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Article posted Sep 02 2011, 5:10 AM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Rick Falkvinge Print

Horrific: Two Years, Heavy Fine For 60-Year-Old Music File Sharer

by Rick Falkvinge

Today, the verdict was announced in the case of Uppsala, Sweden, where a 60-year-old had shared 2,880 music tracks on a DirectConnect hub. The man was sentenced to two years of conditional jail, and fined for 40 days’ worth of his income (day fine).

Two years in jail is the maximum sentence under Swedish law for ignoring the distribution monopoly on culture. Swedish Public Radio reports on the verdict (in Swedish). This is just insane beyond words.

Not surprisingly, the Swedish Pirate Party leader, Anna Troberg, doesn’t pull punches in her comments.

Media downplays the verdict somewhat, as the jail sentence was conditional (equivalent to probation), but that doesn’t matter from a legal standpoint — while the man will probably never set foot in jail, that was because of his specific circumstances.

Here are some other recent verdicts in Sweden, just for scale:
…and, apparently, sharing your favorite music: two years, although on probation in this case.

I have no words. This needs to come to senses. The copyright monopoly needs to dismantle, the worst pieces first. One of those worst pieces is obviously the one that could put a man in jail for two years for sharing music.

Two years ago, when these and similar laws were written, I said that the politicians are acting like drunken blindfolded elephants trumpeting about in an egg packaging facility. Now, we are starting to see the results.

If this is not enough to cause an uproar of “enough is enough!”, then what is?
Rick Falkvinge is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He is also a net activist, building tunnels and tools whenever and wherever.

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