Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 16:48 UK

Piracy officers probe Leona leak

Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis won The X Factor in 2006

An investigation into how an unreleased track by singer Leona Lewis was leaked on to the internet is taking place, it has been confirmed.

Record industry body the IFPI said its anti-piracy unit was working with Simon Cowell's Syco record label to "minimise the damage" from the leak.

Don't Let Me Down, a song with US star Justin Timberlake, is expected to be released on Lewis's second album.

There has been speculation that the duet could be the album's lead single.

Jeremy Banks, the head of the IFPI's internet piracy unit, said the organisation was "actively monitoring and removing illegal copies of this track from the internet to minimise the disruption caused by the leak".

Bringing charges

He added that the body was working with Syco and police forces in Europe and the US to trace the individuals who stole the track.

According to The Sun newspaper, Simon Cowell contacted the authorities after the leak was discovered.

It is believed the song was lifted by computer hackers, rather than being passed on by people involved in the recording process.

A spokesman for Cowell's record label told the BBC their computers had come under a "sustained attack" and added: "We will certainly look to bring charges against those who are responsible."

Mr Banks said such pre-release leaks could be "highly damaging" to a company who has spent considerable money on marketing and promoting records to a pre-determined schedule.

Lewis's second album is scheduled to come out in November.

Her first record, Spirit, became the fastest-selling debut in the UK charts in 2007, and was the number one album of that year.

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