31st May 2011 15:20
Scottish nurse handed harsh sentence for non-commercial file-sharing
The UK Pirate Party are disappointed and concerned with the news today that Anne Muir, a 58-year-old axillary Nurse Ayr who is said to suffer from depression, has been handed what we believe to be a massively disproportionate sentence of 3 years probation for sharing music.
Her non-commercial activities were singled out during an investigation by Record Label Trade bodies after which Strathclyde Police raided her home in Ayr. It is concerning that industry lobby groups are both leading our politicians in drafting copyright law, and also the police and courts in enforcement of it, despite claiming elsewhere not to be interested in criminalising music lovers. This process is completely counter to any rational view of how an independent investigation should proceed, and this was to be the only expected result.
In previous cases involving alleged criminal file-sharing, many defendants, as in this case, have been persuaded to plead guilty and subsequently convicted. In none of the cases was the evidence gathered by the BPI ever tested.
I am hugely dismayed at this disproportionate sentence. The evidence should have been properly tested in court. It seems now there is a pattern of copyright lobby groups targeting vulnerable people to score quick wins for publicity.
- Loz Kaye, Leader of the UK Pirate Party.