First Scot convicted of illegal file sharing gets 3 years probation

Wed 1st of June 2011, filed under Internet News

First Scot to be convicted of illegal file sharing

Anne Muir has admitted to the illegal distribution of £54,000 worth of copyrighted music, receiving a 3 year probation sentence

Muir's illegal activities were brought to light following an official investigation by the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) and the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). She pleaded guilty at Ayr Sheriff Court to contravening section 107(1)(e) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Using a peer-to-peer file sharing application, 58-year-old Anne Muir, from Ayr in south-west Scotland, was able to distribute £54,000 worth of copyrighted music files. The investigation into her activities resulted in a complaint being made to Strathclyde Police and a subsequent search of her home. During the search police seized computer equipment, finding 7,493 digital music files and 24,243 karaoke files? estimated to be worth £54,792 on the mainstream market.

Peer-to-peer sharing to build self-esteem

The BBC reported that around 7.7million people illegally downloaded music last year. This statistic means that recording artists are missing out on a huge amount of money that they are owed. The US cracked down on peer-to-peer file sharing last year when it shut down file sharing site LimeWire. The site was found liable for copyright infringement. Muir's conviction is an example of the music industry and the Scottish authority's fight to deter people from downloading music illegally.

Muir's defence lawyer claimed that the purpose of excessive file sharing was to gain recognition from peers and build up her self-esteem. He suggested that she had not shared the files for any financial gain, but in fact did it as a result of depression. She will also receive psychiatric counselling.

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