Sony Music are suing a Swedish music fan for $233,000, accusing him of leaking an early copy of Beyonce‘s most recent album 4 back in 2011.
Torrentfreak reports that the record company are pressing charges against a 47-year-old man from Gothenburg for sharing a copy of the album on June 8, 2011. The album was due to be released two weeks later on June 24.
The leaker’s identity remains unknown; however, sources say he works in the music industry. In their submission to the Gothenburg District Court, Sony claim that they were negatively affected by the leak in many areas, including damage to their marketing strategy and sales revenues.
They also claim that the leak damaged their relationship with Beyoncé, and her reputation was significantly hurt by the leak as well.
TorrentFreak reports that music industry figures claim pre-release leaks are the most damaging form of piracy, an opinion that judges have agreed with in the past. Local Prosecutor Henrik Rasmusson told the website that he believes the punishments in the case will be heavy.
Beyoncé recently sold out her UK and Ireland tour in April and May in 12 minutes. She has also been announced as one of the headliners for the V Festival in England in August, alongside Kings of Leon.