Norwich City kit published on internet by boy ahead of launch

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Media captionChris Brown said he was deeply sorry and regretted his actions

A 17-year-old Norwich City fan has angered the club by leaking pictures of its new kit 12 hours before the official launch.

Norfolk Police were called in after IT student Chris Brown published images of the 2012-13 strip on the internet.

Chris has apologised to the club, which said it would protect its intellectual property at all times.

Police have said all parties had agreed the matter could be resolved through a "face-to-face" meeting.

The teenager, from Norwich, managed to obtain the pictures from the club's kit launch website as it was being updated.

He said he then posted the images on Twitter.

Source code

In a statement Norfolk Police confirmed they had investigated an offence of unauthorised access to computer data, under the Computer Misuse Act , after being contacted by the football club.

A police spokesman added: "It has subsequently been agreed by all parties that the matter can be resolved through a face-to-face meeting."

The teenager said: "I'm sorry for any offence I might have caused to the club, but I would never do anything malicious or spiteful because I do have an interest and love the football club."

The season ticket-holder, who has followed the team home and away since he was about 11 or 12 years old, said he was called by the football club at 04:30 BST on Wednesday after posting the new kit on Twitter and internet forums on Tuesday night.

He said he was "shocked" to receive the telephone call, during which the club asked him how he obtained the pictures and where he had posted them.

Chris told the BBC he was able to take the images from a section of the site that was being worked on, finding them linked from a file within the website's source code.

Any computer user can view this through their internet browser.

When asked by the BBC whether he thought posting the pictures was wrong, Chris said: "Not at first, maybe when I was getting retweets and mentions from people on Twitter that's when I sort of thought 'should I really have done this?', and I do regret it."

His mother Trish Brown said: "I feel Norwich could have handled it better.

"I feel they could have spoken to Chris and myself... and just discussed why he'd done it, asked him a few more questions, before involving the police."

Image caption The kit for next season was unveiled at Carrow Road on Wednesday

She added: "He knows he's probably done wrong by taking it a bit further, but that was just excitement to show other people what he had done."

The club's chief executive David McNally said he had asked for a report into what happened.

He said: "We are the guardians of the football club whilst we're here and so we will protect our property.

"And our property in the digital age involves our intellectual property, so we won't allow anybody to come in and take it from us."

Copyright infringement is only a criminal offence if someone makes money from it or causes the copyright owner serious damage.

If that is not the case, it would be up to the club to take action - not the police.

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