Talk about getting off easy, said Josh Grossberg in E! Online. Kevin Cogill—the 28-year-old Los Angeles blogger who was arrested last August for posting online nine unreleased Guns N' Roses songs from the band's "heavily anticipated, yet eternally delayed" album Chinese Democracy—was sentenced on Tuesday to a year of probation and 60 days of home confinement. Now "he'll get to stay in and play Guns N' Roses' on Guitar Hero for a couple of months."
Cogill must have been nervous, though, said Bobbie Johnson in the Guardian. Initially, he faced up to a year in prison and fines of up to $100,000. And others facing charges of illegal file-sharing haven't gotten off so easy: A Minnesota woman was ordered to pay nearly $2 million last month, and 25-year-old student Joel Tenenbaum "is currently facing fines of up to $1 million for sharing seven illegally downloaded songs in 2003."
But "it still doesn't make much sense that the FBI got involved in trying to track down and arrest" Cogill, said Techdirt. It really "should have been a civil matter," and "there's little indication that the upload caused any harm whatsoever." Actually, "it was the arrest—not the uploading—that seemed to alert more people to the fact that the download was available in the first place." Maybe the FBI should "investigate itself" for "promoting the pre-release download."