With the upcoming 50 Cent album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" already available through illegal downloads on the Internet, Interscope has pushed its release date forward from Feb. 11 to Feb. 6. In addition

With the upcoming 50 Cent album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" already available through illegal downloads on the Internet, Interscope has pushed its release date forward from Feb. 11 to Feb. 6. In addition, the label is planning to put the set up online on Tuesday (Feb. 4), Billboard Bulletin reports. According to sources, tracks from the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope set -- which is shaping up to be one of the year's big releases -- will be sold as downloads for 99 cents apiece, via Pressplay, Liquid Audio, and other online services.

The moves are seen as defensive tactics so that Interscope can capture some of the sales that otherwise would be lost to piracy. Additionally, when the album hits stores, it will carry a DVD bonus on the first 500,000 units. Interscope is said to be expecting to ship up to 1 million units of the album. Label representatives could not be reached for comment.

Interscope employed a similar tactic last summer with Eminem's "The Eminem Show" after rampant pre-release bootlegging. The set was available in stores on Sunday, May 26, nine days prior to its original release date.

As for 50 Cent, he is already burning up the charts with the "Get Rich" lead cut "In Da Club," which is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Tracks chart and No. 2 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally. The rapper's 2002 Full Clip album, "Guess Who's Back," jumps 77-43 this week on The Billboard 200.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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