British Student Faces Extradition to US Over Piracy Link Site

A student from the UK is facing possible extradition to the states because he ran a website that linked to pirated content.

23-year-old Richard O’Dwyer’s website TVShack has since been seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but O’Dwyer’s lawyers argue that criminal charges should be brought in Britain, because the site was never hosted on US servers. O’Dwyer’s mother spoke to the Telegraph and said the extradition threat was unfair to her son:

Mrs O’Dwyer, a nurse to terminally ill children, said her son had been “foolish” not to understand the implications of copyright. “If Richard has done something wrong it is right it is dealt with,” she said. “But it doesn’t seem right that Richard, who hasn’t been to America since he was five years old, should be taken there. No one would be able to visit him and he could be waiting in prison for a couple of years before his case is even heard. He should be tried here.”

O’Dwyer’s lawyer adds:

“The server was not based in the US at all. Mr O’Dwyer did not have copyrighted material on his website; he simply provided a link. The essential contention is that the correct forum for this trial is in fact here in Britain, where he was at all times.”

O’Dwyer has been formally charged, but trial is pending.