Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Scottish court convicts woman despite OCD

Scotland has handed down its first conviction related to unlicensed music use, with Anne Muir pleading guilty to one charge. Torrentfreak reports:

On May 10th 2011, it was widely reported that Anne Muir, a 58-year-old woman from Scotland, had pleaded guilty to criminal file-sharing offences. The conviction of Muir, a grandmother from Ayr, represented the first case of its type in the country.
[...]
Today the decision on sentencing was handed down.
[...]
Muir had faced 10 criminal charges but pleaded guilty to only one of sharing music but “not to any extent”.
[...]
“Ms Muir did not make any money. What she did was not commercial,” said the Sheriff. “She is a first offender so imprisonment would not be beneficial.”
[...]
Muir was put on probation for 3 years and ordered to attend mandatory cognitive therapy treatment sessions for her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
So, the court found she had OCD, and decided that even so she had to be given a criminal record as well? If there's an acceptance that she had a mental precondition to hoard, and that this has led her to hoard music (and karaoke tracks), then why is she also being given a criminal record?

There's something else odd about this case:
Muir, an auxiliary nurse, was said to have amassed a collection of media including some 7,493 music files and 24,243 karaoke files which she made available via an unnamed Direct Connect hub. Sources at the BPI and IFPI, who conducted the initial investigation into Muir’s activities, placed a ‘market value’ on her collection of £54,792.
So that's 31,376 tracks with a market value of £1.72 a track. Are there any karaoke tracks which sell online for more than a quid? In fact, on CD, karaoke tracks seem to be worth about 5p a pop. How on earth did the BPI get to a market value of nearly fifty-five grand?

I mean, sure, it must be certain of its figures as it wouldn't be perjuring itself, but that seems a surprising valuation by any stretch.


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