Madonna To Pirates: ‘What The F— Do You Think You’re Doing?’

Singer lashes out at file traders on P2P networks.

File traders, Madonna has a question for you: “What the f— do you think you’re doing?”

That’s the message you’re likely to get if you try to download songs from the singer’s upcoming American Life, due April 22, on peer-to-peer networks such as Limewire or KaZaA.

The spoofed file — a planted fake meant to thwart illegal downloading — recently began flooding P2P networks. Madonna’s spokesperson could not be reached for comment. Other spoofed files containing Madonna’s salty tirade appeared on KaZaA in versions of the new songs “Nobody Knows Me” and “X-Static Process.”

If you don’t get the message from Madonna, you will more than likely find a phony file that’s been circulating for several weeks, a four-minute loop of the chorus from the album’s title track and first single.

As with many new releases, the Madonna album has been kept under tight wraps to avoid piracy, with promotional copies being held back from journalists until just before the official release.

Similar security measures preceded the release of Linkin Park’s Meteora, with numerous spoofed tracks from that album blanketing P2P networks, many consisting of looped interview quotes from the band’s members or repeated sections of songs (see “Digital Decoys Are Making Frustrated Pirates Say ‘Arrr’ “ ). Both Linkin Park and Madonna are on Warner Bros. Records.

Though they are reluctant to divulge their client list, a number of companies have been working with labels to create spoofed files in an effort to make illegal downloading frustrating and to steer consumers toward such legal download sites as Pressplay, MusicNet and Rhapsody.

You can hear a legitimate, full-length preview of Madonna’s new album, American Life, on MTV.com’s the Leak.

Often guilty, never convicted. Serving 15 years to life at MTV News.