- The Washington Times - Friday, September 5, 2008

A U.S. District Court judge called the arrest by federal law enforcement of Kevin Cogill, the Culver City, Calif., blogger who supposedly leaked nine tracks from the long-awaited Guns N’ Roses album “Chinese Democracy,” “excessive.” As a legal matter, perhaps the judge had a point. But as a musical matter, we’re with the feds.

The hype is gone- Not even a Beatles album would have merited the kind of delay (17 years) that singer Axl Rose has seen fit to impose on “Chinese Democracy.” (Heck, the Beatles never waited more than a year.) Expectations are bound to be dashed, and so the best fans could have hoped for was to have been left wondering forever.

Precedent- It’s very important that highly egotistical and temperamental artists such as Mr. Rose be able to maintain the illusion of dictatorial creative control. Were Mr. Cogill given nothing but a slap on the wrist, it would be “Welcome to the Jungle,” indeed.

Nine tracks- If you’re going to violate federal copyright law, why leak just a partial album?

Slash- Mr. Rose’s ex-band mate has publicly defended the arrest. Perhaps the two can reconcile and the whole episode will lead to the return of the real Guns N’ Roses.

Scoop- Once again, an online commando does an end run around the traditional channels of the music industry. We in the newspaper business still aren’t amused.

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