Richard O'Dwyer's US extradition copyright fight
OTOH: Obvious, worrying parallels to Gary McKinnon saga
Published 16:05, 17 June 11
Richard O’Dwyer is facing extradition from the UK to the US on criminal charges of copyright infringement, related to the website TVShack.net.
- On the one hand, there's an argument that the "victims" are in the US, so extradition is appropriate.
- On The Other Hand, what he's alleged to have done doesn't actually seem to be a crime in the US.
Plus, today's skateboarding duck:Simon's Cat, in 'Hidden Treasure'...
Sheffield Hallam University student, Richard O'Dwyer, 23 ... faces extradition ... on copyright infringement charges. ... The accusations relate to a website he set up where films and videos could be watched.
He faces [US charges] of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and ... criminal infringement. ... He faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail in the US.
Glyn Moody waxes apoplectic:
Copyright maximalists are striving to create ... [a] world of global repression and bullying. ... The website was run by a UK national, and hosted in the UK. ... A very similar case involving alleged unauthorised links to copyright material played out a few years ago ... the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty. ... Linking to copyright material ... [isn't] a criminal offence.
This may also explain why in the latest case there is this extraordinary request for extradition, presumably using the infamous US-UK Extradition Treaty 2003 - the same one being used against Gary McKinnon. ... [But] even in the US linking to copyright material does not constitute criminal copyright inducement.
This seems a clear case of bullying by the US, presumably acting as a proxy for the copyright industries ... a foretaste of the world that treaties like ACTA are seeking to create. ... It is disgraceful - but not surprising.
Dean Wilson enquires:
O'Dywer's lawer is Ben Cooper, who is also defending alleged ... hacker Gary McKinnon, who equally faces extradition. ... This is a much less serious charge than McKinnon's.
His mother has pleaded with the UK government to ... deny the extradition demand, which she called disproportionate, unnecessary and deeply truamatic. ... O'Dwyer is due in court again on 12 September.
Mike Masnick opines it's "US copyright interests gone mad":
This is ridiculous. ... TVShack did not host any content and was merely a linking site, which raised questions ... about whether or not it actually violated US copyright law.
Other, very similar sites have been found legal in the UK multiple times. ... So it seems particularly ridiculous ... to extradite the guy to the US to face charges here. ... This just seems blatantly vindictive for no good reason.
Drew Wilson questions the whole basis of the charges:
The details of the case are ... troubling. If someone in Britain can be extradited to the US for linking to copyrighted material, why can’t ... Google, Bing or any other search engine face similar charges? ... It seems like a very questionable response at best.
And Trent Nouveau has a new angle: [You're fired -Ed.]
David Cook, a lawyer who successfully defended an alleged uploader to ... tracker OiNK and an administrator of FileSoup [said] TVShack was operated in similar manner.
"We have been waiting to see how the rights-holder prosecutors would react ... and have now been given the clearest sign. ... He would be moved from a country in which he has a defense, to one in which [he doesn't]. ... Is this the sole purpose of the extradition?"
Today's Skateboarding Duck...
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. His writing has previously won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.