Pirated versions of U2’s new album, “How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” have emerged on Internet file-sharing networks two weeks before it goes on sale, throwing into question its official release date.
A London spokesperson for the band would only say that U2 was aware of the illicit copies, but that no decision had yet been made on changing the release date. “Atomic Bomb” is due for release Nov. 22 in Europe and the following day in the United States.
This summer, a tape containing rough tracks from the upcoming album went missing from a studio in Nice, France, where the band was recording. At the time, U2 said it might move up the release date if the tracks appear online first.
Concerns about pre-release piracy have already forced labels to shift release dates for three major fourth-quarter albums. Interscope moved Eminem’s “Encore” from Nov. 16 to Nov. 12 and Snoop Dogg’s “R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece” from Nov. 23 to Nov. 16.
Last week, Columbia brought forward the release of Destiny’s Child’s “Destiny Fulfilled” from Nov. 16 to Nov. 15.
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