LONDON - Two Michael Jackson fans accused of stealing unreleased music by the late King of Pop from Sony's computers are confident they can prove their innocence in court, their lawyer said Wednesday.
Solicitor Karen Todner said James Marks and Jamie McCormick "are eager to point out to Michael Jackson's fans and family that they would never do anything to harm the legacy that is Michael Jackson's music."
"As Michael Jackson has said," she added, "'Lies run sprints but the truth runs marathons.'"
The two British men were arrested last year after Sony Music Entertainment noticed a breach of its systems.
The entertainment company has a seven-year deal, worth up to $250 million, to sell unreleased recordings by Jackson, who died in 2009 at the age of 50.
Sony says no customer data were compromised in the attack on the company's internal music-sharing system.
Marks, 26, and McCormick, 25, pleaded not guilty last week at Leicester Crown Court in central England to computer misuse and copyright offenses. They were freed on bail and are due to stand trial in January.
The case is not believed to be linked to Anonymous or Lulz Security, loose-knit hackers' collectives, broadly sympathetic to the WikiLeaks' secret-spilling site, who have targeted government and corporate websites around the world.
Last year, hackers targeted Sony Playstation and Sony Online Entertainment networks, compromising personal information, email addresses and the security of millions of user accounts. At the time, Lulz Security claimed responsibility for the hack.
On Tuesday, the FBI announced that five alleged Lulz Security members had been arrested in the U.S., Britain and Ireland after one of the group's leading hackers turned informant.