A computer hacker who stole unreleased songs from British pop star Ed Sheeran and American rap artist Lil Uzi Vert was sentenced to 18 months in prison, UK prosecutors said Friday.

Adrian Kwiatkowski, 23, of Ipswich in the south of England, hacked artists’ cloud-based accounts and sold their songs on the dark web in exchange for cryptocurrency. City of London police, who investigated the case, said Kwiatkowski made $ 147,000 on transactions.

“Kwiatkowski had a complete disregard for the creativity and hard work of musicians in producing original songs and the resulting loss of income,” said Joanne Jakymec of the Crown Prosecution Service. “He selfishly stole their music to make money for himself.”

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In August, Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including 14 copyright infringements and three counts for computer misuse. He was sentenced Friday at Ipswich Crown Court.

Ed Sheeran performed outside Buckingham Palace on the last day of the Platinum Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth. Sheeran stole unreleased songs from a UK computer hacker.
(Karwai Tang)

City of London police teamed up with U.S. authorities to investigate the case after several musicians’ management companies reported that an individual, known online as Spirdark, had gained access to their own cloud-based accounts. customers and was selling their content.

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The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation in 2019 and linked the email address used for Spirdark’s cryptocurrency account to Kwiatkowski. He then identified the IP address of the device used to hack one of the accounts as the home address.

After further investigation, Kwiatkowski was arrested by the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in September 2019.

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“Cybercrime knows no boundaries and this individual executed a complex plan to steal unreleased music to line his pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L Bragg Jr.

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