back to article UK student faces extradition to US after piracy case ruling

A 23-year-old student is facing extradition to the US, and possibly five years in a federal prison, after the British courts ruled he should face charges of copyright infringement for linking to websites hosting pirated content. Richard O’Dwyer, a computer science student at Sheffield Hallam University who had never even left …


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  1. LarsG


    would happen. It won't be long before your Gran gets an extradition order against her for not password protecting her WiFi.

    I said this would happen months ago and it has.

    And they call it the 'land of the free'... Yeah right!

    1. Figgus

      It seems to me there is a gulf of difference between hosting infringing material and telling people where to find it.

      Having a bomb is a tad different than telling someone where to find a book on how to build one.

      Google does pretty much the same thing, it links to copyrighted material left and right. All search engines do. What's so special about this kid, and who in the hell thinks a webpage full of links is actually a crime in and of itself?

      1. david wilson

        >>"Google does pretty much the same thing, it links to copyrighted material left and right."

        Well, it has links to all kinds of things, but links to copyrighted material aren't its main business and it wouldn't obviously be worse off without them, nor, as far as I know, does it go out of its way to acquire those links.

        To the extent that there are similarities, there are also significant differences, and it would be faulty logic to say that simply because both sites have links on, they must legally be precisely equal.

        It's a bit like the situation where someone runs a car boot sale where some dodgy stuff is sold, even if they're not doing the selling.

        At one end of the spectrum, someone can't easily police every single item for sale, but there does come a point where the proportion of dodgy goods is so high that the operator was substantially and knowingly profiting from their sale to an extent where their behaviour was definitely less moral, and possibly less legal than that of an average sale organiser.

        Even if where that point is or (should be) might be a matter of opinion, it's not viable to pretend that 'similarity' =='no difference'.

        1. richard 55
          Thumb Down

          "Well, it has links to all kinds of things, but links to copyrighted material aren't its main business and it wouldn't obviously be worse off without them, nor, as far as I know, does it go out of its way to acquire those links."

          Most of the material that Google links to are subject to copyright. There may or may not be material being displayed at the network node that the node owners have the right to display/distribute/disseminate or not, or indeed both.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Pedantic reminder

          '>>"Google does pretty much the same thing, it links to copyrighted material left and right."

          'Well, it has links to all kinds of things, but links to copyrighted material aren't its main business and it wouldn't obviously be worse off without them, nor, as far as I know, does it go out of its way to acquire those links'.

          That turns out not to be the case, as all material on the Web is copyright. In the case of most of it, the copyright owners are very lax (explicitly or implicitly) about enforcement, but as the law stands today in the USA (and the UK AFAIK) everything anyone writes is automatically copyright. Yet the Web is entirely based on the civilized assumption that people can see the enormous all-round benefits of freely sharing information, and will therefore refrain from invoking the lawyers.

          I know what you meant by "copyrighted material", of course: material (which like all other published material is copyright) whose owners insist on squeezing out every last penny of profit from its ownership.

        3. Ian 16

          a great example of such being

          The issue and fine with goold and canadian pharmacies.

        4. Sirius Lee


          @David Wilson

          I'm truly shocked by your comments.

          [Well, it has links to all kinds of things, but links to copyrighted material aren't its main business]

          Yes, it is. The vast majority of content on the web is commercial, copyrighted content. Of course there are the blogs of private individuals but even most of these carry copyright notices.

          [...and it wouldn't obviously be worse off without them]

          Yes, it would. Most of the links to my company's web site is through google via AdWords for which I, like millions of other sites, pay. There would be no revenue if there were not links.

          [ nor, as far as I know, does it go out of its way to acquire those links.]

          Huh? Google IS is a search engine. The company has VAST data centers searching for content and making it available able to others. If protects its interests vigorously. In what way is this NOT going out of its way?

          1. david wilson

            @Sirius Lee

            >>"I'm truly shocked by your comments."

            Well, if you chose to go off on one by deliberately grabbing the wrong end of the stick regarding what I said, (which was clearly replying to someone else, using their usage of 'copyright material' in a sense which was factually incorrect but pretty clearly understandable), then I guess you must be shocked fairly easily.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This poor kid is extremely unlucky. He should never go outside for fear of being struck by lightening.

        1. Turtle

          "This poor kid is extremely unlucky."

          "This poor kid is extremely unlucky."

          Unlucky for being so stupid. Because this is exactly what happens to recidivists. He earned plenty of money from the first site, and it was shut down. At that point he plainly knew that there could be legal consequences to his actions. So when he put up the second site, he was taking a real risk. But, alas, he was too stupid to realize this. Or too greedy. Or both.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "Google does pretty much the same thing"

        Not really. Their search engine runs an algorithm whereas our friend had compiled a list of links by hand, which is more like YouTube, except that the latter actually hosts the material.

        There's an obvious similarity in both being funded by advertising, at least if you can put aside the scale of Google's operation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If he handcrafted the links; surely that is his work and therefore his copyright? The US is using his work without permission; and for a use that he didn't authorise (ie, prosecuting him). Two can play at that game, surely?

          The judge should be tried for treason and the verdict overturned immediately by someone not barkingly insane.

          1. Ted Treen

            @ Moiety

            You reckon you can find a member of the UK Judiciary who is not barkingly insane?

            Needles, haystacks and The Holy Grail spring to mind...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Ted Treen

              Well it's a big case, so I was sort of hoping the budget would be found to sober one of them up for the necessary couple of hours, as an emergency measure.

              Seriously District Judge Quentin Purdy needs to be investigated. To me this says nothing about any kind of justice and smacks of fat white envelopes or other benefits. OK, the student is a piss-taker; but offering a fellow citizen up for disproportionate punishment for something that isn't illegal (and definitely not criminal) doesn't match up with any definition of justice I've ever heard of.

        2. mfritz0

          This is absurd, why prosecute this kid when it's the advertisers who are evidently responsible for it being a profitable venture. Don't the advertisers screen the sites where their advertisements are placed? Don't they at least share a major part in the responsibility? I'm certain they knew the site was illegal, yet they still allowed their advertisements to be placed there.

        3. Sirius Lee

          @Ken Hagan

          What on earth is the difference between Google's algorithm and someone doing it manually? What is an algorithm? In your view must it only be a computer program? The outcome of both processes is identical: links to copyrighted content. But one is correct and the other not.

          So presumably, if the guy had written a program to find the links and display them, that would be OK? Bizarre.

          Both entities make money out of creating links to copyrighted content but one is so heinous as to warrant an extradition. They other doesn't.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: LarsG


      And they call it the 'land of the free'... Yeah right!

      you are obviously forgetting that the

      USofA is Free to do whatever it wants everywhere in the world. You are in Timbucktu and you break a law that is valid in Hicksville, Georgia and the US can now try to get you sent to Hicksville to face 50+Years one every count of farting in public.

      The moral is, don't even think about breaking a US law anywhere in the world. You might just end up on a US Pokey for the rest of your natural life.

      Getting tried is the easy way out. Pres Obama just signed a law that allows the Feds to imprison you indefinentely without trial or legal representation. Gitmo+++++

      Black Chopper naturally.

      1. LarsG


        the fact that OUR courts doff their caps to them and that not one of our Judges had made a stand against the unfairness just beggers belief.

        Years ago we had an independent judiciary with enough of the top judges prepared to,stick their necks out and be controversial.

        Now they do as they are told, probably to protect their position and pensions. But the real culprits are those that signed this treaty in the first place.

        When you consider that US human rights groups see the treaty as one sided and unfair you have to wonder.

        Time to give the Churchillian salute of two fingers to them.

        1. Intractable Potsherd
          Thumb Up


          "Years ago we had an independent judiciary with enough of the top judges prepared to,stick their necks out and be controversial." That was before Blair and his chums got rid of the office of Lord Chancellor, created the Ministry of Justice, and changed the Judicial Bench of the House of Lords into the Supreme Court. Anyone with any knowledge could see that we would end up with an anaemic judiciary with political intentions from that point forward.

          This is genuinely disproportionate - sending someone to a foreign country to be tried for a measly $250k that might or might not have reached some company's pockets, FFS? The judge should be utterly ashamed (though s/he is at the bottom of the pile, and has granted the right to appeal to a higher court, so is possibly hoping for a get-out from the decision).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The real moral is "Don't try to hurt a US company's profits"

        @Steve Davies 3

        "The moral is, don't even think about breaking a US law anywhere in the world. You might just end up on a US Pokey for the rest of your natural life."

        No. The moral is don't let a large US company perceive that you hurt their profits.

        They really throw their toys out of the pram at the thought that a British person or company can compete with them on a large scale.

        You can watch all sorts of copyrighted material on YouTube without paying, and they are actually hosting it. Of course it's a US company... I bet a UK company couldn't get away with that.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      if our own country refuses to protect us

      Then who will?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: if our own country refuses to protect us

        I take your and others' points about the imbalance in the extradition treaty, but, matters of due process aside (which are important), doesn't it nonetheless discredit our justice system if it shields people from the legimitate consequences of their destructive and immoral actions? Put another way, how is it legitimate that our justice system should shield people from proper justice?

        1. Graham Marsden

          "Proper justice"???

          Just because something might be a criminal offence in the US does not make it a criminal offence anywhere else in the world. What happened in this case, in this country, was, at best, a breach of civil law and is thus *not* a justification for extradition.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            re "Proper justice"???

            Graham, please try to draw a distinction between what is extremely destructive and morally atrocious, and that which is or isn't criminally prohibited in the UK. I know it must be hard, but just stretch that brain. Justice in legal terms, describes, mainly, the point where ideas of law and social necessity overlap; it is not the same thing as criminal law.

            Economic crimes - or large-scale wrongs which cross borders - are likely recognised by intergovernmental treaty or diplomatic protocol.

            You yourself concede in the UK there would be a case were a civil suit filed against this person. Do you really think our civil law entirely divergent from morality in this case, from justice, such that a foreign criminal case made on the basis of huge economic harm - arguably a very serious wrong and major harm needing deterrence - would be unjustified? Would it not send the correct signal about what should occur to those who destroy industries which use digital intellectual property? Or do you think the English legal system should provide wreckers with a figleaf?

            1. Graham Marsden


              "extremely destructive and morally atrocious"? "large scale wrongs"? "Huge economic harm"?? "wreckers"?! "destroy industries"?!?!

              Good grief, man, try stretching *your* brain around the concept of "sense of proportion"!

              Yes, I "concede" that, "in the UK there would be a case were a civil suit filed against this person", so why do those who consider themselves wronged not avail themselves of UK law and *bring* that suit here instead of using a law designed to deal with *terrorist* suspects to try to extradite him to the US to bring *criminal* charges against him?

              Your ludicrous hyperbole suggest you have no idea or what "justice" actually means, or you're just some sort of shill for the MPAA/ RIAA et al.

            2. Homer 1

              "divergent from morality"

              Yes, I really DO think US civil law is entirely divergent from morality in this case, and in many others. In fact I find it increasingly difficult to conceive of anything in US law, politics or business practices that isn't utterly, morally repugnant.

              How in Hell can LINKING TO INFORMATION be a crime?

              But by far the repugnant thing about this fiasco, is how such sinister and morally-inverted foreign laws can be upheld in OUR country, without even so much as a challenge.

              It's time our so-called "special relationship" with the American Empire was brought to a rapid conclusion.

              As for the "huge economic harm" bullshit, please explain what some US TV network "loses" by having some Brit watch a TV show that isn't even broadcast in the UK, may never even be released in the UK, and for which he will most likely pay via the TV license anyway, if it ever is.

              The only "harm" here is the corruption of justice by a bunch of corporate gangsters.

