British Student Loses Extradition Battle Over Copyright Violation

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British Student Loses Extradition Battle Over Copyright Violation

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TVShack operator Richard O'Dweyer is set to face the US justice system, despite never having set foot in the country.

Earlier, we reported on the case of Richard O'Dwyer, the 23-year-old British student facing extradition to the US over his part in creating popular torrent site, TVShack. Last Friday, a judge in the UK ruled that there were no valid reasons why O'Dwyer shouldn't be sent to New York state for trial. O'Dwyer faces charges of copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright, both of which carry a five year maximum sentence. O'Dwyer intends to appeal to the verdict.

"There are said to be direct consequences of criminal activity by Richard O'Dwyer in the USA, albeit by him never leaving the north of England," said district judge Quentin Purdy. "Such a state of affairs does not demand a trial here if the competent UK authorities decline to act, and does, in my judgment, permit one in the USA."

O'Dwyer set up TVShack.net, which brought in as much as 15,000 per month in ad revenue during its peak, when he was 19. Like all torrent sites, TVShack didn't host any of the copyright infringing files directly. Instead, it acted as a search engine, providing links to torrent files from which users could download the material. Torrent sites are a legal gray area in the UK. As O'Dwyer's defense pointed out; the only UK prosecution of a similar site, TV-Links, was thrown out last year.

Many question whether O'Dwyer should face trial in the US, considering that he's never been to the states and TVShack didn't use US servers. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, however, maintains that any internet domain ending in .com or .net is fair game for US authorities as the company that provides those particular suffixes falls under US jurisdiction.

Source: The Guardian

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TVShack didn't use US servers.

Bingo! the crime was committed on the country in which the website was hosted on the server. Not in the US.Any ending domains has no relevance as any organisation/register may have any domains especially .com and .net because there are no restrictions of use.

We all know why this is happening, the UK government doesn't have any balls to stand-up against the US in case it may damage this "special relationship".

10-years for 2 charges of Criminal copyright infringement. Non-criminal copyright infringement itself is a civil matter and would never carry a jail sentence.

He's in the UK. He didn't break any UK laws. He should not be facing trial.
The US would never extradite one of their own if were the other way around, especially not for something so petty... I really wish we'd stop being such bitches when it comes to our "special relationship"

mad825:

TVShack didn't use US servers.

Bingo! the crime was committed on the country in which the website was hosted on the server. Not in the US.Any ending domains has no relevance as any organisation/register may have any domains especially .com and .net because there are no restrictions of use.

We all know why this is happening, the UK government doesn't have any balls to stand-up against the US in case it may damage this "special relationship".

They are going on the basis that it was still had to route through the US in Virginia, meaning the Federal Court would be New York City.

Definitely a tricky one. While he is most certainly guilty, I don't think he should be extradited on such a (comparatively) weak basis - "he's never been to the states and TVShack didn't use US servers" should mean he can only be prosecuted by more relevant authorities - would it be that different if he had chosen a different suffix?

On the other hand, being a UK citizen myself, I am almost definitely biased, and the question over where US jurisdiction begins and ends has been going on for a long time. I have also not studied internet law, just a few months on contract and delict/tort (negligence and compensation) law. Going into criminal law next semester, so I may one day have actual authority on what I babble on here!

mad825:

TVShack didn't use US servers.

Bingo! the crime was committed on the country in which the website was hosted on the server. Not in the US.Any ending domains has no relevance as any organisation/register may have any domains especially .com and .net because there are no restrictions of use.

We all know why this is happening, the UK government doesn't have any balls to stand-up against the US in case it may damage this "special relationship".

If you hide behind legal technicalities to make money out of advertising piracy don't be surprised when the big boys find some other legal technicalities to drop on you from a great height. If you can't do the time don't do the crime.

Sorry to repeat myself, but I believe that the government need to know our displeasure.
If you are a UK citizen please sign this if you want to.
We need to change this one-sided Extradition Act. Epetitions have been successful in the past, so this could work.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22467

Edit:

albino boo:

If you hide behind legal technicalities to make money out of advertising piracy don't be surprised when the big boys find some other legal technicalities to drop on you from a great height. If you can't do they time don't do the crime.

