Two men appeared in court on Friday (March 2, 2012) in Britain, with regards to the alleged theft of Michael Jackson 's music from Sony Music's computer systems. A report from Reuters suggests that a "large number" of music files were stolen from Sony Music, by two hackers, named James Marks and James MCCormick.
In 2010, Sony Music signed a deal with the Jackson estate that was reported to have been worth $250 million, though sources close to the estate insisted that this amount was ludicrous. The deal included the release of 10 albums containing unreleased material, as well as the singer's back catalogue. The two men that appeared in court in relation to the theft of the music were arrested in May 2011 and charged in September 2011. Both Marks and MCCormick deny the charges under the Computer Misuse Act and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act at Leicester Crown Court. The pair were remanded on bail and will be required to attend court once more in January 2013. Media reports suggest that 'tens of thousands' of files were hacked, though this has not been confirmed. The term 'file' can refer to an entire track or simply a small snippet of a recording.