Hackers have stolen the entirety of Michael Jackson's catalog, according to a report in Britain's Sunday Times.
It's a collection worth over $250 million dollars -- the amount Sony executives paid for the rights to the 50,000 or so song files in 2010. According to the report, unreleased collaborations with the likes of Freddie Mercury and will.I.am are among the stolen tracks.
The hacking took place in April of last year, and though Sony has been aware of the breach in their system since then, the company is only now publicly acknowledging it.
It's unclear what hackers can do with the songs, as they obviously can't line them up for any sort of commercial release without attracting litigation. The AOL Music blog quipped that the hackers could "slowly roll the songs out over a period of years, making obsessive fans shell out big bucks for each new CD," hinting that they should look to the recording industry itself for their "business model."
Sony had entered into an agreement with Jackson's estate that allowed them to release ten new albums.
The first posthumous Jackson album, Michael, debuted in 2010 to mixed reviews and some controversy. TMZ reported that Paris Jackson, the late singer's daughter, had told friends some vocals on the album were faked by another singer. Paris later denied the reports and slammed TMZ for rumor mongering.
It's been a rough stretch for Sony. In April of last year, the company suffered a massive security breach that exposed the information of 77 million PlayStation customers. The scandal reportedly cost Sony $168 million dollars.
PHOTOS of Michael Jackson's Family:
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