            3. Ian 16

              or how about...

              we say that if you want to take him to court - you do so in this country under uk law?

              seems fair to me.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          you miss the point

          "Put another way, how is it legitimate that our justice system should shield people from proper justice?" -- It's not. US authorities, citizens and companies are free to bring their claims forward to the British justice system, and get the alleged offender trialled here.

          Certainly it cannot be right that a (poorly designed) treaty, which was intended to deal with terrorists, is abused in any possible way the US authorities see fit.

          Sure, given the global nature of the internet, it's the easiest way to use international treaties to enforce one country's law, if the offender lives in another country. But it's not the right way.

          I'm not taking side of the guy in question here. He did earn money by knowingly publishing links to illegal content, or that's at least what he's being charged for. I'm pretty sure that's illegal in the UK, too.

          But making TV shows available is not exactly related to terrorism, unless all the programmes were about creating bombs or hijacking air planes. That is the problem here.

          1. Thing

            I'm pretty sure that's illegal in the UK, too.

            Nope... it is not

            And the courts have said so on several occasions.

          2. david wilson

            @AC 14/01 16:21

            >>"Certainly it cannot be right that a (poorly designed) treaty, which was intended to deal with terrorists,..."

            It was designed to deal with extradition regarding anything considered serious enough to be extraditable, not specifically terrorism, and it would be simply wrong to claim that it's use for anything other than terrorism would be unjust.

            As it is, it replaced a previous decades-old treaty which also had a one-year-sentence (in both countries) threshold for determining which offences were serious enough to justify extradition.

            Argue this case on its merits, don't argue it based on misunderstandings of the extradition treaty - that, if anything, risks making it look like you don't think you have any better argument than a bogus one.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: if our own country refuses to protect us and other idiots.

          Why can't you dunces get it through your thick skulls that what he did isn't illegal here.

          Would you be demanding the extradition of an off license owner for selling a 20 yr old American alcohol?

          1. Thing

            Why don't we extradite all U.S. owners of assault rifles?

            If the U.S. can extradite for something which is illegal in their jurisdiction but legal here than why can't we do likewise?

          2. InsaneGeek

            Hmmm... would you care to provide some facts to backup your data?

            Please feel free to backup your statement with some actual documentation that it is *not* illegal. What I've found is that there is quite a bit of murkiness as to it's legality but you have made a very definitive statement that it is not illegal. There is no question in your statement, so please provide some evidence that is as conclusive as you make it to be.

            From what I know, there was a previous situation in the UK with the website tv-links which would seem to imply that it's not that legal in the UK.


            The site, TV Links (, was providing links to illegal film content that has been camcorded from within a cinema and then uploaded to the Internet. The site additionally provided links to TV shows that were also being illegally distributed.

            1. Graham Marsden


              "Please feel free to backup your statement with some actual documentation that it is *not* illegal"

              Perhaps you've never heard of the expression "Presumed Innocent Unless Proven Guilty"...

            2. asbokid

              Distinguish unlawful and illegal

              In the United Kingdom, the terms llegal and Unlawful do not mean the same thing at all.

              Not that you would know that from reading FACT propaganda.

              FACT is an industry mouthpiece. It is deliberately confusing the simple distinction between unlawful and illegal acts. It does so for the economic enrichment of its billion dollar bankrollers. Now that's what I call dishonest. You could call it a Fraud: a deliberate attempt to mislead for economic gain.

              As any UK-trained lawyer would tell you, an illegal act is one which carries a criminal penalty. Infringing the copyright on a Kylie Minogue DVD is a tort, a breach of civil duty. Nothing more.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: proper justice

          Time was we got proper justice from our own legal system. I don't think many people consider the US system to be anything like just.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      apparently they are reviewing the treaty...

      The American Ambassador has already stated that it would not be good to change things or get rid of the treaty.

      However is there anyone here who thinks Cameron or Clegg have the b*lls to say NO?

      They will be toooooo scared of upsetting Obama the winner of a Nobel peace prize..... true, and upsetting the good old boys. Why? Because there's a lot of fiddling going on behind the scenes, I mean look how RICH Tony Blair has become. You don't get rich like that by normal means.

      There's a lot of brown envelopes being passed around and the UK doesn't want it to come out that they were involved in rendition flights!

      1. Local Group

        The International Court of the Internet at the Hague

        At least all verbrechers will be tried and sentenced by the same standard. Oh, if you see a brown envelope with my handle on it....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We need you, Hugh Grant! ("Love, Actually")

        "The American Ambassador has already stated that it would not be good to change things or get rid of the treaty".

        Well, the American ambassador can go back to eating Ferrero Rocher... or whatever else he would like to do. Frankly, it's none of his bleeding business.

        Everything in this world is beginning to look more and more like a simple study in celestial mechanics: it all revolves around the biggest mass, which of course is the USA. Our politicians can't even imagine not kow-towing to the White House, because that's where all the power and money and influence comes from. (Plus if they don't, the black helicopters are always waiting).

    5. M1

      Of course they did ...

      ... that's why they took advantage of the 9/11 tragedy to pass this sort of legislation - not coincidental - opportunist. You have nothing to fear if you don't break the law - until they change it ...

    6. LarsG


      ONE day in the future he will be on holiday in some foreign country, he will end up with a needle in his a*se, think happy thoughts and wake up in an American jail somewhere. A ticket in his pocket 'first class rendition express'.

      Oh I forgot, it already happens here... Keep looking over your shoulder!

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FERGIE ex wife of HRH Andrew

      Commited an illegal act by filming in a Turkish childrens home and highlighting abuses.

      They want to prosecute her but have promised not go for extradition. Apparently she apologized!

      It's all about who you know and what you are. Us little people would be f***ed!

      One rule for them one rule for us.

  2. Harry the Bastard

    ok, fair's fair

    let's extradite all americans carrying unlicenced firearms, it's a crime in uk law, they must pay for it

    1. Matt 4

      While At the same time sending woman that have affairs

      To be stoned to deAth by the Taliban. Wait what do you mean it doesn't work like that?

    2. Turtle

      Oh brill!

      "let's extradite all americans carrying unlicenced firearms"

      They'll arrive with those same firearms and *then* you will really be sorry.

      : )

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Well, that's putting the finger on the sore spot and /exactly/ where the USA shows how hypocrite they really are.

      When they feel "wronged" they demand the right to extradite people, or simply grab them themselves when that "pesky law" gets in the way while "everyone knows they're guilty".

      But the very moment when things get turned around... the US have already stated numerous times that should an American person ever stand trial before the International Court in The Hague they preserve the right to free him, even with "proportional violence".

      This isn't about justice, its about greed.

    4. Arthur Dent

      RE: ok, fair's fair

      No., let's do it prop[erly: let's extradite all Americans who carry a fire arm, whether licensed under American law or not, since they are not licensed under our law. That's the nearest equivalent you can get to the utter crap which is going on in this case.

  3. John A Blackley

    Politicians operate on mind over matter

    They don't mind and you don't matter.

  4. JimC

    So how long

    Before he's diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome or something else of that ilk?

    1. JarekG


      You must be one of them Ahmerican* idiots.

      *yes i know there is an H in there.

    2. NoDosh

      and how long

      Before the word "proportional" enters the Merkin lexicon?

      1. YouStupidBoy

        @NoDosh: Given that everything here is a giant willy-waving contest, I wouldn't hope for much until a good generation has passed into and out of the positions that enable things like this to happen.

        I've been here 10 years and it's all over the place. Everyone has to have something *bigger*, *better*, *newer* or otherwise perceived as superior to what their neighbours/friends have. Otherwise they think they're a failure. Personally I think it stems from childhood - nowadays some schools and other institutions don't use words like lose - it's "runner up" (even for last in a field of 8) or "fail to execute". You lost. No-one died, no-one was hurt, accept it, learn from it, be better next time. It's not a crime, like some I know seem to think.

        Speaking of crime, the UK needs to grow a set and tell them where they can shove their treaty until it's re-worded that the extraditable offense must be considered a criminal act in both countries at the time of the signing of the treaty and the requestor has the burden of proof to convince the requestees government/judiciary that an extradition is warranted. Since they won't get a conviction at trial based on "reasonable suspicion", they must have proof. Surely....

        Of course the US probably won't like this, but the UK could always make the point that, regrettably, it was considering switching a percentage of its national reserve from the dollar to the yuan.

        Otherwise the US won't stop. After all, there's a whole world out there that can have a willy shaken at it.

        Beer. Cos it's Friday :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "dollar to the yuan"

          Who really fucking cares if you switch from the dollar to the yuan?

          It wouldn't be a big deal as you people are already well on your way to becoming a third-world country, thanks to your political class cashing in on the global warming scam, and raking in the lower classes' cash hand over fist. After all, they are already planning to start rationing electricity, which is the real rationale for those "smart meters" they want to install - for the sake of carbon reduction they are going to de-industrialize and impoverish you, and they are going to send you so far back into the Middle Ages that map makers are going to start locating the UK in Africa, right next to Botswana or Rwanda - in fact,. you can look at your future neighbourhood right here: because you are going to be on that list as soon as your politicians and bureaucrats can manage it.

          Your political class, however, will be leaving for sunnier climes and happier times, most likely in the Bahamas, or maybe Monaco. But I am sure that some of them will drop in now and then, if only to see how the proles are doing.

          Good luck enjoying that pirated content on computers and widescreen tvs when your living in communal flats in council estates powered solely by candles and compost, chumps!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Yankee AC

            "It wouldn't be a big deal as you people are already well on your way to becoming a third-world country..."

            That's downright funny, coming from a (presumably) citizen of a country that is mostly owned by the Chinese and other "furriners" - but apparently hasn't yet noticed. You Yanks are in exactly the same position as Wile E Coyote when he runs over the cliff edge - legs pumping away, happy as a clam until he looks down. Then...

          2. PJI

            Even an American can not be serious with this comment.

            How long has California been bankrupt in part or whole? I say, Michigan, especially Flint, is doing really well. Detroit is a model for the world. I gather from Americans who saw the old Soweto that Soweto seemed to be better off than some areas in the American South in the prosperous times! I believe it has got no better and even the USA has had its credit rating questioned or was it down-graded?

            I bet you are glad the Euro is having problems as it lessens the risk that the holders of American purse strings, the Arabs and Chinese, will switch their reserves precipitously. But note how the Chinese are considering supporting the Euro.

            What you have got is size and bluster. But much of your talent, ideas, invention is actually imported, even from Great Britain.

            Sorry, how many people did you say have got no medical insurance? 20 % of the country and even those with it are financially buggered if seriously ill for more than a week or two?

            Must be great to be such a runaway success as a world leader. And you call that democracy and justice? How many mistaken executions occur, let alone wrongful convicitions leading to hundreds of years of imprisonment? No wonder extreme religiosity is so popular in USA, God is the only hope many of its citizens have got. Still, you can get a cheap gun whenever you want, so that's all right.

            What baffles me is why the rest of the world misses the good parts of it and imports the rubbish parts of its language, failed attitudes and "culture".

          3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

            @merkin AC 14th JAn 11:36

            "Who really fucking cares if you switch from the dollar to the yuan?"

            I'll tell who cares, the fat cat cunts that run AmeriKan business, that's who, its all about protecting the dollar hegemony.

            Why do you think amerika invaded Iraq? It wasn't for the oil, it wasn't because Hussain was a despot sadistic leader, FFS, how many of them has the land of the fee 'installed' over the years? Amerika fabricated the myth of WMD because in In 2000, Iraq converted all its oil transactions under the Oil for Food program to Euros. When the amerikans invaded Iraq in 2003, it returned oil sales from the euro to the USD. If all those petrodollars and dollars held as currency reserves came home to amerika, then the value of the value of the dollar would plummet causing amerika to become _the_ third world country.

