OASIS ALBUM LEAK PROBE

Investigator Jollyon Benn has been tracking websites containing the MP3 downloads across the world, attempting to get the songs removed...

Who leaked the new OASIS album?

That was the question buzzing around the music industry last week, after ‘Heathen Chemistry’ – not even out for three months – was made freely available on the internet. This has prompted an international investigation by an anti-piracy expert at the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), who says it could have come from any number of sources within the band’s inner circle.

Investigator Jollyon Benn has been tracking websites containing the MP3 downloads across the world, attempting to get the songs removed. He told NME.COM that, although he didn’t think the record has been leaked intentionally, the security breach probably came from “further up the chain”, rather than from a journalist – often blamed for album leaks.

He said: “It could be anybody, the band, the managers, people who work in the studio, pluggers, anybody that’s been able to get their hands on this recorded work at this very early stage. It’s more likely to be further up the chain than down our end really.”

He said as word got out, the problem of illegal copying from the internet was soon “out of control”.

He continued: “Monday (April 8) was the tip of the iceberg and we started to get a few trickles through. It was on about a dozen sites at the most and now it’s absolutely exploded. Once the word gets out from people going to newsgroups and making postings on where you can find things, it mushrooms really. When someone has downloaded it they might make it available via file sharing and then someone else downloads it. It’s gone from being a fairly small problem on Monday to being completely out of control by Friday.”

Benn believes that the only way bands can avoid their album being made available online early is to keep tabs on who is given access to the songs, even at the highest levels.