Yesterday, I was on Scottish radio discussing the upcoming verdict of Anne Muir, a 58-year-old grandmother of eight who was about to be convicted for sharing music with other people. She had confessed, so it was just a matter of sentence.
I was pitched live on radio against one of the monopoly industry’s usual shills who did the usual propaganda dance.
But when the verdict was handed down, I would absolutely not believe it. She was sentenced to three years in jail and compulsory psychiatric counseling.
The fact that the sentence was suspended is irrelevant from a legal standpoint; it still counts as a jail sentence. For sharing music!? For infringing on a commercial obsolete distribution monopoly!?
TorrentFreak has also covered the verdict.
Sharing culture and knowledge is not just a non-crime in the mind of the public; it is a good deed. A strong positive The ancien regime is escalating the conflict with the general population to levels never seen before. Just for comparison, physical assault causing hospitalization carries a maximum sentence of two years, usually two to three months.
One of the things that led up to the French Revolution was a distribution monopoly on certain popular fabric patterns. The penalty for infringing on the monopoly was death by prolonged torture, usually three days of agony. Almost everybody knew somebody who had been executed for infringing the pattern monopoly, and it didn’t make a dent in people’s willingness to share.
I have written one blog post about this in Swedish; I should probably make a version two in English. Anyway, my point is this:
Do we really have to go there again?