Guns N' Roses leaker gets reduced charges

The album Cogill wishes he never saw
The album Cogill wishes he never saw

Kevin Cogill, the blogger who posted nine Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy songs online illegally last June, could still be facing the music, but much less than he originally thought.

His charge has been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. The maximum jail term Cogill could now face, if convicted, is one year, versus five.

Los Angeles federal prosecutor Craig Missakian declined to say why the US attorney's office changed the charge, but according to Cogill's attorney, David Kaloyanides, the prosecutors "decided that a misdemeanor was more appropriate." (Well, that certainly clears that up.)

On Tuesday, the authorities and Kaloyanides are expected to pick a trial date. However, it is also rumored that a deal may be in the offing.

Cogill could still face band lawsuit

Not that Cogill will be in the clear, however. He could still be liable for monetary damages should Guns N' Roses sue him. And with Chinese Democracy having cost upwards of $30 million to produce, Cogill might find himself working as Axl Rose's unpaid lackey for years to come.

The original felony charge was brought against Cogill, who blogs on his website Antiquiet under the name 'Shewrl,' last August after he uploaded onto YouTube the unreleased songs Chinese Democracy, Better, The Blues, Madagascar, There Was a Time, IRS, Rhiad And The Bedouins, Prostitute and If The World.

UPDATE: MusicRadar's Chinese Democracy review.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.