            For the record, Japan and china hold the largest dollar currency reserves, Japan holds around $800 billion, and China holds over $600 billion. Obama issued $600 billion in quantive easing and look at the effect that had on the amerikan economony.

          4. jbuk1

            Said the man in the AA rated country to the man in the AAA rated country.

          5. Philip Lewis

            Belize, surely!

            No comment

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Before the word "proportional" enters the Merkin lexicon?"

        Since he has not yet been sentenced, your point is actually pretty pointless.

  5. JoshOvki

    Big Fish vs Little Fish

    It is that this kid doesn't have the expensive lawyers that Google and other search engines have, making him and easy target. You also have to ask yourself, would America deport one of there citizens over here for trail?

    If he has broken the law let it be dealt with in the UK, not the US.

    1. Bent Outta Shape

      ...and if you're wanting to set a precedent, why not pick on someone who *MADE MONEY* (shock) doing something that might just seem a bit naughty to many people - even if it wasn't actually illegal in the UK.

  6. mad_dr


    It'll be interesting to see (if he's extradited) what crimes they'll charge him with. I don't have any opinion as to whether I agree with or disagree with what he enabled folks using his site to do, but I know personally of a couple of guys who got busted a few years ago (equipment seized, etc) for running a very similar high-profile site but they were never charged because no one seemed to be able to figure out where the crime is in hosting HTML pages with a bunch of plain old links.

    I presume the laws have been tightened to cover the act of 'facilitating' copyright infringement rather than just the older laws against the act of infringement themselves. Interesting parallels with search engines though - I wonder if tvshack showed up in google listings and - if so - whether the only difference is that O'Dwyer did it wilfully...

    1. LarsG

      THEY MAKE THE LAW up as they go along

      As simply as they have changed it from a civil offence of copyright to a criminal offence of copyrights.

      In a months time it will be a crime to talk about it, with extradition orders flying around.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Land of the free to do as we tell you"

        There, fixed that for you ;-)

    2. arrbee


      The US prosecutors will simply threaten him with 5+ years in the toughest prison in the state vs 3 years in a less risky environment if he pleads guilty. The conviction rate in the US for criminal trials is extremely high, so if you can't convice the police/DA of your innocence early on its probably best to stop worrying about facts and negotiate before a case gets to court.

    3. Vometia

      "It'll be interesting to see (if he's extradited) what crimes they'll charge him with"

      The crime of being foreign, I would imagine.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "It'll be interesting to see (if he's extradited) what crimes they'll charge him with..."

      Making money while not American, of course.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The thought occurs

    that this is either the greatest practical joke in history, or these guys are seriously trying to force the public to rise up against this sort of stupidity.

    That's the meeting we're having tomorrow at the docks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course it's a long-term plan to provide more funding for America's military-industrial complex. They provoke us into rising pu against this, then declare us enemies of freedom and democracy and drop bombs on us.


      Actually this is a bad satire of the things I've read on the more crazy sites out there but, there are times when I can almost believe it could come true...

  8. NoneSuch Silver badge

    So they can arrest you if you provide links to criminal activities. Hmmmmm...

    I wonder why the CNN web site is still operational?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Simple; because they need that company to appear as a democratic country. Without that news agency the people wouldn't know who to vote for anymore.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mafia at it again?

    Wonder who has brought the charges and how will it be enforced. If there is a fine, who will get the money!

    Reminds me of an old joke:

    "A third world country person was once asked which side he would favour in the event of a Thirld World War.

    Of course the Russians, he said proudly.

    Why ??

    Because, if I am captured as a POW, Ill get to stay in an American prison. "

    So let them extradite half of European population there and see what happens. And there will be lots who have benefitted finanacially too.

    Wankers, these yanks!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When he gets out, will he have spent enough time in the US to qualify for a Green Card?

      Maybe there is a new way to 'sneak' in to the US, all expenses paid even.

      1. Eddy Ito

        @AC 19:59

        "Maybe there is a new way to 'sneak' in to the US, all expenses paid even."

        It will only be all expenses paid if he accepts the public defender assigned to the case. My guess is the U.S. Department of "Justice" is actually out to ruin him financially so he could count on the worst they can find or pony up the cash to buy someone more skilled. Either way they feel they win since their sense (a)morality is satisfied by a win and prison time or a loss and delivering financial ruin. What they don't understand is that their "example" making will do more to make a martyr in the eyes of most Americans. Sure the "mainstream" press will own the story up front but it will become pretty clear that they are just corporate lackeys owned by Disney, Vivendi, et al. Let the revulsion begin.

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        "When he gets out, will he have spent enough time in the US to qualify for a Green Card?"

        Well it didn't stop murdock....

    2. Keep Refrigerated

      Joke needs updating

      On the other hand, if he gets KIA - his body will be urinated on.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        "In the parlance of the day, or what would be that parlance if we spoke more plainly, we can say with accuracy and precision: The ruling class of the United States pisses on the entire world, just as it pisses on every human being who is not favored by privilege and power. This is the ultimate foundation of our lives today. This is the truth that will almost never be spoken."

    3. Andus McCoatover

      "Wankers, these yanks!"

      Did you just invent a new word?


      Ooh, the downvotes from anyone over the pond who can read will be a record!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        i think that

        The average Yankee doodle will actually agree with us on this. Those that can read and spell that is.

  10. Brent Longborough

    Stop this right now

    The Ministry of Justice (or whatever, meh) should commit to throwing this request out before it even gets here...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    See title...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      We have, like, an icon for that stuff. Saves us from having to read all those words ;-)

  12. Peter Johnstone

    This country's a Joke.

    I just hope that Scotland has the sense to no longer be part of it.

    1. jbuk1

      If you want to follow Ireland sterling lead please be my guest.

  13. Asgard

    The scale of this legal president, if allowed through, is so shocking it would have been unbelievable 10 years ago. Its time people made a stand against this to send a clear warning to our leaders that a line has to be drawn against them and their endless abuses of our freedom and their manipulation of the law, to warp it to mean whatever they and their rich friends want it to mean.

    This extradition law was brought in to stop terrorists. That was it, from what we were told. Now its being abused into a way to drag a 23-year-old student to America to stand trial for telling people where to find something! Seriously, do our leaders want a revolution against them and the growing global Corporatocracy that rules them and us?!

    Its time a stand was made, because their kind are not going to stop pushing for ever more control without people standing up to them and saying no more. A limit has to be created somewhere!?!

    1. Drew V.

      The original mistake was the extradition law itself; that it would end up being abused like this was a given, regardless of its stated purpose. I remember saying so at the time.

      1. Asgard

        @Drew V,”The original mistake was the extradition law itself “

        I totally agree. I have said before I consider whoever signed the extradition law in are guilty of literally an act of treason against all of us and our country, by effectively handing control of our county and us, over on a plate.

        The treaty is literally a blatant violation of allegiance to our own country by placing our citizens under the control and jurisdiction of another power. That is literally Treason to fail to show allegiance to protect our country and our citizens.

        Our so called leaders have been going too far for ages, but this is the limit, we have got to the point now where we have to make a stand against them, because if we don't, they have endlessly shown they will continue to abuse our freedom ever more to do whatever they want to all of us. It really is time a stand was made, because their kind are not going to stop pushing for ever more control over all of us without people standing up to them and saying no more. A limit has to be created somewhere!?!

        1. Intractable Potsherd


          I agree, but who is going to do what about this? Unfortunately, most people don't care - it doesn't affect them. "It's just some bloke on the internets". Let's face it, if anyone cared the Doncaster Airport twitterer (Paul Chambers) would have had a lot more support, and pressure applied to change the law.

          Many of us on El Reg have a very good idea of the dangers in these laws, but we are in the minority, sadly.

          1. Drew V.

            People who don't care about this are exhibiting the height of stupidity. As O'Dwyer's mother said, "it could have been any one of us". Any one of us who uses the internet could theoretically run afoul of American copyright bloodhounds. It does not get much more universal than this.

            Maybe we should all travel with O'Dwyer to America (all of us who can afford the plane ticket, anyway) and demand to be arrested at the same time as him. Put us in jail! We will break this disgusting system by overloading it with a million extra living bodies, with the collective body politic itself.

            1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
              Big Brother

              @Drew V.

              "Maybe we should all travel with O'Dwyer to America"

              I think you'll find that the US border, courtesy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance operation, now extends to quite a few international airports, they'll stop anyone who might embarrass them from ever travelling to the amerikan reich. If you want to make sure you wont be let travel to amerika, just wear a keffiyeh.

  14. Drew V.

    Any room available at Gitmo?

    After the last successful suicide through the use of torn underpants, I mean.

  15. Microphage

    Extradition treaty is not symatrical

    > In her ruling District Judge Quentin Purdy rejected the defense arguments that extradition would be disproportionate to the crime, or that too long had passed since it had occurred, and said that there was sufficient criminal law on both sides of the Atlantic to have him shipped off to the US

    Except the extradition treaty is not symatrical, as in on the the same grounds, an American citizen could not be extradited to the UK. But then again we're not an independent country ever since WW2 ...

  16. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Interesting, the number of empires that have been brought down by internal corruption combined with oppression. I wonder if we are witnessing the start of the next collapse.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Yes ...

      ... and it has been clear for some time.

    2. Ted Treen
      Big Brother

      @Will Godfrey

      "I wonder if we are witnessing the start of the next collapse."

      We can but hope.

  17. john devoy

    Further proof that the British judiciary is now a spineless piece of sh*t that will do whatever it's told.

  18. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "The site had no content" - hold on, he's already said the site *did* have content - links to other sites.


    There. This website now has directions on how to obtain and watch movies for free. When are we going to get extradited?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm not making any comment about the case here, but:

      You do realise that libraries buy DVDs which are specifically allowed to be loaned? This costs them rather more than the fiver you pay at HMV.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Big Brother

        Re: @JGH

        Yes, but imagine what would happen if you show those DVDs to more than a few people or on an oil rig or in a prison or any of the other places where you're not allowed to play them!

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Yes, but *I* don't pay anything to watch them! Being too poor to pay any council or income tax, I don't even pay for them indirectly. SHOCK HORROR! I'm stealing content comebody else has paid for!!!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          That's what society is, we pay out of taxes for poorer people to be able to use facilities like libraries, doctors, street cleaners, roads, binmen, etc. Not paying council tax doesn't mean that you're stealing content in the same way that you're not robbing the NHS by seeing a doctor.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My God. What have you done?

      You've doomed us all! That's what!

  19. ideapete

    Its our new US Policy

    We get you to extradite your brightest and best then we give them jobs over here. Just another form of Talent selection and job creation

  20. Inachu

    not fair.

    Piracy laws have only affeced mostly white people.

    Of all the people who have pirated Microsoft certification software and then got a job with Microsoft or some other highly paid tech company have benefitted from piracy.

    A fine would have been a better way to go.

    Of all people I have met it was always the white who try to do it the honest way most of all.

    So now you get people to try to play the same game to get ahead in life and they get punnished.

    What are the stats on the arrests on what race gets put in jail most for piracy around the world?

    It could be the seller but it is never the student.

  21. SleepyJohn

    Mass worldwide civil disobedience might work

    It is beginning to seem as though virtually all the authorities throughout the world are in the pay of the odious racketeering 'entertainment' industry, which appears to be little more than a bunch of thugs with the morality of the Mafia and the foresight and intelligence of a dead Bluebottle. "There is a kid in England doing all our advertising for us for nothing - let's cut his legs off with a chainsaw and hang the remains from the Brooklyn Bridge. Here's your cheque, Senator".

