Fans across the globe sharing material from the forthcoming 'Know Your Enemy' album have their accounts blocked...

MANIC STREET PREACHERS fans across the globe who swapped tracks from the band’s new album ‘KNOW YOUR ENEMY’ using NAPSTER have had their accounts blocked after the band’s record label SONY MUSIC indicated that they plan to launch a breach of copyright lawsuit.

Fans attempting to access Napster yesterday (February 6) were faced with a message telling them that their accounts had been blocked because they had infringed Sony’s copyright by copying and swapping unreleased material, including the singles ‘So Why So Sad’ and ‘Found That Soul’.

As revealed by NME.COM last month, Sony upgraded Internet security after Manics fans managed to access tracks from the band’s forthcoming album by tweaking URLs which led to RealAudio streams of the two singles, set for simultaneous release on March 5. The fans effectively performed a simple hack into the Sony website, and several unofficial fan sites posted the songs as MP3 files.

The songs swapped across the Internet by fans were ‘Ocean Spray’, ‘Miss Europa Disco Dancer’, ‘Found That Soul’, ‘So Why So Sad’ and ‘Freedom Of Speech Won’t Feed My Children’. Sony had prepared the tracks with a view to streaming 30-second segments of them online in the run-up to ‘Know Your Enemy”s release, but they had not been made public.

At the time a Sony spokesperson indicated to NME.COM that it was unclear whether legal action would be taken.

But several fans have contacted NME.COM to express dismay at the new turn of events.

The message they were presented with reads:

” Your Napster account has been blocked pursuant to a

Notification of Alleged Infringement under the Digital

Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) filed against you by

Sony Music Entertainment UK. The allegation is that

material that you have made available through the

Napster service contains one or more recordings whose

copyrights are owned by Sony Music UK and that your

making these available infringes Sony Music UK’s

copyrights. The material at issue is from an album by

Manic Street Preachers entitled ‘Know Your Enemy’, including the recordings ‘So Why So Sad’ and ‘Found

That Soul’, all of which were unreleased at the time

we received the DMCA Notification from Sony Music UK.”

One Canadian fan, Ryan McNutt, said: “This action has nothing to do with copyrights. If it was then Sony would be kicking everyone with a Sony artist’s files off Napster, and everything to do with the leaking of the files.”

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