Leaks force the band's label to bring the release of 'Elephant' forward...

Despite stringent security measures put in place to combat piracy, copies of White Stripes’ new album ‘ELEPHANT’ have found their way onto the Internet – two months before release.

The leak has forced the band’s label XL to bring the release forward a week from April 7 to March 31.

NME discovered the album last week and found it is now available for download in its entirety.

XL, have been trying to block piracy since they first received the album. Promotional copies were pressed on vinyl only – making it very difficult for bootleggers who may have wished to put copies on the web.

These copies have been jealously guarded by the label, with only a few allowed to leave XL’s London headquarters.

However, copies were sent to journalists in the US two weeks ago and the leak may have started there.

In a bid to combat the inevitable Internet leak, MP3s with album track titles – such as forthcoming single ‘Seven Nation Army’ – were placed on the Net. These MP3s were spoilers containing only ten-second loops running over the song’s length.

Rising US rapper 50 Cent recently brought the release of his new album, ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin”, forward to combat bootlegging. The piracy did not effect sales. The Eminem protégé blitzed the US charts last week selling almost 900,000 copies during the first few days of release.

Meanwhile, Bob Dylan debuted two brand new tracks from ‘Elephant’ at a low-key live comeback in London last week.

Jack and Meg took to the stage for a brief set at the Electric Cinema in west London (February 7) to run through a five-song set. Their performance came at the end of a series of showcase forthcoming releases for their XL label.

Taking to the stage alone at first, Jack, dressed in black and red, worked through covers of Led Zeppelin‘s ‘In My Time Of Dying’ and ‘Blackjack Davey’ – a traditional folk song covered by [/a] amongst others.

He introduced ‘You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket’ as “a new song from a record that Miss Meg White and I will release this year.”

Meg then took to the stage to sing ‘Cold, Cold Night’ – the first time she had sung live without a drumkit in front of her.

They closed with ‘Hotel Yorba’ – “a song that was a hit on this island many years ago”.

[a]Bob Dylan play Wolverhampton Civic Hall (April 7), Manchester Apollo (8), Glasgow Academy (10), Brixton Academy (11/12). All shows are sold out.