When an album leaks online before it arrives in stores, it can be a real punch in the gut. New releases from Guns N' Roses, Metallica and AC/DC have all found their way onto peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks weeks before their release, proving that even the most closely guarded projects are vulnerable. But it's not the end of the world. After angrily beating your head against the wall, there are several measures you can implement to mitigate the damage. Here are five recommendations not intended for artists or managers who deliberately leak their own material.

Find The Source

Leaks infuriate managers and artists, because they usually occur after an album has been delivered to the label. The culprit is often someone in the production chain who's gone rogue or an A&R rep trusting the wrong person with an advance copy. So the label needs to take every step possible to determine where the leak occurred and take action against who is responsible. "You can't unring the bell," Gartner analyst Mike McGuire says. "But if it is an internal leak, then somebody needs to be punished."

Stop The Bleeding
Once the leak has sprung, it's almost impossible to stop it from spreading. But targeting ...

Click here for the full article, including how and why to communicate with fans once the leak has sprung, the release date strategy and more.