    The only solution I can see is mass worldwide civil disobedience. If a couple of billion people stopped paying for any form of mass-distributed media and helped themselves off the internet these creeps might even run out of money for paying off politicians. Then things might change. Hopefully the current scum will be swept into the gutter and replaced with those having the intelligence of entrepreneurs rather than brain-damaged Bluebottles.

    Even the Americans might jib at locking up billions of people for the heinous crime of living in the present rather than the past. For all the emotive hysteria we are battered with, 'Copyright' and 'Intellectual Property' have nothing to do with any of this - quite simply the world is changing and as Clausewitz might have said: "We must change our plans accordingly."

    I don't know whether to cry at the crazed vindictiveness of these loathsome yobs or laugh at their state-of-the-art stupidity. I do know if I found them crawling around my kitchen I would boil a kettle sharpish. I also know they have completely demolished the guilt I once would have felt over helping myself to freebies, which would, paradoxically, have slowed down my acceptance of the changing, and improving face of entertainment. For that I must thank them. But: "You have done your job, now go!"

    1. Pseu Donyme

      > I also know they have completely demolished the guilt I once would have felt ...

      +1 : Actually, these days I feel kind of guilty paying money where some of that will end up with them.

  22. M.A

    he should

    Change his name move and try to disapear I would hey kid if u need hiding...

    1. Drew V.

      That would be admitting guilt to the American justice system. Nelson Mandela never tried to escape from his cell.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But I just did a search on uTube .....

    ... and a quick trawl through Google looking for Pirate came up with SO MANY Forum Links. I'm writing to my MP later giving him a piece of my mind, the FOOLS. If this is the 'Special Relationship' we keep hearing about then its obvious we're just that sticky bit of chewing gum the Americans can't get off their Jack Boots.

    Roll on the Appeal.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have I just landed the Reg in Gitmo?

    1. Local Group

      The Reg might get in hot water without your efforts

      Defamation of a District Judge is not jaywalking.

      " In (his) ruling District Judge Quentin Purdy rejected the defense arguments that extradition would be disproportionate to the crime, or that too long had passed since it had occurred, and said that there was sufficient criminal law on both sides of the Atlantic to have him shipped off to the US. (She) did give him leave to appeal to the High Court."

      Intentional use of the wrong pronoun.

      Speaking of which, it's too bad District Judge Quentin Crisp* didn't hear the case. Mr. O'Dwyer would have been sentenced to a Suez Canal of tea and some lovely scones.

      1. Ted Treen

        @Local Group

        "Defamation of a District Judge is not jaywalking."

        If you have to rely on a law which criminalises comment that you're a dickhead, then you truly are a dickhead.

        1. Local Group

          One might have thought my 8 other comments on this topic...

          would have precluded my having to announce my sarcasm on the one you object to. My bad.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't think for a minute that he should be extradited, but: He made £230k from advertising based on a site which solely existed to link to copyright material. I'm pretty sure that I would have taken a step back by that point and thought about the legality and ethics of what I was doing. It's not as if there weren't other people/organisations being prosecuted while he was running his site.

    If he'd done it for free, or costs, he probably wouldn't have ended up in the situation that he's in at the moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      he's a student,

      How else was he meant to pay his Uni fees.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The same way as everyone else: Stripping, prostitution, dealing, or (as I did) just doing so many drugs that you don't get a degree, run up loads of debts, but can't seem to remember why...

    2. Anonymous Coward


      That is assuming that the income for those ads went into his own pocket. Most articles only state that the site had ads on it.

      You /do/ realize that many hosting providers offer "free" websites, where the only thing you have to put up with are enforced ad banners ?

      I know that those banners wouldn't give him any income, but then again; it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the courts cared less about where the money was going and only focused on how much revenue the whole site generated.

      And before anyone says that this scenario doesn't fully represent the facts: Well, neither does the whole complaint. The website doesn't provide contents either but only directions on where to get those. The court obviously didn't care about that detail either, so why would the whole money aspect be treated any different?

      When it comes to copyright, or better put; when it comes to annoying multibillion companies, then the law often gets interpreted in very strange and peculiar ways.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If it's about the money then why don't they arrest Google, they would be making far more from his ads via the doubleclick network than he was.

  26. The Axe
    Big Brother

    What he did is a crime here in the UK, so try him in the UK.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Urm, he was found not guilty by the CPS.

      1. Dick Emery
        Black Helicopters

        Which just goes to show the stupidty of this. It's a fucking sham. I can understand if someone from your country commits a crime in another country and stays there. Then sure extradite them. But this is someone who is native to this country. Had his so called crime quashed by UK justices but now another country wants to prosecute him for a 'crime' supposedly committed in this country? Our justices should be telling them to take a hike. This is pure and blatant sellout by UK gov to appease our US masters. Truly the UK has become the 51st state.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The CPS don't find you anything, they either decide that there is a reasonable chance to obtain a conviction or not.

        Not being tried for something, doesn't make you not guilty of it, just not tried for it.

        1. Vic

          > Not being tried for something, doesn't make you not guilty of it, just not tried for it.

          Yes it does.

          In this country, we are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

          As he has not been proven guilty, he remains innocent.

          Not that that matters to the Septics, of course :-(


        2. Thing

          Not being tried for something, doesn't make you not guilty of it

          ... but with respect to being found guilty, having the CPS decide that there isn't a reasonable chance of a conviction isn't exactly a stellar start.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not a crime it's a civil matter.

      1. Vic

        > It's not a crime it's a civil matter.

        It probably *is* a criminal matter.

        I suspect - with no evidence whatsoever, of course - that that's what all the advertising revenue bollocks is all about.

        Under the revolting section 107 of CDPA88[1], breaching copyright "in the course of business" is a criminal offence. Since they seem to be going for subsection 1(d)(iv), that carries a penalty of up to ten years inside.

        However, I can't seem to find anything in that law which makes him guilty of an infringement of copyright; Chapter II covers infringement, and it all requires the infringer passing copies of the material, not just telling others where to find such copies.

        Not that that's going to matter. Who cares if something is lawful? The yanks want their pound of flesh.


        [1] . You should all read it.

  27. Matt 4

    Another dangerous terrorist on his way to the incorporated states of America then

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I feel safer already.

    2. Local Group

      If English laws governing extradition are like other countries...

      then if the High Court grants the US request for extradition, the Court can do so with stipulations as to exactly what the charges must and must not be and, possibly (wishful thinking) make the US try O'Dwyer's with his offense a misdemeanor and not a felony.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    The beginning of the end

    There are a lot of odd things here. For the amount of money made I think he should face the courts. But a British court, with a private prosecution by the media lobby groups, under UK law. He has affected a private corporate interest here, and not the interests of the US State or its citizens.

    I would have thought that extradition is for when a government interests are attacked. Unfortunately Blair was (is?) in the romantic phase of his special relationship that he accepted this grand dildo. Him accepting such a proposal shows how weak a leader he was.

    But it does not bode well for the american of today. The very fact that a private corporation is able to influence and raise an extradition request is shocking. This shows the sorry state of affairs not only in the UK, but the US as well.

    Either there is more to this case, or the US and the UK have completely lost the plot of sovereignty and capitalism that they so desperately preach to nations elsewhere.

    One in glass houses don't throw stones. This is proof that civil rights and liberties are becoming an endangered thing.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      I would upvote you, except ....

      ... I don't want to be seen to be condoning your first paragraph. How much money he made is irrelevant - either he broke the law here or he didn't. The CPS has decided that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute, so he is free to carry on his life, and his business. However, if you want to start prosecuting people just for making a couple of hundred thousand pounds, then there is a very long list to go at.

      Other than that, I agree with your post

  29. Roland6 Silver badge

    Tangent: The 1779th most popular website has revenues of ~$230,000

    An interesting snippet of information. I would be interested in knowing more about this league table, and the distribution of advertising revenues, can any one tell us the ranking of the site with revenues of $1M and who is in the top 100 and their revenues? As this one piece of information does seem to indicate that the advertising revenues are being consolidated into a the pockets of a few big global websites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is that their $230,000 figure or his?

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        read the article...

        "The US government claims in June 2010 it was the 1779th most popular website in the world, and that O’Dwyer made over $230,000 from advertising revenues as a result"

        The operative word is "claims" as distinct from "can prove"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          from Advertising Revenues?

          Not from reselling or even selling access to the stuff; but indirectly from probably legal advertising? So is that relevant to the alleged offence?

          1. Vic

            > So is that relevant to the alleged offence?

            Possibly, yes.

            s.107 of CDPA88 escalates copyright infringement to a criminal offence if it's performed in the course of business. Revenue from the site - even ad revenue - could be considered sufficient to trigger that provision.

            It's all bullshit, naturally, but that's the law we have (and it's not the one I want).


  30. Roland6 Silver badge

    A further tangential thought: Who actually owns the various domains

    I seem to remember that the US claimed ownership/control of the .com domain and hence used this to go after UK gambling sites that were used by Americian citizens, but what about the other domains, including national domains?

    This case I suggest gives cause to revisit the whole question of legal ownership and jurisdiction.

  31. spleendamage

    I guess I just don't get it at all

    I guess I don't really understand how the law works.

    Handing out business cards for prostitutes seems to be legal enough in Las Vegas, even though prostitution itself is illegal in the city. Isn't that, like, the same thing?

    If I sold maps with every house which could be a meth lab labeled as such, am I a criminal if one of those houses turns out to be a meth lab? What if all of them turn out to be meth labs?

    What if I sold a gun that killed someone? Illegal?

    1. Oninoshiko

      Strange, but true.

      Not prostitution, "Escort services." I have no idea what the difference is, but there is apparently one.

      There are legal brothels in parts of Nevada, but advertising them in counties which do not permit it (such as the only Vegas is in) is illegal.

      It's really pretty wierd overall, but "what happens in vegas..."

      Maps to meth labs probably wouldn't be a problem, provided they where accurate (otherwise it would be slander against the people living in the houses that AREN'T meth labs). You generally don't actually buy your meth by going to the lab... in fact the makers of meth would prefer the location of said lab not be known, and may decide to do something else less-then-legal about you.

      Provided you met all the federal and state laws restring arms sales (wonders how this can mesh with "the right to bare arms shall not be infringed") you are not responsible. Well, you might be if it failed to operate as designed.

      The US laws vary widely sometimes from state to state. Recently there was a woman who's house was being invaded by two men, and locked herself in the bedroom with a shot-gun and called the police. The police did not arrive before one of the men broke down her door and she (fatally) shot him. There is a murder charge, but it is against the other man who was breaking in. The wording of the law in that state is that if someone is killed during the commission of a felony, the person committing the crime is culpable for the death.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Slander: Law . defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

        Methinks you meant libel

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why aren't the Americans, for example, going after all the international gambling sites? Gambling is illegal in most of America so these criminals surely need to be extradited immediately.

    Could it be that they mostly operate in countries that refuse to extradite anyone who hasn't committed a crime in that country or could the fact that they're very wealthy and can defend themselves be part of their decision making?

    Makes me proud not to be an American and ashamed to be British.

  33. Bent Outta Shape


    Gobsmacked, even. And I'm not even drunk this Friday night.

    So I checked the link from the second paragraph on the article, and no - the kid's website wasn't even hosted in the US.

    So what frekkin right does the US have to try him? How can our judiciary in any way consider that there's a case to answer in the US for activity a UK citizen(*) carried out entirely outside the USA? When will we see the US extraditing it's citizens to the slew of countries that imprison people for hosting - just for example - porn?

    Yes, I understand these are questions that aren't going to be answered from our government anytime soon, but it's an astoundingly bad precedent to set. Extradition treaty aside, and ignoring for now whether he broke UK law in hosting links - it's the thought that we'll send someone off to another country's legal system for acts anywhere on the 'net.