It isn't a crime in the UK. I'm also pretty sure that Google does this on a larger scale.

Shadie777:
mSorry to repeat myself, but I believe that the government need to know our displeasure.
If you are a UK citizen please sign this if you want to.
We need to change this one-sided Extradition Act. Epetitions have been successful in the past, so this could work.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22467

Signed. Didn't one go through recently that says any member of the US armed forces can pull you out of your bed at night and drag you from your crying children with no reason?

Well, this is a trial born to fail.

Innovation online is a very tricky area; an agregation site listing torrents technically hosts nothing but links. The argument here is pretty easy to make; he didn't host any copywrited material he simply linked to it acting as a middle-man.

The agrument that he shouldn't be extradited is an even stronger one; there is no charge to answer in the UK. He didn't break UK law. He didn't use US servers, he's never set fott on US soil and he certainly isn't a US citizen. There is also an argument that he is likely to be made an example of by the US courts since they so rarely manage to get convictions on the issue.

All in all this is VERY shakey; the agreement was primarly set up to extradite terrorists and serious criminals not make examples of 23 year old bedroom coders. If anything its TERRIBLE PR for the whole process of enforcing copywrite. It makes him into the underdog hero and them into pretty beurocratts looking reach out and pluck him from somewhere where his actions were legal.

I highly doubt that if he'd used the domain tvshack.co.uk they wouldn't of extradited him. They'd have just found another bs reason to get him over there.

USA showing proudly that they are the Worlds police.

albino boo:

mad825:

TVShack didn't use US servers.

Bingo! the crime was committed on the country in which the website was hosted on the server. Not in the US.Any ending domains has no relevance as any organisation/register may have any domains especially .com and .net because there are no restrictions of use.

We all know why this is happening, the UK government doesn't have any balls to stand-up against the US in case it may damage this "special relationship".

If you hide behind legal technicalities to make money out of advertising piracy don't be surprised when the big boys find some other legal technicalities to drop on you from a great height. If you can't do they time don't do the crime.

Yeah, cause the US should go out and extradite other nationals that did not commit crimes under their own countries laws, but broke US laws. If they were going to be consistent about it fine, but no. Where are they setting the preceded, is with piracy. Piracy joins terrorism and depictions of sexual activity, as the 3 things that normal rule of law and civil rights can be eroded via. And we muppets are happy for it to happen, not realizing that these 3 are being used as thin ends of wedges to destroy the rule of law we have had up to now. The only reason this bs extradition treaty was setup was due to terrorism. See just back it was setup to get those nasty terrorists, it then gets uses for something where no-one expected. Odd how that happens. As in give them an inch they take a mile.

Lock someone up without trial (even US citizens). Sure no problem.
Torture people against the Geneva convension. Sure no problem.
Make illegal depictions of sexual acts that themselves are legal. Sure no problem.
Drag foreign nationals to your country to stand trial for something that happened outside your boarders. Sure no problem.

Rather than civil rights progressing they seem to be regressing back a couple of centuries. And people are happy for it to happen just in case the terrorists, paedo's or pirates get them or their jobs. Sometime I despise my fellow human beings.

This is such bullshit, it's unbelievable.

It sets a such ridiculous precedent, it makes me wonder if they thought about the ramifications at all.Should they arrest store owners from other countries because what the US governement sees as underage when it comes to alcohol can buy it there?
Because this is exactly the same thing.

In short, fuck you US justice system, good luck to this man, and good luck to UK citizens who will I hope against this.

Tubez:
USA showing proudly that they are the Worlds police.

That's 'Team America' World Police. America, F@*k Yeah....

NOBODY but NOBODY owns the internet!

US seems such a third world country here again. The criminal system in there must be a joke.

