March 6, 2012 9:15

Two men charged with stealing Michael Jackson's back catalogue from Sony

James Marks and James McCormick were formally charged on Friday (March 2)

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Two men have been charged after they were accused of hacking into confidential databases and stealing more than 50,000 files from Sony Music, including Michael Jackson's entire back catalogue.

The men, who are James Marks, 26 and James McCormick, 25, appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Friday (March 2) and were charged under the Computer Misuse Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. They deny the charges.

According to the Irish Independent, the two men were actually arrested last May and will not face trial until January 2013.

Sony Music, who paid Michael Jackson's estate over $250 million (£158 million) for the back catalogue in 2010, have also issued a statement about the hacking in which they say that the security breach was noticed in May of last year and was quickly dealt with.

The statement reads: "We confirmed the breach last May and immediately took steps to secure the site and notify authorities. As a result, the two suspects were arrested. There was no consumer data involved in the incident."

Sony released the first swathe of tracks from Jackson's back catalogue at the end of 2010 with the posthumous album 'Michael'.

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