    I remain stunned, and hoping a higher court slaps down this judge...</rant>

    (*) an assumption based on the "never even left the North of England"

  34. BernieC


    Does America today remind anyone of Germany 1938? Just askin'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would never normally go Godwin.

      But now America has just enacted a law where the military can imprison anyone, indefinitely sand without access to any legal representation, including their own citizens then all you can do is see comparisons.

      1. Pseu Donyme

        Heh, maybe this guy should apply for asylum in a 3rd country :).

  35. Local Group

    Hypocrisy, Inc.

    "The first American "pirate" was probably Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), who was, among other things, a Philadelphia printer who re-published the works of British authors in the eighteenth century without seeking their permission or offering remuneration. Novelists, of course, were not the only writers affected. The complaints of poet William Wordsworth, for example, which began quietly in 1808, grew louder and more eloquent over the course of the next three and a half decades; by 1837 the matter had begun to absorb large amounts of his time and energy. He went to London to lobby the House of Commons, enlisting the aid of the popular dramatist Thomas Noon Talford as his parliamentary champion. During both his North American reading tours of 1842 and 1867-68 Dickens lobbied the American Congress to recognize the copyright of British authors, but made little headway because American publishing was undercapitalized and needed to be able to plunder British and continental works in order to survive. Indeed, during his first visit Dickens's raising the controversial issue made him anathema in certain political circles and in the American press; his responses to the criticisms that appeared in American newspapers are best reflected in Martin Chuzzlewit (1842-3)."

    "Indeed it may be said that if royalties which ought to have been paid in the United States on the novels of Scott, Dickens, and a host of others, on the dramatic adaptations of their stories, and on the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan when first produced, were now to be handed over with compound interest, Great Britain would no longer be a debtor nation to the United States. The contra account of American authors whose royalties were not paid by English publishers over the same period would be a drop in the ocean by comparison. (Pearson 106)"

    "Young Charles Dickens, in the process of being lionized by his Yankee readers, dared to assert that, had American publishers paid Sir Walter Scott appropriate royalties for his works re-printed in the United States from Marmion in 1808 to Castle Dangerous in 1832, he would not have faced bankruptcy in the middle of his career and would not have died at the age of 61, broken in body and mind by years of financial difficulties, and "unjustly deprived of his rightful income"

    District Judge Quentin Purdy rejected the defense arguments that ... too long had passed since it had occurred.

    Maybe Judge Purdy will hear arguments to restore all the royalties owed to the estates of Victorian authors by 19th century whining American publishers and copyright holders.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > The first American "pirate" was probably Benjamin Franklin.

      The grand irony is that without the blatant pirating of copyright works the US would probably not exist in it's current form.

      Tom Paine's 'common sense', the pamphlet that arguably sparked the American revolution, sold 500,000 copies. 400,000 of these were bootlegs....

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The law is an ass

    but if you put two fingers up at it , the ass is going to kick you.

    The best advice he could have taken was to shut the site down when told, pocket the cash from the advertising and get on with his studies.

    But no, he chose to put two fingers up and opened the second .cc site after the Cease and Dessist Notice. I can't think of many things that would piss off the American legal system more than some oink thumbing his nose at them.

    Good luck Richard, I hope you get off the charges, but I'm sorry to say, I think you are gonna learn the hard way.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Several times over recent years, I've thought I'd seen this repulsive lickspittle of a country plumb the depths of sycophancy, in its supine relationship with the USA. But, every time, something else comes along which shoves the nation's tongue just a couple more inches up Uncle Sam's anus.

    Meanwhile MPs strut about, chests puffed up like roosters, crowing about how their latest dealings with the Brussels have "maintained Brtain's independence".

    What a sad, pathetic spectacle it all is.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The US legal system, unlike DVDs, is multi region.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too Bad

    Phuck around and go to prison.

    1. Local Group
      Paris Hilton

      Phuck around and go to prison.

      Unless, of course, you're somebody important. Or know somebody who is.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ermmm, . . . .

    Did the people that pay for adverts on his web site get their hands slapped? Site is now offline so I don't know. What companies were paying?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If the adverts on his site were by Google, then the advertisers had no knowledge of where their ads were being displayed. (I am not even sure that an advertiser has any control at all over where ads are displayed.)

      1. Richard Taylor 2

        I thought

        That ignorance was no defence under the law.

        1. Philip Lewis

          But Sire ...

          I thought laws were made to protect the ignorant!

        2. Local Group

          " That ignorance was no defence under the law."

          That ignorance used to be only for the laws of your own country. Today, we must not be ignorant of the laws of 200 countries. Or we could be extradited or kidnaped to a country with a 10th century legal code.

  41. Mark Quesnell

    grow some balls

    I am in the US. I don't particularly like the way we are going in regards to the way my supposed government is treating an individual. We are supposed to be founded on individual rights over the government ( at least if those rights are protected by the constitution). The Brits need to grow some balls and tell the US to bug off. If it isn't a crime over there then you shouldn't be extraditing one of your citizens over here. Tell that judge to go to hell.

    1. Drew V.

      It's not easy to regrow a pair...

      ...after Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair cut them off, and made mince pie from them.

    2. Mr Anonymous

      I suggest the 99 percent would like to, but as the 1 percent are in the Government, they won't be.

    3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      rights are protected by the constitution

      including all men (and women) being equal....... but separate.

      Constitutions ain't law, it's lobby groups that write the law.

      1. ThatHairyCanadian
        Black Helicopters

        Rights, you say???

        They're not really RIGHTS if they're written on paper and can be taken away with the stroke of a pen under secret sessions of Parliament/Senate/Etc.

        They are only really temporary privileges assigned and maintained by each successive ruling government - as appointed by financial lobbying interests.

        In my youth I knew people (seniors) who had been scooped up into several different racially(sic) segregated internment camps. Germans, Ukranians, Japanese, and even some select Jewish people were among the financial and physical victims of warfare within Canada. We even shipped some of them directly from the UK and mainland Europe on our own dime as a favour.

        Yeah, rights.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a protest...

    ...I'm off to download something illegal (and American)

    1. Local Group


      As long as it doesn't rhyme with "biddy born".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Certainly not

        Just some wholesome stuff from a major American studio.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I do so all the time, directly to /dev/null

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


        best place for a lot of amerikan "entertainment"

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha Ha

    Enjoy your all expense paid tour of U.S. prisons. You earned it.

    1. Dante

      'tis funny

      how all the comments of this ilk are all AC.

  44. Greg J Preece

    What if he'd been a priacy researcher, and his website was full of the same links, but as examples of people illegally streaming TV? Would he have been extradited then? After all, he's still linking to filthy pirate scumbags, and we all know that PIRACY IS TERRORISM, at least according to the hilariously stupid unskippable warnings on my BDs.

    1. Mr Anonymous

      If it had been research, there is an exemption from copyright.

      14.3 The UK recognises a number of 'special cases', of which for present purposes the most important are fair dealing for purposes of research, private study, research, criticism and review. Later reproduction of the copyright work in these contexts does not interfere with the ordinary publication of the material, and does not lead to an unreasonable loss of remuneration for the author.

      Where is his dissertation: Research in to effective methods of video distribution.

      I didn't see his site, did he criticise or review any of the films/programmes?

  45. Ebeneser

    Wider Implications

    I use Google Docs and Amazon Web Services constantly for all sorts of personal and business stuff. I treat them as if they were a local extension to my computing environment ... (I live in the UK).

    Makes you wonder if using these services in such a naive manner is a really bad idea ...

    After all I'm sure my data is stored in the U.S. and therefore de facto accessible by US government agents ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've chosen Europe [Dublin] as the datacentre for my stuff stored on Amazon AWS. Their T&C state that your data never leaves the region it's stored in. Mind you, I'd trust Amazon about as far as I could throw them, with regard to fighting their corner, if Uncle Sam demanded access.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        hah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

        ... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha... gasp.... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        @madra (what a dog of a name by the way)

        I've chosen my computer table as my data-centre, and I _know_ it'll never leave the region it's stored in

    2. Turtle

      Here's the "wider implications"!

      "I use Google Docs and Amazon Web Services constantly for all sorts of personal and business stuff. . . .After all I'm sure my data is stored in the U.S. and therefore de facto accessible by US government agents ..."

      Here's the "wider implications" of your post: If you use any kind of cloud for anything, or if you use Google for anything, then no matter *where* the servers are based and no matter *where* you yourself are located, your idea of having *any* privacy at all strongly "implies" that you are an idiot.

      1. Ebeneser

        re: Turtle (head?)

        Hmm, if you understood that the original statement was about unintended legal liability, you'd be better able to place your idiot moniker. Privacy isn't the issue here, as clearly if I wanted any, my data wouldn't be in the cloud.

    3. Drew V.
      Thumb Up

      As a personal rule...

      I try not to use American servers for anything (I don't mean illegal stuff, I mean everything), to the fullest practical extent that I am able to avoid them.

      I know that being in a different part of the Cloud - on a French server or an Australian server, or whatever - does not automatically give me more anonymity, does not enhance my privacy, and does not make me immune to potential court orders (there are ways to do that, but they are for the most part unrelated to server nationality). That is not the point. For me it is a political statement as well as a declaration about user rights.

    4. Mr Anonymous
  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder

    Linking to illegal content is illegal, so they seem to be arguing.


    Then I'd be linking to a site, that houses downloads, that link to illegal content. Is that enough abstraction to make it ok? Being as it's the Internet, and how links work, if you go far enough down that road, I can probably say Disney links to animal porn Not directly, but Disney links to x which links to y which links to z.... which links to

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      copyright infringement is not illegal, it's a civil matter. How many fcuking times.

      1. Vic

        > copyright infringement is not illegal, it's a civil matter.

        That depends on the context. Read section 107.

        > How many fcuking times.

        Errr - precisely...


  48. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Good enough for a bang to rights dodgy duchess, good enough for all and any?

    Yes, of course it is, otherwise would there be anarchy and chaos.

    I suppose there is nothing else for it, other than to flourish that hoary ace card ........ the Duchess of York Commoner Defence ......... with grounds in national security, social order and other essential interests expounded to fully justify extradition request non-compliance ......

    Such as can be easily perceived of as crass ignorant and arrogant international bullying, by both painfully sad and reassuringly mad and traditionally pathetic and fully self-delusional and self-serving dysfunctional bullies, are just so not of this time anymore, and are they in for an awesome shock as their powers of coersion with artificially generated conflict management are stripped away and extraordinarily rendered to have no future intellectual base support or AI Beta ProgramMING Plans, which is double whammy of unfolding despair to expect and experience is expanding at an exponential rate ......... with the inevitable runaway train fate, the destiny of all its passengers and goods.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Pass through NAT to your myth server or slingbox?

    Orange? Suits you sir. If you aren't thrown out of the aeroplane on the way...

  50. Chris 228

    When you chose to violate law, you go to prison

    Sorry, he knew full well he was in violation of copyright law so I hope he gets what he deserves. People need to take personal responsibility for their actions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      By far the larger majority of posters here seem to have forgotten that it is alleged that he was breaking international copyright law.

      "But they were only links" people will cry.

      Well, I don't like international copyright law as it currently stands, nor the UK<>US extradition treaty, but they are laws and it is alleged that he broke them. No amount of visceral comments will make any difference to that.

      People can shout and scream all they want, but he is accused of breaking the law and he needs to defend himself against those charges.

      I hope he is able to get one or more laws reviewed and possibly clarified, but it is a high stakes game to play when your personal freedom is on the line

      .....and there is no suggestion that he undertook the whole venture with any goal other than to make money, so playing the knight in shining amour of the "free internet" now is disingenuous to say the least.

