Insane, Repulsive: Grandmother Of Eight Sentenced To Three Years Jail For Sharing Music

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?

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. piratbloggar (Piratpartiet Live!)

    Falkvinge on Infopolicy: Insane, Repulsive: Grandmother Of Eight Sentenced To Three Years Jail For Sharing…

  2. urbansundstrom (Urban Sundstrom)

    RT @falkvinge Insane, Repulsive: Grandmother Of Eight Sentenced To Three Years .. #copyright #madness

  3. lillebrorsan (@lillebrorsan) (@lillebrorsan)

    Falkvinge: Insane, Repulsive: Grandmother Of Eight Sentenced To Three Years Jail For Sharing Music

  4. Hugo Krantz (@hugokrantz)

    Galet! RT @Falkvinge: on #infopolicy: Insane, Repulsive: Grandmother Of Eight Sentenced To Three Years Jail For…

  5. Ninja

    As I said before: and the UK has succeeded in holding a dangerous criminal at bay and making the streets a safer place. Srsly?

  6. Jakob W (@jakobwi)

    Av. GBH sentence is 2 yrs. Grandma of 8 sharing music? 3 yrs + compulsory psych counselling /via @Falkvinge

  7. cataspanglish (@cataspanglish)

    Insane, Repulsive: Grandmother Of Eight Sentenced To Three Years Jail For Sharing Music

  8. jeffer

    To restrict perfectly natural behaviour like copying and sharing tens of thousands and even tens of millions of songs, the most extreme repression must be used. And it may still fail.

    The Catholic hegemony and absolute kings tried to destroy Protestantism to no avail.

    The rhetoric of repressionen:

    “Wherein hath (Petrus) Ramus been so offensious?
    … I say, Ramus shall die:
    How answer you that?”

    – Christopher Marlowe

    Soon we will have real martyrs in the cause of internet freedom. And they will just make us stronger….

  9. richardpitt (@richardpitt) (@richardpitt) – music industry causes 50% greater punishment for copying than you might get for assault with bodily harm!!! Nuts!!!

  10. Rickard Olsson

    This relatively lenient sentence may be due to the defense that she has a mental disorder for “hoarding” 7,493 music files. If that’s mental, I must be a total looney.

  11. Travis McCrea

    While I never publicly discuss my sanity because one of my ex girlfriends is bound to find the conversation and ensure everyone knows the million reasons why I am NOT sane — I will say this:

    This is simply an act of war from the justice systems of the world on humanity. I don’t mean the word “war” lightly either, I mean this is casus belli for a revolution.

  12. carles (@carles_tm) (@carles_tm) 58 year old woman sentenced to three years of jail for sharing music.

  13. […] att Internet ingår som en naturlig den av en bostad där. För även om man är sjuk eller gammal så borde man få använda […]

  14. Finlay

    Rick, you were on the radio here? Should’ve told me! 😉

    What’s also quite out of order in this case was the amount of influence that the BPI/IFPI had over the investigation, as well as the fact that she was charged under the wrong section (she was charged under the section designed for major commercial infringement, rather than the one specifically for filesharing), and that because she plead guilty none of the evidence was tested in court.

    Incidentally, do you remember what time and what radio station you were on? I might try and find it 🙂

  15. Makelle

    If one can get compulsory psychiatric counseling for this kind of disorder one wonders in what way that sort of counseling differs from one offered by way of one’s own free will? In what way will the counselor offer treatment for this unhealthy and obviously condemnable psychiatric disorder?

    How many individuals do they believe suffer from this kind of ‘musically inflicted disorder’ comprising of individuals whose only symptom is that of sharing music with other people?

    Since there are so many people sharing music these days and in all sorts of ways one wonders where they managed to round up a jury completely unimpaired with this sort of behavior?

  16. avs

    The State has no right to sentence people for three years and force feed them with psychiatric nonsential shit.
    If this is what has come of copyright law, then copyright law itself has lost the case for it´s validity.
    Time to suspend remaining copyright acts.

  17. Papa Djabs (@papadjabs)

    Insane, Repulsive: Grandmother Of Eight Sentenced To Three Years Jail For Sharing Music

  18. Jean-Pierre Rupp

    I’d really like to dig into that story regarding the French Revolution and fabric patterns. Please post a link to more information. I tend to draw similarities between current patent and copyright laws with medieval obscurantism and inquisition. It’s frighteningly similar.

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