British judge: student can be extradited to US for copyright infringement charges
A British Judge has ruled that 23 year old Richard O’Dwyer, a British college student, can be extradited to the United States to face copyright infringement charges. O’Dwyer operated the TVShack website, which served as a link hub, pointing users to content hosted on other sites across the Internet.
Back in July 2011, O’Dwyer was running TVShack, which operated only as a link site. The site pointed users to locations across the web where they could download content. Much of the content linked to by TVShack was infringing on copyright.
During the time when O’Dwyer operated TVShack, neither himself nor his servers were located in the United States. Despite that simple fact, the US government is seeking to have him extradited from Britain to the US to face copyright infringement charges.
Whether or not linking to copyright infringing material is legal in the UK is a matter of debate. One judge has argued that under current British law the operation of a linking site is considered legal in a case that reached its resolution back in 2010.
In November O’Dwyer and his lawyer argued that the student had not broken any laws because TVShack was no different than other search engines like Google or Yahoo. The counter argument given by the US government was that O’Dwyer deliberately promoted links to copyright infringing content on the front page of TVShack, something Google does not do. That makes O’Dwyer responsible in the eyes of the US.
Judge Quentin Purdy of the Westminster Magistrates court sided with the US. His decision included the following statement, “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. 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.”
As expected O’Dwyer’s attorney, Ben Cooper, immediately stated that they would appeal the decision. Cooper claims O’Dwyer would be the first British citizen extradited for this kind of charge and that he would become a “guinea pig.” Cooper is definitely right that this would set quite a precedent regarding extradition in cases of copyright infringement. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is a very dangerous precedent to set. Hopefully O’Dwyer can win this appeal and put a stop to this particular kind of legal madness.
9 Comments on British judge: student can be extradited to US for copyright infringement charges
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- Posted on: 14 Jan 12 04:36
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- Posted on: 14 Jan 12 15:04
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- Posted on: 14 Jan 12 16:21
Now I think the US government would do it under the so called "patriot "act . They would have a citizen arrested & extradited without trial. Of course IMO & in many other US citizens the "patriot" act completely violates the US Constitution.
I will even go as far as to say the US government is violating the Constitution in extraditing this UK citizen. I would consider this "Cruel & unusual punishment" So a violation of the eighth amendment .
I look at this as a so far an innocent person that has not been convicted of any crime in his own country . So it is "Cruel & unusual punishment" to extradite him to a foreign country to be tried for what would even be questionable as a crime in the US.
For example : If you ask me for directions to the gun store & I give them to you. I don't become an accessory to any crime you commit with that gun.
If all this young man did was have a search engine that guided people to what may be sites with illegal activity . I can find the same with Google. It just might be a little more difficult .
It seems that the governments of the world are moving toward what has been predicted by authors of fiction novels. " Brave New World " or "1984" ( & others) where thought crimes are punishable. Even when no actual crime has been committed.
- Mr. Belvedere
- Posts: 18833
- Posted on: 15 Jan 12 03:35
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- Posted on: 15 Jan 12 04:22
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- Posted on: 16 Jan 12 02:36
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- Posted on: 16 Jan 12 17:55
- Posts: 6487
- Posted on: 17 Jan 12 06:15
- Posts: 5360
- Posted on: 17 Jan 12 16:55
We could declare all US currency null & void . Then issue new currency only to US citizens inside the US. Then declare all debts to other countries & foreign businesses void.
Tell them to try & collect if they dare. That is if the US government hasn't really already disassembled all the nukes & we don't have the biological weapons the government denies.
Then for the final thing make import taxes so high nothing will be imported. & only payable in precious metal .
Then see how the rest of the world copes including China.
The US at one time was self-sufficient & we can be again. We have just be lead to believe we can't. It might be hard for four or five years but then we would come out ahead.
I don't see this happening . It seems the US politicians are set on a one world government . With freedom for none but the wealthy. They want the rest of us to grovel for any job at low pay being glad to get that.
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