    2. Mr Anonymous

      No you don't


      You do not go to jail for a civil offence, you are usually fined or told to be good. (You can go to jail if you don't pay your fine).

      As usual, this is about ultra greed, even in a case where they suggest they lost a lot and where their cost of recovering it will be covered by damages, they can't be arsed to use the correct methods available to them. Take him to court under a civil offence, ask for the $280,000 he supposedly earned, extra damages and an order so he can't do it again. This stops him, puts off others and helps your case.

      But no, use a procedure put in place to fight terrorism (yeh sure...) to extradite him and prosecute under your laws of another country, with the help of ******* court systems and ****** judges, put in place by ******* government for the benefit of themselves and the other 1 percent.

      They want the 99 percent to pay for the costs of them protecting their (extended period) copyrighted stuff, while you will have to pay yourself if you loose anything, such as big media using your copyrighted photographs without permission.

      I hope it's not a hot summer in August next year.

      1. Sean Baggaley 1

        Oh, yes you do!

        In the UK it may be a civil offence. An offence the accused clearly admitted to given how he modified his second website to deliberately piss off those involved in enforcing the law.

        However, the UK has signed *BINDING INTERNATIONAL TREATIES* with regard to copyright enforcement that work *across* national borders.

        Extradition exists to ensure those who break the law of a nation do not get off scott free by simply moving elsewhere. The internet (and telephony in general) has confused matters somewhat as it has been possible to hack into a US-based computer from the UK since the birth of the modem. (Granted, it was expensive, but only if you didn't know how to phreak the phone system.)

        Extradition now covers the issue of someone breaking the law in another country through electronic means alone. While copyright infringement is considered a civil law issue in the UK, it is NOT considered such in the US. As the UK and the US have a *BINDING INTERNATIONAL TREATY* ensuring someone accused of breaking a US law while in the UK can be extradited, the judiciary have little option but to accede to the US' requests.

        Even so, I have no idea why so many people are leaping to the defence of someone who very clearly built a CURATED website filled with links to ILLEGAL content. (No, he wasn't hosting it, but so what? It still violates the UK's *civil* laws, and the US' *criminal* laws. And the plaintiffs are based in the US, so guess which laws apply? Hint: not the UK's.)

        Also: fuck the 99%.

        Seriously. It's not as if they haven't had plenty of opportunities to right "wrongs". They're called "elections".

        Either vote for people you actually believe in, or go stand for election yourself. YOUR government is YOUR responsibility. That's what "democracy" MEANS, for fuck's sake! You don't get to just piss and moan and do precisely fuck all about their behaviour and then demand the moral high ground.

        Whatever you may think about the US-UK extradition treaty, it was YOUR government that signed it. If you don't like it, complain to your MPs and make damned sure they get suitably punished (by not being reelected) if they fail to do as you demand. If you can't even be arced to do that much and limit yourself to signing the occasional (online) petition, you have only yourselves to blame.

        Every society gets the government it deserves. If your government is so bad, perhaps you need to look long and hard at your society.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          SEAN BAGGALEY 1#

          IS that broomstick you've got stuck up your a*se uncomfortable?

          I hope so!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Thanks for that contribution to the discussion...

        2. Vic

          > An offence the accused clearly admitted to

          He did no such thing.

          "Fuck the police" does not mean the same thing as "I'm bang to rights and no mistake, guv'ner".

          > the UK has signed *BINDING INTERNATIONAL TREATIES* with regard

          > to copyright enforcement that work *across* national borders.

          And which treaty covers the act of linking to someone else's website? Which section?

          > I have no idea why so many people are leaping to the defence of someone

          It's very simple: this is a clear and serious abuse of legislation brought in to tackle terrorism. This guy is not a terrorist, so this legislation should not be used.

          We don't give a toss about the guy himself. We care deeply about the removal of the presumption of innocence.

          > It still violates the UK's *civil* laws

          Does it? Which law, which section?

          > And the plaintiffs are based in the US, so guess which laws apply?

          That's very interesting. So when are you going to start extraditing people to Saudi Arabia? An awful lot of yanks have broken Saudi laws...

          > Either vote for people you actually believe in, or go stand for election yourself.

          You're going to pay for that, are you?

          Take a look at UK election legislation. It really isn't as simple as deciding to stand, and just going and doing it. You need to do quite a bit before you can even get your name on the ballot paper.

          > That's what "democracy" MEANS, for fuck's sake!

          We do not have a true democracy. And nor do you.


        3. TheFifth

          @Sean Baggaley 1

          You seem to be so positive that this guy has committed an offence under UK law, so please tell me exactly what laws he has broken?

          In the UK we have something called the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service). In their own words, "The role of the Service is to prosecute cases firmly, fairly and effectively when there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and when it is in the public interest to do so."

          The CPS investigated this case and decided that there was no case to answer to (or there was not a realistic prospect of a conviction under UK law). So if our Governmental prosecution service don't believe that he has broken a UK law (or believe there is no chance of conviction), why in hell is he being extradited?

          The alleged crime took place in the UK, the content was not hosted in the US (or even on his site!) and if the CPS findings are anything to go by, he has not broken any UK laws. If the MPAA, RIAA etc. want to prosecute they should bring a civil action in a UK court, not bend a treaty designed to counter terrorism to protect their profits.

          Believe it or not, it is not illegal to make money and not be an American.

    3. Vic

      > he knew full well he was in violation of copyright law

      Did he?

      Which law, which section?

      > People need to take personal responsibility for their actions.

      Indeed they do. I wonder if the US authorities who are pushing for extradition will end up taking responsibility for theirs...


  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Punishment to be increased for piracy

    Numerous countries are working on legislation for mandatory prison sentences for all who pirate. A prison sentence seems to be all that the braindead pirates understand. Works for me. they make prisons for people who can't live within the laws of society.

    1. Mr Anonymous


      It cost's £170,000 to build a place for each prisoner.

      It costs between £60,000 and £215,00 for secure accommodation if the 'pirate' is under 18.

      It costs £45,000 to sentence someone to prison in crown court .

      It costs £37,500 to keep an adult in prison for a year.

      All this because the media industry doesn't want to take 'pirates' to court, but wants you to do so and pay for it instead of them.

      You are a fool or American, where they have 2.3M in prison and where they make law abiding Americans redundant and give their jobs to prisoners on 23cents an hour.

      Highly paid defence works were laid off so prisoners could make parts for vehicles and weapons used in Afghanistan! Stirbacks foods are packaged by them, the majority of US white goods are made by them and all the while while 13.1M Americans are unemployed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But you forget....

        All the major empires have had slaves, so they want them too.

        1. Local Group

          Our Golden Age of Slavery was so-so **sarc**

          Now we're into boot-licking satrapies.

  52. Chris 228

    Slaves are good

    Why not make prisoners slaves? They willingly chose to violate law so now they can earn their freedom back after 10-20 years of slavery. There is no God given right to violate law or need to treat criminals with kid gloves. You get what you earn in this life, not what you chose to steal.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      That is assuming that everyone who is in jail has been convicted without any reasonable doubt what so ever. Obviously this is the case for many trials, but there are also dozens of convicted "criminals" who eventually appear to be completely innocent.

      Then what ?

    2. Intractable Potsherd
      Thumb Down

      I'm not sure where you are from, Chris 228 ...

      ... but your lack of history lessons is showing. What you are calling for are commonly known as "labour camps". You may know them from such paragons of human rights as Soviet Russia and the Third Reich - you know, those organisations that the UK/USA (and many others, of course), spent millions of lives, trillions of pounds, and many, many years fighting.

      Your ignorance is disgusting.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does everyone feel better for venting their spleens?

    If anyone really thinks he is innocent, grow a pair of balls.......setup a similar website, have it taken down by the authorities, then setup another doing exactly the same thing.

    You'll get your opportunity to argue your innocence through the courts.

    Do I have any takers?

    No, didn't think so.

  54. SleepyJohn

    Remember Gerald Ratner

    I think the apologists for the true criminals here - the racketeering thugs of the entertainment industry - should get things into perspective. As I understand it nothing was stolen or damaged, no-one was tortured or murdered, no little girls raped, no peasants set afire with napalm, no national economies destroyed, and probably no-one even out of pocket. In fact, it is increasingly becoming apparent to those with more than half a brain cell that such free distribution and publicity is actually beneficial to practically everyone involved.

    By any normal human standards of morality the treatment of this young man, and increasingly thousands of others, is clearly outrageously vindictive and unjust - whatever the law may say. Of course we should rail against it, as loudly as possible. If the politicians who support this copyright protection racket can be made to feel more threatened by an angry mass of ordinary folk than by their media pals' lawyers then perhaps some sanity will prevail.

    Do you really want to live your life in mortal fear of a cat wandering across your keyboard and clicking a link that will send you to prison? Are you happy that the entertainment industry has managed to turn 1000 years of carefully evolved Common Law on its head so that you are now presumed guilty of a crime merely on the unsupported accusation of a foreign record company? Then be cut off from what some enlightened societies are beginning to view as a fundamental human right - the means to communicate with your fellow men? Or even imprisoned for something that clearly does not pose a risk to the public?

    Do you want your children growing up in such a repressive and unjust society? Do you want them living in fear of being dragged out of their beds at 3 am and thrown to the snarling, rabid dogs of the American media industry? With no hope of protection from a government whose sole purpose for existence should be to protect the people it governs?

    If you do not want those things, then rail against this media mogul monstrosity with all your might. If a law is not made by those chosen by the people, for the benefit of the people, then it has no validity and should not be respected. And think on this: virtually every penny you spend on mainstream entertainment goes into the coffers of the very sickos who are trying to force this wickedly unjust society onto your children. So don't pay them. Starve them out of the equation. Then we can tell them who is allowed to make the law and who isn't. Remember Gerald Ratner.

    1. Sean Baggaley 1

      What's violence got to do with anything?

      "As I understand it nothing was stolen or damaged, no-one was tortured or murdered, no little girls raped, no peasants set afire with napalm, no national economies destroyed..."

      Nobody tends to be arrested for unethical and immoral behaviour on such a vast scale anyway. I certainly haven't seen Blair and Bush tried in The Hague for war crimes.

      Nor have any of the arseholes responsible for the collapse of so many Western economies been jailed for their part in annihilating the livelihoods of _thousands_ of workers, now unemployed.

      Your prisons are full of petty thieves, thugs, the occasional murderer and the few white collar criminals who were too stupid not to get caught. They are NOT full of warmongering ex-Presidents, Prime Ministers and MPs. They are NOT full of dodgy investment bankers and financial services employees.

      They are full of the little people, not the _really_ violent, coldhearted mass-murdering bastards who lied to entire nations, whipped them into a froth of fear and terror and twisted the 99% around their little fingers to get them to vote and act and behave exactly as they wanted them to.

      So shut the fuck and you tedious bloody hypocrites. If you REALLY cared about this sort of injustice, there are vast swathes of people in the Middle East and Africa who would like a word.

      1. SleepyJohn

        Why me?

        I am not entirely sure why you are effing and blinding at me. Are you implying that I have no right to comment on the injustice I see here unless I have already solved all the other problems in the world? I think you are asking rather a lot.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      "..Virtually every penny you spend on mainstream entertainment goes into the coffers of the very sickos who are trying to force this wickedly unjust society onto your children. So don't pay them. Starve them out of the equation.."

