By: Alex Templer - MSTV Correspondent
Two men who admitted hacking into the Sony Music database, and stealing thousands of hours of music tracks, including unreleased material by Michael Jackson, have been spared jail.
The two men, James Marks and James McCormick, who are British citizens, downloaded up to 7,000 files, including music by Beyonce.
After pleading guilty to computer misuse offenses, they were only given a six month sentence suspended for a year and each ordered to complete 100 hours community service.
Apparently Marks and McCormick were not the first to exploit this flaw, but they used an adapted hacker program to speed up the download of numerous music files.
When questioned, the pair claimed they only wanted to gather proof that some Jackson's material released after his death "didn't actually feature" the singer's voice. But Sony Music, in response, has always denied that vocals on some tracks on the posthumous album "Michael" were done by another singer.
Sony, who paid $250m for a seven-year deal for the rights to MJ's remaining songs, announced their acquisition included recorded, yet unreleased duets with artists ranging from the late Freddie Mercury to Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am.
Online conversations released in court between Marks and McCormick revealed they talked about selling the material. But this never came to anything.
Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), head of cyber investigations Mick Jamieson said, "The internet's a fantastic tool for everyone to use, but sadly there are one or two individuals who choose to misuse it. However, authorities are now able to to identify what you're doing, find out who you are, and come and arrest you."
Marks and McCormick admitted to two counts of unauthorised access to computing materials, but due to a plea bargain, their six month jail sentences were suspended for a year with more serious charges being completely dropped.
Speaking outside court, James Marks said he was sorry for downloading the files but was still determined to prove Jackson didn't sing on some tracks on 'Michael'.
Jude's Korean adventures
Alcohol in South Korea
All bars and local night establishments are filled to the brim with things you have seen in all other places like Jack Daniels and Jagermeister.
However you may spy a little green bottle with Korean writing on it and you may ask what is that? It's called Soju, my friends or 소주 for the Hangil inclined (Korean Language).
Soju is a spirit primarily made from rice, barley, potatoes or tapioca and has an average alcohol content of 20% ABV however there are some brands of Andong Soju that are upward of 45% ABV.
None the less, they will both get the job done. Soju has a taste very similar to vodka but it is slightly sweeter and easier to consume by itself.
Now we get to the matter of cost and availability; however rest assured the answer will be qiute positive. Soju is available all over South Korea from the local convenience store for 1,000 Won = roughly $1 or in a restaurant for 3,000 Won =$3. So these adult treats certainly won't set you back any considerable amount.
It alco mixes quite well with beer, cider, and energy drinks. Soju has been around since the 13th century and shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. So when you get the chance come on down to the Republic of South Korea and have a shot of deliciousness.