Richard O’Dwyer, a 23-year-old Sheffield Hallam student, has lost his case against extradition to the US over copyright infringement. The enterprising British founder of TVShack apparently earned some £150,000 in advertising revenue from the site, which linked to pirated episodes of TV shows available online.
Back in November 2010, coppers from the UK and US seized computer equipment from O’Dwyer’s home, although no subsequent charges were made. The US Customs and Border Protection agency called for the extradition of the Brit so that he could face charges of copyright infringement in the US.
Now that Westminster Magistrates’ court has ruled the extradition to be fair, O’Dwyer could face five years in a US prison if convicted.
The crazy thing is that TVShack only linked to infringing content stored on other sites, just like Google. No one ever seems to go after Big G for it though, which I’ve never quite understood. We’re not talking lawsuits for damages here either; we’re talking about criminal charges. O’Dwyer will be the first British citizen extradited over copyright to the US if nothing changes. Certainly sounds like he’s being made an example of because of our “special relationship” with the US. [BBC]
Image credit: US Law from Shutterstock