Feeds

Mentally ill file-sharer had 'low self-esteem'

Still guilty, though

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

A file-sharer made mitigating pleas of mental illness when she pleaded guilty to copyright infringement in a Scottish Court this week.

54-year-old nurse Anne Muir pleaded guilty to sharing £54,000 worth of songs over P2P after an investigation by the BPI and IFPI. But her defence lawyer argued that – in mitigation – she was suffering depression and had low self esteem, as well as having some obsessive-compulsive traits. She admitted to downloading 30,000 songs – in order to build up her self-esteem. She was found with over 24,000 karaoke songs on her PC, and almost 8,000 tracks.

"Learning this new technology and picking up new skills gave her self-esteem a boost. But to be allowed into the network she had to have a certain number of files already," her lawyer argued.

The Pirate Party UK supported this.

"It is disgraceful that Mrs Muir should have been so pursued in such an aggressive and potentially damaging way, rather than given the support she needs in this difficult time," said the Pirate Party's Laura-Anne Riach.

Quite right: social services should step in. Muir should have been given free songs to cheer her up, forgoing the 79p per song demanded by the tyrannical copyright industries and their heartless, jackbooted henchmen.

Low self-esteem and obsessive compulsive behaviour? None of this will be news to anyone following a copyright discussion online.

I was intrigued to find this comment left by a poster called "Rancidpunk", urging the formation of a UK Pirate Party. It exhibits many of the symptoms:

Rancidpunk's YouTube channel includes a mash-Up celebration of Pirates called I Can't Get No GIRLS. I hope I'm not labouring the point.

And the pictures offer further clues.

A sure sign of an obsessive is a 2,000-word comment that appears below a story. With copyright-related stories, one of these can be guaranteed to appear appear within minutes. They only ever come from one side.

Of course, there's real oppression, then there's having to pay for music you want to keep. You can listen to almost anything for free, anyway, thanks to YouTube.

Your reporter's view is that file-sharing is a real joy – that should be legally available. The music industry should concentrate on innovation, and delighting the substantial majority of us who are prepared to pay with new services, as its Number One priority. But it's their stuff, and they're entitled to go after the odd idiot who is too selfish to pay, or too stupid to know the law, if they want to.

One music writer friend of mine attended the small "Open Rights Group" demonstration at Parliament last year, and having taken a look at the assembled huddle, discovered a positive side to internet disconnection.

"Disconnection would be the best thing to happen to some of these people," he told me. "They'd get out the house, meet girls, and go for a walk."

Maybe this could work for 54-year-old nurses, too? ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.