British student can be extradited to US over website

Jan 13, 2012

A British student who created a website allowing people to watch films and TV shows for free can be extradited to the the US to answer copyright infringement allegations, a court ruled Friday.

Richard O'Dwyer, a 23-year-old student at Sheffield Hallam University in northern England, allegedly earned thousands of pounds (dollars) through advertising on the TVShack website before it was closed down by US authorities.

He faces jail if found guilty of the charges, which were brought after a crackdown by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

His lawyer Ben Cooper indicated during the hearing at London's Westminster Magistrates Court that he would appeal the decision, which if implemented would make O'Dwyer the first British citizen to be extradited for such an offence.

"I am obviously disappointed with the judge's decision today," O'Dwyer said outside court, but added that he had "faith" that he could win an appeal.

His mother Julia O'Dwyer, from Chesterfield in northern England, was close to tears when she came out of the hearing and said she was "disgusted".

In a statement she condemned Britain's extradition treaty with the United States, saying: "Why are we pandering to the US in this way? I'm appalled. We will look to appeal to a higher court without delay."

Cooper had argued in court that the did not store copyright material itself and merely directed users to other sites, making it similar to .

The lawyer also argued that his client was being used as a "guinea pig" for copyright law in the United States.

But District Judge Quentin Purdy ruled the extradition could go ahead.

He said he was satisfied that the alleged conduct would constitute an offence under British law, adding that although facing trial abroad was "daunting", it was important that justice worked across borders.

"Enforcement of cross-border criminal justice is intended, in part at least, to ensure alleged victims of crime and the wider public confidence in criminal justice is not thwarted by national borders," he said.

The heard that after O'Dwyer was arrested in London in November 2010, he admitted to police that he owned and and earned about £15,000 (18,000 euros, $23,000) a month from online advertising.

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

U.S., British hackers face the music

May 10, 2006

Only two days after U.S. federal authorities sentenced a 21-year-old to five years in prison for hacking computers, the British government ruled that one of its citizens should be extradited to the United States for hacking ...

WikiLeaks Julian Assange fights extradition

Jul 13, 2011

(AP) -- Lawyers for Julian Assange on Wednesday focused their fight against the WikiLeaks chief's extradition to Sweden on technicalities - trying to punch holes through the warrant seeking his arrest.

British teen remanded in custody over hacking

Jun 23, 2011

A British teenager charged with attacking websites as part of an international hacking group was remanded in police custody by a court Thursday while he assists a police investigation. ...

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jan 13, 2012
Ahhhh, next up, extradition of American 'free choice' advocates to Saudi Arabia for the offence of soliciting abortion...penalty..
STONED TO DEATH! And next up, extradition of the Texas prosecutor of that Jeffs creep as soon as he converts to Islam, cuz what he did is legal there, and that prosecutor is now an 'Insulter of Islam' and can be taken to Taliban Pakistan to be tortured and put to death there. Not to mention that China can now extradite American citizens for 'anti-Chinese activities' for demonstrating for Taiwanese freedom, etc. This is a two edged sword, and the way is open for any tin pot dictator to grab American citizens off the street for violating any weird foreign or Sharia law. The Saudis could concievably grab the wives of politicians for forced female genital mutilation, or force mass conversion of whole populations under pain of death in a foreign country. Just threaten the oil supply even a little bit....
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2012
You got it backward. so far it's the US which wants to grab British citizens. so which tin pot dictator are you referring to? Obama?
4 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2012
Since there are extradition treaties between Yankville and England, the extradition is a legally sanctioned matter.

My understanding is that in this case the Judge believes that pointing to a pirate file is a violation of British law as well as American law and hence the extradition is justified.

It occurs to me that the illegality of pointing to a pirate file is a violation of a fundamental right to free speech, and as we all know, America is a hypocrite nation.

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

( —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...