British student can be extradited to US over website

January 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.

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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.

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