      Couldn't agree more. There's a whole world of culture out there; film, television, art, music, literature. Huge amounts of it infinitely better than the production-line 'chewing gum for the brain' spewed out by the US music and entertainments industries. Get off your lazy arses and seek out some alternatives. OK. you might have to read a few subtitles occasionally, but at least you'll be free of the godfathers behind SOPA and their mafia methods.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Denial is not a good legal defense

    As many pirates have learned the hard way, denial is not a good legal defense.

  56. Delbert
    IT Angle

    Quid Pro Quo

    So by extension if I take out and order against the CEO of a large American Company which has infringed my rights by illegally modifying software on my computer and others in the UK (said company has already been found in breach of European Law ) will he be extradited by Dave Cameron's legal team, TBH I don't expect Bill Gates to start sweating anytime soon

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The .com in your domain name can put you under US jurisdiction, apparently

    "In July the agency's assistant deputy director told the Guardian that ICE would now actively pursue websites similar to TVShack even if their only connection to the US was a website address ending in .com or .net.

    Such suffixes are routed through Verisign, an internet infrastructure company based in Virginia, which the agency believes is sufficient to seek a US prosecution."

    Glad I don't have a .com domain, though that's only because someone else beat me to it :-)

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Want some cheese with that Whine?

    That's what they'll be asking the boy blunder who chose to pirate.

    1. Local Group

      AC's object all sublime...

      He will achieve in time —

      To let the punishment fit the crime —

      The punishment fit the crime;

      And make each prisoner pent

      Unwillingly represent

      A source of innocent merriment!

      Of innocent merriment!

      Flogging through the fleet. All hands on deck and watching the punishment.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It appears that England is just a state of the USA

    and is under the thumb of the USA federal government. Personally I find that very offensive, and my heart feels for that youth and how his parental state was willing to sacrifice him to maintain their own sit of power. Who knows the good 'ol USA might spank them and send them to the corner to rethink their manners for not following orders. OMG, how his parents must feel....

    1. Local Group

      The quality of mercy is not strained. The High Court best remember that.

      If he's incarcerated in the US, how will his parents visit him?

      A convicted murderer would have more visitations than this Internet pirate.

    2. Local Group

      No. The USA is the second Rome.

      And England devolved back into Britianna.

  60. httpss

    its time to take the country back

    from these over priveliged oiks, most of whom will not have done an actual day's work in their puff.

    They, our present crop of politicos, have somehow arrived in a position of power by default, ie as a career politician, whose raison d'etre is just that - to be in power. A new party would seem to be required, given the point at which we now stand viv a vis the existing mainstream parties.

    Most recent elections have been won by a much reduced electorate compared to actual registered voters, not to mention the unregistered or apathetic or protest non-voters. I believe that the old guard can be swept away by a combination of the younger and older enlightened acting together as, for example, in a brand new 'Consensus Party', where a bloodless voting coup could spearhead a move towards a properly benign benevolent(place your adjective here) UK govt.

    Just by reading the letters pages and comments in the national broadsheets/forums, one can garner a sense that there are able, competent professional people out there who would not succumb to the jobsworth mentality which infests much of the current political realm. New social media surprise electorate, anyone?? Made up of u and meand them..

    just dreamin', I suppose...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      UKIP ?

      Type your comment here -- plain text only, no HTML

  61. unitron

    If just links are illegal...

    ...then what of anyone who linked to his site?

    Are they next for a free Trans-Atlantic airplane trip?

    Did they ever manage to shut down any of the sites to which he linked?

    Or were they all hosted in the kind of places former Republican presidents buy real estate, countries without extradition to the U.S.?

  62. Mike Roantree 1

    Another massive injection of cash for the Lawyers

    Considering how long and drawn out this is likely to become the only people who win here will be the lawyers.....

    I fail to comprehend how this can fall under US jurisdiction, the McKinnon case at least had the 'justification' that he hacked US computers so an offence occurred in the US.

    Unless the guys site was hosted on US soil, the claim that the USA has and right to the extradition seems tenuous at best, as this legislation was set up to expidite the extradition of terrorists then surely it should be limited only to terrorists and not someone who offended the corporations.

    Obviously our government doesnt give a shit but on the upside it will be a few years probably before he exhausts all appeals, so a government with ballls might repeal the treaty in the intervening years.

  63. Chris 228

    Luck has nothing to do with it

    This guy knowingly violated copyright law because he like many pirates feels he is above the law. He was wrong and now he will pay for his cavalier attitude. People who make bad life decisions end up dead or in prison.

    1. SleepyJohn

      The web is not the media industry's private warehouse

      I suspect that like many others he 'violated copyright law' because deep down he knows that it simply does not work in this digital age, and that far from protecting artists it just lines the pockets of greedy, racketeering Mafia-style middlemen.

      After years of controlling content distribution with a thieving iron fist these people have developed the curious notion that the internet is their own private warehouse, and anyone who enters it is a thief who has broken one of their windows. Like Canute's courtiers they cannot grasp the simple fact that life changes and if you try to stop it it will just roll relentlessly over you - laws and morality have nothing to do with what is happening here. Those with brains will accept the rolling waves of change and use them to float their boats. Those who are so addled with charmless greed that they behave like educationally sub-normal street corner gangster drug peddlars, will drown at no great loss to society.

      The internet is not the entertainment industry's private fiefdom and no amount of quasi-legal thuggery will make it so. It is the people's 'digital atmosphere' and should be as freely available to us all as the physical one that we currently walk, talk and breathe in. Sueing folk for playing or listening to music in it will soon be seen as ludicrous - like sueing someone for playing music with their car window open, or sueing someone for walking past and hearing it, or even sueing someone for breathing in the air that you breathe out. (Sshh - don't give them ideas!)

      Future generations will scream with laughter at the thought of these defective corruptoids trying to control the very 'digital air' that everyone will then be 'breathing'. And although we may find the idea of a 'digital atmosphere' radical our children certainly will not. They will view these ranting Luddites as rather inadequate buffoons peering round the back of a TV to see where the people are.

      It all reminds me of the dockers kicking up a stink over the change to containerised shipping - not because they would lose their jobs apparently but because they could no longer thieve from the customers.

  64. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    "O’Dwyer gave evidence that TVShack “worked exactly like the Google search engine"

    I never bought that line. Yes it linked to sites hosting pirated content, but it couldn't have worked just like an ordinary search engine because it was specifically targeted to pirated content.

    I still don't think that means he deserves five years inside. What it does mean is that he is either hopelessly naive (a) if he does believe there's no difference between google and his site or (b) if he expects everybody else to believe it.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      Me neither

      It was almost like "evil google", whereas google explicitly removes links to copywright material, his site did the opposite.

      Although I have sympathy for him and think that extradition is inappropriate, part of me does recognise that he made a lot of money off the back of piracy, immoral doesn't mean illegal, I suspect that they would have left him alone if he hadn't switched it to a .cc

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        @No, I will not fix your computer

        How to refute your post in one line:

        Looks like their explicit bad link removal system doesn't work so well. The thing with all of these recent cases - this one, newzbin 1+2 - is that they really do just provide an index and a link to the content.

        The newzbin one was even more extreme, on two grounds:

        1) They provided links to content on usenet, a nebulous system where even if you have the link, you need a participating usenet provider to actually supply the content. Usenet is un-censorable in the US, they cannot go after Usenet providers, so they go at the indices.

        2) All of the alleged links to infringing content are User Generated Content. This should mean that the Safe Harbor provisions of the DMCA act should apply, but apparently this only applies if you are google.

        I would expect that the second argument would form the basis of this guy's defence, if he is extradited.

        If you are looking for any sort of un-licensed media online, you can use a specific index site, like a torrent site or a newzbin-a-like, or you can use "google <name of media> <torrent|nzb>". Both work equally effectively, but one is legal and the other is not, which is hypocritical bullshit.

        1. PT


          "This should mean that the Safe Harbor provisions of the DMCA act should apply, but apparently this only applies if you are google."

          No - DMCA is a US law, so its Safe Harbor provisions only apply within the US. However, if it were to be applied extraterritorialy, it would apply in this case. On the other hand, you could then be extradited to the US for region-unlocking your DVD player.

          I predict that O'Dwyer will never stand trial anyway. If extradited, he will spend a lengthy period in jail on remand - possibly a couple of years - which will constitute his punishment, and then charges will either be dropped, or he will be offered a plea bargain to some misdemeanor. They will NEVER let this case come in front of a jury.

          1. Arthur Dent

            Re: @tinker+tailor+torrent

            TIf he's extradited and tried in the US, the safe harbour provisions apply. That appears to mean that he has committed no offence under US law (unless someone has served a DMCA notice on him, which I believe has not happened). Since he has committed no offence under US law, why the f*** is a district judge granting the US permission to extradite him for not committing an offence?

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think before you pirate

    Then you won't need to make excuses after you are caught and sentences for your crimes.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think the existing copyright laws are restrictive and divisive in the Internet age, and entertainment companies are just using their muscle to try to make enough money before it all comes crashing down. I also think the extradition agreement that Blair and Bush set up is problematic in its scope, its bias and one-sided nature, and in its application and implementation both in the USA and in the UK for transfer of people in either directon between the two countries. It is also true that the USA justice system is corrupt in a different way to that of the UK justice system: in the USA, justice is free, but weighted by the amount of money available for individual's on either side of any dispute much more than it is in the UK (but this has become more equal over the years because of the changes brought about by UK governments and payment charges by legal people in the UK). In the UK, it is also the case that who you know matters more than in the USA (see the case of Fregie and fliming at Turkish children's facilities.)

    With all that in mind, I'm not sure what this person's aim is. Unless he is protesting some or all of the above, then he should have had the sense to stop as soon as he was first shut down and raided. However, he did not, which suggests he is protesting about some or all of the above. (Or I could have got it wrong, and it is about something else.)

    So, what is going to be his main object of protest? At first, it seemed to be issues of copyright. Now, it seems to be the extradition agreement and the disproportionate for of punishment for the same offence when comparing UK and USA legal systems. I think he is a bit confused, and basically did not thinbk things through in enough detail unless he is playing a very subtle game.

    I think the extradition treaty agreement should be ended. The phony information often spouted at particular times by politicians when it suits their purposes about a "special relationship" is only special in so far as the USA asks, and we deliver. It has made out own country a much more dangerous place on the USA's behalf, and we seem to get little back in return except the initiation of an immense financial crisis (fueled also by home-grown incompetence, it must be said). Time to tell the USA, quietly and firmly "No!".

  67. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    "Unless he is protesting some or all of the above, then he should have had the sense to stop as soon as he was first shut down and raided. However, he did not, which suggests he is protesting about some or all of the above."

    Protesting? Where do you get that idea? When he started up again after being raided and shut down was that he was stupid. Like others before him he seemed to thing that because his interpretation of the law told him he was doing nothing wrong then he would get away with it. There was no hint of any protest in his actions, just greed.

    Oh and you seem to be another one of those people who rants on about the extradition agreement being one sided without giving any information to back up your claims. Exactly why is the agreement one sided? Oh and don't give me that shit about the US not having ratified it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Convincing enough

      If only one party agreed (ratified), then it can not be "fair".

      However, I find it fascinating that anyone who believes he lives in a "democracy" or claims to believe in such should support the extradition of people to another country for breaches of that country's civil or crimina law, regardless of the person's guilt in his own land and place where he committed the act.

      What was that about "no taxation without representation"? How much more must this be valid for subjection to laws made in countries in which one has got no vote or access to the law-making process?

      I take it that the American strictures (in some states anyway) against having alcoholic drink exposed to view in public now apply in Britain. Perhaps we can get a few Americans for carrying guns in public. Some of their television pornography is definitely against UK law.

      Presumably there is some large prison in the USA full of Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Russian and other counterfeiters of goods, music and film DVDs, who made serious money using proper manufacturing systems.

