Atlantic Wants Reddit's Help in Finding Twenty One Pilots Pirate

Courtesy Photo
Twenty one pilots in the video for "Heathens."

Suicide Squad the film has not leaked ahead of its release this Friday. The soundtrack on the other hand… Atlantic Records is seeking Reddit’s help in finding the source who prematurely released the soundtrack’s first single, "Heathens" by Twenty One Pilots, thereby torpedoing a carefully orchestrated marketing plan that was set to begin only a week later.

According to a complaint filed to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Atlantic gave a digital copy of the song to an "extremely limited number of individuals" that included the band’s manager, assorted label executives and members of Atlantic’s radio staff. The track was going to be unveiled on June 24, but nine days earlier (June 15) someone uploaded the the song to Slovakian file-sharing site Dropfile and then advertised the leak on 21P’s subreddit page.

As Torrentfreak points out, the Reddit entry -- which is still live -- is the first and only post by a user named "twentyoneheathens." Many of the post’s comments surround whether the song is authentic, while others question the very origin of the leak. One user writes that the culprit likely "made a new account under the name, so that they can't be traced and sued… It’s a common practice on reddit."

Twenty One Pilots' 'Heathens' Tears Up Rock Charts With Big Debut

Downloaded copies of the track soon emerged on YouTube and other hosting sites, and Atlantic began a takedown campaign that quickly involved both the RIAA and BPI. "Despite expending significant effort and funds in this attempt, the removal efforts were ultimately unsuccessful in curtailing further widespread distribution," the label says.

Sensing a lost cause regarding its intended rollout, Atlantic began distributing "Heathens" on June 16, a day after the song appeared on Dropfile (as amplified via Reddit). The label says in its complaint that without its "carefully-planned marketing strategy," sales of the single failed to meet expectations, "causing substantial harm to Atlantic in the form of lost single and album sales revenue."

Now, Atlantic is asking the court to compel Reddit to assist them by providing the originating IP address from which the posting was made. The label appears to believe the leaker is either an employee or someone who received the song from an employee, who would be in breach of his or her contract for doing so. Dropfile isn't being asked for help, presumably because it does not log information about users.

It's unclear whether Reddit plans on complying with the subpoena. A request for comment from the popular website was not immediately returned.

Suicide Squad, starring Viola Davis, Jared Leto and Will Smith, hits theaters on Friday. The soundtrack, which includes songs by Skrillex, Lil Wayne, Grimes and Creedence Clearwater Revival, arrives the same day.