The Internet is alive with the sound of Madonna's "Music"... but a bit prematurely.
Madonna's upcoming album "Music" isn't set to drop until late September or early October, yet snippets ranging from 30 seconds to upwards of three minutes of the title track were leaked into cyberspace via fan sites and Napster over the weekend.
On Wednesday afternoon, Madonna's manager Caresse Norman issued the following statement to MTV News' Kurt Loder: "The music was stolen and was not intended for release for several months. It is still a work in progress. Ultimately those sites that offered a download of Madonna's music are violating her rights as an artist."
Warner Bros. Records, the parent of Madonna's Maverick Recording Company, released a far sterner statement, calling copyright infringement an "extremely serious matter," threatening that "any site that does not remove our copyrighted material runs the risk of civil and criminal prosecution."
London recording sessions for "Music" have concluded, and just a few weeks ago in Los Angeles, the video for the "Music" single was filmed with "Ray Of Light" director Jonas Akerlund. The crewmembers on the shoot were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, but one source did tell MTV News that the video -- under wraps till September -- was filmed in April to accommodate Madonna's schedule, her pregnancy, and her rapidly expanding waistline.
"Music," a throbbing, funked-up dance track, was co-produced by Madonna and French-Afghani club artist Mirwais, who shares production duties on the album "Music" with "Ray Of Light" mastermind William Orbit. Mirwais is currently negotiating with a U.S. record label to distribute his U.K. debut album "Production," which features Madonna on the track "Paradise (But Not For Me)."
Coincidentally, Madonna is expecting her second child, fathered by British director Guy Ritchie, in September, about the same time that "Music" is tentatively
slated for release (see "Madonna Expecting Second Child").