Scottish grandmother sentenced to three years’ probation for illegal filesharing

Ann Muir admitted illegally downloading over £54,000 worth of music

Ann Muir, a 58-year-old nurse and grandmother of eight from Ayr in Scotland has been sentenced to three years probation after admitting she had illegally downloaded over £54,000 worth of music.

She was sentenced yesterday (May 31), after being the subject of a joint investigation between the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

According to The Guardian, Muir was arrested by Strathclyde police after they searched her home and found computer equipment that contained 7,493 digital music files and 24,243 karaoke files.

Muir was sentenced under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998, after pleading guilty in a hearing at Ayr Sherriff Court. She received the sentence despite her lawyers arguing that she had not downloaded the music for financial gain, but so as to build up her self-esteem after suffering from depression. She will receive psychiatric counselling as part of her sentence.

The BPI have welcomed the verdict, saying they were pleased that “the court has recognised that illegal filesharing on a massive scale is a serious matter and has imposed a sentence aimed at preventing such behaviour in future”.