      I hear that within the United States, laws in some states do not exist in others and can not be enforced outside that state. UK must be of less account than even a tinpot, broke American state.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Both sides have ratified the agreement. If you believe that they haven't then you have done absolutely no research and don't understand the subject at all. As a result I can't be bothered to read beyond your first sentence.

  68. Tony Paulazzo

    Jeez, just think, one honest politician, anywhere in the world, could probably change the entire world

    1. PT

      One Honest Politician

      No - he would be shot before he had the opportunity.

  69. ThatHairyCanadian
    Big Brother

    The thin end of the wedge...

    I suppose that we should be happy there was no extraordinary rendition... in THIS case.

    US bounty hunters, 'agents', and even Mossad have been snatching Canadians off the streets for decades with impunity. It has rarely occured to supress terrorism. This has happened under every gov Party that has held power in Canada.

    Does anyone remember that the US actually invaded Panama and killed over 2,000 unarmed civilians in the first 24hrs on a trumped-up out of jurisdiction federal arrest warrant against Noriega for supposed drug dealing? They also originally tacked on a RICO charge (US internal state border crossing racketeering offence) even though he had only ever been there on State visits, but that mysteriously disappeared from the docket the day before trial without any formal withdrawal. The entire Canal Zone from end to end is now dominated by US corporate control. They justified this all to the press in the end as a strategic necessity for US/UK naval dominance, and nobody batted an eyelash about it.

    Even the current supposedy Democratic US VP Joe Biden has openly stated his government's intent to use every means necessary to enforce their agenda on the electronic frontier AND the world stage. The recent reduction in US forces funding has been perfectly coordinated with an equal increase in funding for international UN/NATO led sub-contracting. You don't really believe that they flew pallate loads of billions in US currency into Iraq, just to lose track of it? Then there is the massive increas in the IMF funding aimed at garnering financial control of any smaller State they may be able to get hold of. Manufactured financial collapse is rather old-school - like late 16th early 17th century, old.

    In the Great White North we had a recent Supreme Court ruling that linking to a site doesn't equate culpability for content. Whew!

    It doesn't really matter now that we have George Bush wannabe PM Steven Harper implementing total warrant-less backdoor access to ISP's hardware for our national police. You know the ones, the Really Corrupt Masquerading as Police (RCMP) who like to taser people to death for argueing with them in airports. Their international spying record goes back to the original formation of this country and has often rivaled the KGB for style and execution. They split into the CDN Security Intelligence Service, so they could have a clearly defined unit to deal with international and internal supression, not just the street thugs in blue now.

    Good Old Stevo' also wants to make CDN ISP's keep comprehensive electronic records of ALL packet transmissions indefinitely! I'm not quite sure that he's thought through the logistics of maintaining such a monumental amount of data - onsite. It boggles the mind, really. Then again, he did appoint a Christian Creationist as the Minister of Science.

    There's a really nifty new draconian CDN Copyright Enforcement Act in the pipes. He also wants to make anyone growing more than six pot plants or baking with it go to jail for a minimum sentence of 3-5yrs and a maximum of life=20yrs as drug manufacturers. No more Granny's Favourite Brownies on a Sunday afternoon. He needs to justify the planned building of 8 new Mega-Prison's, even though the crime rate has steadily been declining for decades. Even manslaughter only carries a 1-3yr sentence in this country. Having worked IT in the belly of the beast, I have been privy to some extremely disturbing trends going back decades. Importing US prisoners under corporate contract is just one of the 'arrangements' that was included in the NAFTA.

    The adoption in principle of NAFTA based 'rightness' was made by the UN and EU back in late 1995. What do you think all of the WTO/G8/G20 protest fuss has been about? Facebook guru Mark Zuckerberg was an instrumental BHZ (think IBM-HAL) agent in the dismantling of the anti-WTO movement in Seattle back in the late 90's - early 00's. He was rewarded for his loyalty with the NSA contract to implement their social data-mining initiative. The recent covert initiation of the international facial recognition database service has been going quite smoothly. The self-monitoring TimeLine was needed to assist less than technically competent agents organise their chronological searches. Too bad they never expected people to be so willing to adopt it and have been stumbling over storage limitations and are now suffering from complexity creep.

    The wedge was set a long time ago and this poor young man is just a minor example of what is intended to unfold. Don't be too quick to label me a foil-hatter. Until you have seen/experienced events for yourself firsthand, it is a natural psychological necessity to maintain faith in the 'System'. That's the effect that's been relied on throughout history to facilitate corporate imperialism - and several genocides.

    We can at least rely on entropy to prevail... eventually.

    1. SleepyJohn
      Big Brother

      "Manufactured financial collapse is rather old-school" ??

      @ThatHairyCanadian -- interesting post from someone apparently at or near the coalface. But we Europeans should not feel too smug about it all.

      - "Then there is the massive increase in the IMF funding aimed at garnering financial control of any smaller State they may be able to get hold of. Manufactured financial collapse is rather old-school ..."

      Not too old for the EU apparently, which seems to be pulling it off with ruthless efficiency at the moment. We should not be misled by its patronising, emotive brainwashing into believing that this authoritarian behemoth is any more answerable to, or concerned for the people than the USA. Ask the Greeks or Italians, who have just had their elected governments turfed out by the unelected Eurocrats and replaced with appointed bagmen (on the excuse of imminent financial collapse!); and these are not Mickey Mouse drug-running Third World States.

      None of these major governments is on the side of the people. Which brings me back to my early post about mass worldwide civil disobedience. I really see no other solution. We need to somehow reassert the notion I grew up with in England that the State is the Servant of the People, not their Master. And the internet is probably our best tool for doing this, which is why things like this matter.

      The questions of copyright or profit are trivial. The really important thing is for the people to wrest control of the internet from the governments and corporations, by any means possible. And for such anarchy to work we must tolerate some things we perceive to be bad on the basis that we do not know what good might ultimately spring from them. We must also be seen to thumb our noses at authority whenever we possibly can. The object of the exercise should not be to agonise over commercial morality but to abolish authoritarian manipulation of the internet.

      An internet that is allowed to evolve freely and naturally could effectively become an independent entity far beyond the control of any organisation - as free, I argue in a later post, as the very air we breathe. I think most of us here would benefit from and applaud that.

      1. Local Group

        @ SleepyJohn

        If you need a criminal lawyer.....

  70. Ponmyword

    British politicians standing up for British people?

    As far as justice is concerned, the USA ought to be considered a pariah state by any European country.

    The draconian "3 strikes" legal framework, means a person can be sentenced to 20 years in prison for stealing a postage stamp.

    Once in prison, they are forced to produce saleable items and if they refuse are kept in solitary confinement, despite the supposed constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The saleable items are sold by various corporations who of course pocket the profit. This is slavery.

    And of course, there is the systematic use of torture in Guantanamo.

    Only proven terrorists should be liable for extradition to the USA (bearing in mind the USA funded anti-British terrorism for years).

    Of course this will depend on British politicians standing up for British people.

  71. TheBeardyMan

    If the state isn't on my side when I have a dispute with a foreign power, then I have no moral obligation to be on their side when they have a dispute with a foreign power.

  72. Daniel Johnson

    Don't forget the NDAA - Obama can now have the military arrest anybody, anywhere in the world, for any reason (including US citizens in the USA) and detain them indefinitely without trial or access to a lawyer. detention without trial

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I download therefore I am

    TPB or not TPB

  74. This post has been deleted by its author

  75. bw_says


    Just what is the problem with prosecuting someone who has apparently broken the law?

    Also, let us not forget that this is not some poor little student who was just trying to be helpful or altruistic - he made money out of his site.

    I may not be as 'liberal' as the majority of poster's here, but ... get a life! The kid tried to make some quick cash and got caught.

  76. Eddie Hotchkiss

    What were the Governments words

    We won't abuse these laws, as only bad governemt would do so. We will only use them in the hunt for terrorists Aherm Boll*cks

  77. Mr Common Sense

    So what's the deal if he runs off to another european country?

    I assume the rest of them don't have the same extradition treaty and that he could legitimately move there.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Unfortunately ...

      ... that is what the European Arrest Warrant is designed to cover, amongst other things.

  78. Volvic

    The usual argument

    "It's just like Google"

    Except he categorised search results by the names of TV series, or films. Exactly the same reason why Newzbin arguing the same thing doesn't work, because they had categories like "PS3 games" and "Windows applications". It's clear that the aim of both sites was to facilitate the accessing of copyrighted material without paying, even to an idiot.

    If they weren't so fucking organised these warez sites would be untouchable

    1. Mr Anonymous

      If he made $23000, how much did Google make from posting the adverts that funded his website?

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      User Generated Content. Content rights owners should submit a DMCA takedown for each indexed location that allegedly breaches copyright.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phuck around, go to prison

    Now this "student" is about to get a real education. Living in denial can be very painful. Ask the prison population.

  80. Slabfondler

    Reminds me of a case in Canada...Marc Emery ring any bells?

    Marc sold pot seeds, lots of em. Sent Ottawa his due taxes on his sales, and every year a whole lot of pot seed catalogs to the Canadian House of Commons. The USofA did not like Marc doing this kind of business and somehow convinced our authorities to arrest him and hold hm for trial in the US. trhe head of the DEA pretty much admitted it was not a criminal proceeding but a political one (Marc is also one of the biggest figures in the pot legal reform movement), though at trial in the US last year this was disputed by the prosecution, who claim he is nothing but a criminal, he's serving 5 years in the US for doing legal business and paying taxes for it in Canada.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reality Bites

      Most people know right from wrong. They make laws for those too stupid to know right from wrong. Only a damn fool would start a website for pirated TV material. I believe he is about to live the error of his judgment.

    2. david wilson

      >>"Marc sold pot seeds, lots of em."

      Despite it being against the law in Canada, even if penalties there are typically small, and despite being arrested for doing it many times and convicted on at least one occasion.

      If he then *still* sold seeds to US customers, then whatever one might think of the legalisation issue (personally, I think some kind of legalisation might be the best course, or at least worth experimenting with) it'd be hard to conclude he wasn't in some way asking for trouble.

      And while prosecutions at home might typically have been low-key affairs (maybe 'they' didn't want to make a martyr out of him, or have him come across as anything more than a nuisance?), that's hardly a guarantee that the same attitude would (or even *could*) be taken when someone else was asking for extradition, where it might be up to the Canadian authorities to give a good justification for refusal, and where local apathy or reluctance to prosecute for other reasons might not be good enough.

      That's the thing with extradition - if a country wishes to say 'no', it is rather on them to explain *why*, if a case seems to technically qualify under the relevant treaty.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You could always start a petition and get 100,000 signatures

    Like people had to do here:

    Until the governments think they will lose votes on it, they're not going to do anything about it.

  82. boisvert

    Petition in Richard O'Dwyer's support

    If you think this extradition is unfair, sign here

  83. Local Group

    14 months In Big House for similar crime.

    (Jan 20, 2012)

    NinjaVideo Co-Founder Sentenced To 14 Months

    Matthew David Howard Smith, 24, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for his role in founding, the Justice Department said in a press release:

    At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga also ordered Smith to serve two years of supervised release following his prison term, to pay $172,387 and to forfeit to the United States five financial accounts and various computer equipment involved in the crimes. Smith pleaded guilty on Sept. 23, 2011, to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement.

    If extradited, one year in the pokey for O'Dwyer, not five.

    1. david wilson

      >>"If extradited, one year in the pokey for O'Dwyer, not five."

      It's a bit tenuous to generalise from one case to another one that might be different in one or more ways, even if 'they' don't take exception to him fighting extradition.

      As it is, one of O'Dwyer's co-accused got nearly 2 years...

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