether it will ever be done,” Levin said. “This is a nuisance from a copyright perspective. But it does not mean that you should have some kind of punitive damages to scare people.”
No matter Levin’s opinion, Sony is prepped for the legal battle, as this isn’t the first time the label has faced a similar issue. Earlier this year two Michael Jackson fanatics hacked into Sony’s musical library stealing nearly 8,000 music files of the late King of Pop.
Both suspects received a sixth-month sentence, plus 100 hours of community service.