Richard O’Dwyer has never set foot in the United States but a British Judge has just ruled that he may be extradited to the United States to face copyright charges stemming from his piracy site, TVShack.
O’Dwyer’s site didn’t actually host any pirated content but it did provide links to other sites where people could watch pirated movies and TV shows for free.
Wired reports that the original URL, TVShack.net, was seized by US authorities in July 201o. The website was moved to TVShack.cc, which was also seized in November 201o. UK authorities have not filed any criminal charges against O’Dwyer, but US officials want him tried for copyright infringement in the United States. O’Dwyer faces 5-10 years if he is convicted.
O’Dwyer argued that he would not get a fair trial in the United States, but District Judge Quentin Purdy rejected his plea. Purdy said:
“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.”
O’Dwyer’s mother said she was disgusted with the British government “for signing us up to this treaty which has opened the flood gates to America to come and seize British citizens without even having set foot outside of this country.”
Do you think Richard O’Dwyer should be extradited to the United States? Do you think he’ll get a fair trial?