JERUSALEM: An Israeli court on Thursday jailed a man for 14 months for breaking in to computers, stealing new songs by pop star Madonna and selling them.
Adi Lederman confessed as part of a plea bargain to “hacking in to a number of computers working with Madonna, and selling the musical files of Madonna he copied from those computers to two buyers,” the justice ministry said.
A copy of the ruling by the Tel Aviv magistrate’s court said Lederman had stolen demos of Madonna’s unreleased album “Rebel Heart,” and sold copies to two different people for $300 (273 euros) each.
Lederman, a Tel Aviv resident born in 1976, had no criminal record or formal computer training.
He once participated as a singer in a local televised talent show, and his performance was panned by the judges.
Lederman was arrested in January on suspicion of stealing songs from Madonna as well as other international artists, after an investigation carried out in collaboration with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation
In December, the American star released six songs from “Rebel Heart” months ahead of schedule after early versions appeared online. She called that “artistic rape” and that the leaked tracks were not her final versions.
Internet leaks of albums have become increasingly common in an era in which reproducing music files requires little technical skill and pirate websites enjoy an eager listenership.
The court noted the need to lay down a harsh punishment that would deter people from carrying out such crimes.