To be fair though UK is much bigger joke here if they actually extradite him. How can they even considerer with a straight face to extradite one of their own citizens who has not broken any laws in uk or done anything illegal in there either. Perhaps UK should grow a bit of a backbone.

un-fucking-believable, this is the most asinine thing I have read to date, first of all regardless of whether or not he committed a crime (which I don't think he did, google and youtube have lead me to copyright material and they never get busted).

He was sold out by his country, AND YES HE WAS, what he did was not a crime in his country, and last time I checked if it's not illegal in your country you are allowed to do it, if he wasn't supposed to UK law would say he wasn't supposed to.

Now if you will all excuse me I need to go read up on US law since now we all apparently have to abide by it

What a load of BS. If positions were reversed, the US would NEVER EVER allow a US citizen to be extradited to the UK.

Shame on you, UK justice. And it's not the first time (McKinnon, Assange, and who knows how many more).

[Please don't take this in any way as a defense of what this guy allegedly did. Just a comment on how low the UK will bow to please our US overlords.]

wow that blows.

still, a bit funny, on the SOPA articles i remember reading about some uk citizens saying "hahaha like i give a fuck, i'm not a US citizen"

to that, i say LOL, doesn't matter apparently. that shit needs to be burned in hell.

wow, now the US thinks it has the authority to try someone from across the pond? They should get over their fucking selves, this is giving many americans a terrible image

Just tell them to try and take one of our citizens with this weak excuse, you want him that bad? Then invade and completely destroy any favourable opinions of you. Either that or fuck off and stop bullying people.

Huh, didn't know that the UK is the USA's bitch.
The More You Know.

This will be dragged out so long that the US will have nothing to gain from any possible prosecution. Firstly an appeal will be lodges with the court, should that fail any good defence lawyer would take it straight to the European Court of Human Rights, probably taking up another 2-3 years. All the while his local MP will be bombarded with so many e-mails it would have to be brought up in a parliamentary meeting, possibly going up in the house of lords.

If the U.S. government's trying to make me openly despise America, they're doing quite a decent job at it.
I hope human rights groups are going to jump into action over this. This is the equivalent to extraordinary rendition except the U.S. is conducting it in broad daylight.

Let's just let the US have SOPA, and make a second, free internet for international citizens, seeing as the US feels the internet belongs to them.

10 says that now the SOPA bill has been blocked and the US no longer needs a sacrificial lamb to cement it the guy will be allowed to be tried in the UK.

Oh look America's trying to police the entire internet again. Joy.

Speaking AS a man living in America...

This is a really shitty thing to demand extradition for. Go find those yahoos that cause actual damage or are inherently malicious. What's this? White collar crime and the matter of whether it's actually criminal in question? Pathetic. By god, find something better to do with your time. Entertainment is not worth pulling a guy out of the country for.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the U.S. Justice System amounts to these days: if you don't have the money, do the time.

I've seen less childish actions in Halo games.

This is an absolute disgrace. Genuinely, this is just horrible. He hasn't committed a crime over here, he hasn't even been to the USA, and he hasn't committed a crime in the US, since his site wasn't on USA servers.

I hope he wins the appeal, otherwise we're pretty much saying to the USA that they can take anyone they want. Soon they'll have Torrenters deported so they can sue them in US courts.

so anything with the suffix of .com or .net falls under US jurisdiction, unless they have another suffix along the lines of .uk (which I know they do) or something like .com.au or whatever, this means that pretty much everything on the internet that isn't privately owned by a corporation or government body (i.e. .org or .gov) falls under US jurisdiction regardless of the server location, that seems fair, (sarcasm) so America isn't content on policing world politics now it wants to police the internet too, just because they can..... Had the server been located in the US i would understand but this is just ridiculous, if this goes forward, the US will essentially have free reign to prosecute who they please so long as they have a website....

This is bullshit. This reminds me of the autistic kid in Europe who hacked into the US to find out about aliens. I hate how my country is such a huge dick. Sorry guys.

Before all the "America is policing the world" comments come in, just remember britian could have told us to fuck off, but they chose not to. You can only police the world when the world lets you.

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