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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 08:41 GMT
Darkness singer tackles eBay leak
By Ian Youngs
BBC News entertainment reporter

The Darkness. Photo: Simon Songhurst @ Milc
The Darkness' comeback album is not released until 28 November
The Darkness singer Justin Hawkins paid 350 for a copy of his own band's new album on eBay a month before its release to stop it being leaked.

The CD was sent to a small number of record company figures and journalists around the world but found its way onto the auction site in Australia, he said.

Hawkins plans to find the culprit by using the CD's unique ID code.

The band's second album, One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back, will be released on 28 November in the UK.

"I've bought our own album back off this character who's selling it on eBay," the singer told the BBC News website.

'Should be sacked'

"It cost me 350 and it's going to be a tenner when it's in the shops - with artwork.

"It's encoded so we'll have a name and a number - so we'll know which disc it is, who distributed it and who they distributed it to. And that person is going to go down.

Time and again, we have seen eBay being abused by individuals seeking to make a quick profit
British Phonographic Industry spokesman
"He is either going to get some sort of legal intervention or he certainly won't receive an album from our record company ever again."

Hawkins said the band had been stringent with who they had given the album to in the UK.

Drummer Ed Graham added that the culprit "should really be sacked" if it is someone in the music business.

But the appearance of the album on eBay is less damaging than internet leaks where songs are put on file-sharing networks for thousands of fans to download for free.

The Darkness. Photo: Simon Songhurst @ Milc
The Darkness have recruited a new bassist, Richie Edwards (left)
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents UK record labels, said the scale of counterfeit and unauthorised selling on eBay had got "out of hand".

"Time and again, we have seen eBay being abused by individuals seeking to make a quick profit on the back of our members' copyrights," a BPI spokesman said.

An eBay spokesperson said their rules did not "specifically prohibit" the resale of advance CDs.

One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back is hotly anticipated after the band's 2003 debut, Permission to Land, sold 3.5 million copies around the world.

It will be preceded in the UK by a single, One Way Ticket, on 14 November.

There's no way that a fan of The Darkness is not going to love this record even more than the first one
Justin Hawkins
They have scheduled an arena tour of the UK and Ireland for February, kicking off in Dublin.

The band sacked bassist Frankie Poullain while recording One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back because he became too "negative" and "suspicious" of Hawkins' relationship with the band's manager Sue Whitehouse, the singer said.

He has been replaced by the group's former guitar technician Richie Edwards.

"There's no way that a fan of The Darkness, based on what we did on the last record, is not going to love this record even more than the first one," Hawkins said.

  • A full interview with The Darkness will appear on this site on Friday.


  • SEE ALSO:
    The Darkness recruit new bassist
    16 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
    Darkness singer gets wax double
    17 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
    Row over Darkness festival 'snub'
    31 Mar 04 |  Entertainment
    Death threats to Darkness singer
    26 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
    The Darkness dominate Brit Awards
    17 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
    Darkness tickets selling for 175
    09 Oct 03 |  Suffolk


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