back to article Obama washes hands of O’Dwyer piracy extradition case

President Obama has said he has nothing to do with the decision by US authorities to extradite British student Richard O’Dwyer on copyright charges for linking to pirated content. On Tuesday, Obama took part in a Google+ hangout and answered questions submitted and voted on by the public. The top-ranked question, given the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He keeps saying...

    I keep reading about how Obama and The White House want's to keep the internet an open place blah blah and it all seems to be PR talk. They'll agree not to bring in legislation that's going to rip the internet apart but then they'll just go ahead and rip the internet apart anyway.

    /me is getting tired of 'no, no, I wont do it again' *slap* 'no, really, that was the last time' *slap*

  2. LarsG


    He is as two faced as they come, he tries to appease everyone to the point he says one thing to one person and another thing to the other person.

    He wants his cake alright but from everyone.

    These are the actions of weak wishy washy character, want to be friends with everyone yet will never make a stand.

    Is this how he won the Nobel Peace Prize!

    What a wally.

    1. Richard 81

      Could be worse

      He could be a republican.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's never Bama's fault...

    SOS, DD. It's always george W's fault, no matter how many FUBARS Bama makes.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Is there possibly an election approaching?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More likely a lynching...

      It could happen any day.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. David 45

    Nothing doin'

    Nothing to do with him? Well it damn well SHOULD be! This draconian action is nothing short of despicable. The mere linking to other sites is hardly on a par with terrorism, murderers, rapists and the like. Here's one Brit who thinks this one-sided extradition agreement should be ripped up. Come on President Obama, make it your business to stop this ludicrous situation!

    1. Miek
      Big Brother

      Just wait until 'Global Jurisdiction' gets fully under way!

    2. scrubber

      DC grow some balls

      This offence is a CIVIL offence in the UK (assuming linking is even that!).

      How can we justify extraditing a UK citizen for doing something in the UK that isn't a criminal offence? Should the Netherlands extradite marijuana users since that's illegal in the US?

  7. Daedalus
    Thumb Down


    Unlike Brits, we in the US don't live under a govt. where the PM can say what he wants and it happens. Obama has no power in the Constitution to affect an ongoing investigation. And that's all that this is. There's still a trial to come, where these issues can be hashed out. This is the same bashing that the Governor of Texas gets for not pardoning people on death row: in the Texas Constitution, he can't do that!

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      What planet are you from?

      Actually, given what Obama said, he absolutely does have the power to affect the investigation. His statement was that this is under the auspices of the Dept. of Justice (DoJ), which is an executive agency (under the constitution). As Obama is the head of the Executive branch, he can indeed influence the investigation legally (although political fallout from doing so may be more than he wants to take on, were he to make a habit of it).

      Oh, and one more thing: the Governor of Tejas does, under the constitution have the power to both commute a death sentence, as well as to pardon a convicted criminal (which makes any sentence moot).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Thumb Up


          I stand corrected...thanks (as an expatriate New Messican, I never paid a whole lot of attention to the Tejas constitutiion anyway). Now, convince me that the Board of Pardons does anything other than what the Guv'ner of Tejas "recommends".

      2. Tom 13

        @Someone Else: 1 thumbs up, 1 thumbs down.

        0bama certainly does have the power to influence what the DOJ does which we saw quite clearly in the Philadelphia Black Panther case where the DOJ already HAD the conviction but dropped the case to get a favored constituency out of a bad spot.

        But you are completely clueless on Texas.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Unlike Brits, we in the US don't live under a govt. where the PM can say what he wants and it happens."

      Which part of the UK would that be?

    3. Climbing Kid

      You made me register - This "Brit" is really cross!

      @Daedalus: I think you are missing the point. No one is attempting to trounce your precious constitution - just that we do not expect our extradition agreements, put in place to protect us from terrorism, to be exploited for trivial "suspected" piracy allegations. Neither do we take kindly to America's attempts to rule the world - you guys revolted in 1760 as I remember when we tried it ;-)

      Naff all to do with your constitution and everything to do with your flawed political system that has undoubtedly allowed big business to lobby and misuse these laws for their own purposes - to resist change, control the internet and protect their flawed business models to make as much profit as possible. Seems to me it's about money - nothing else.

      In the UK we have pretty strict laws on littering you know - I personally cannot wait for us to begin extradition proceedings against those responsible for littering our airwaves with all your $hite TV! (Anyone remember Joanie loves Chachi - that has to be extraditable! )

      1. PT

        @Climbing Kid

        "we do not expect our extradition agreements, put in place to protect us from terrorism, to be exploited for trivial "suspected" piracy allegations"

        LOL - then you shouldn't have made treaties with America, where every law is sold on the basis of tackling some popular discontent and then widely abused by jailing grandmothers and drowning kittens.

        It's a pity Tony Bliar allowed the treaty to be so one-sided, otherwise we could enjoy the spectacle of the UK extraditing random Americans and prosecuting them for possession of firearms. Or if such treaties existed elsewhere in the world, perhaps a country like Saudi Arabia would extradite Newt Gingrich and behead him for adultery.

        1. Miek

          "LOL - then you shouldn't have made treaties with America" -- LMAO, you seem to think we had a say in it!

          1. PT


            "you seem to think we had a say in it!"

            Oh yes, I apologize. I forgot we live in democratic countries.

      2. Tom 13

        You can get as cross as you want, his point still stands.

        In the US, the President is intentionally more restricted than the PM, who is by definition the head of the majority party. The rest of your post is the continued mad rantings on things about which you know nothing, and apparently have even less interest in learning about than you have knowledge of the subject. Your prejudices may make you feel superior, but you aren't, and your particular brand of socialist warfare is one of the things that keeps crippling a once honorable nation.

    4. Mad Mike


      Hello. Hello. This is planet earth. If you really believe the absence of a direct means of doing it (i.e. an order etc.) affects his ability to influence, you really are living on another planet. The president controls who gets a lot of the positions that affect this and therefore effectively owns the people. They mess him around, they might not be in employment for long.

      The PM and president have the same sorts of powers, it's just whether one is direct or indirect. Strangely enough, in the UK, the PM also can't necessarily just order something and it happens. In some areas yes, in other areas no. However, he does appoint people to roles and therefore gets some control that way. It's called politics and is not really that different between the two countries.

      1. Tom 13

        Presidents and PMs have vastly different sets of powers

        Those with PMs just flatter themselves by equating the two. PMs have a much greater ability to pass legislation and adjustments to legislation because of the simple fact that they ARE the HEADS of the MAJORITIES of the houses which elect them.

  8. Local Group

    I'd like a side order of 'reality' with my outrage.

    Doesn't Obama at least have to pretend that he's read the transcript of the trial before granting O'Dwyer a presidential pardon?

  9. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    So nothing to do with Holywood

    Threatening to stop writing checks this political year then?

  10. Drew V.

    Er, social media is not some magical filter that removes political spin and forces politicians to say what they're really thinking (and let's face it, their profession often requires them to put personal opinion aside).

    The questions here might have been a bit different from your typical press conference or televised interview, but he's still going to answer them (or sidestep them) in the same manner.

  11. Tapeador


    For helping people steal?

    And this legislation is normally used for terrorism offences? What about large-scale economic harm?

    As for Obama's saying he wants to be all "consistent with internet freedom", like -


  12. Tapeador


    So O'Dwyer is like Jesus now, is he? FFS -you owe me a fucking keyboard.

    1. Openminded Cynic

      Jesus was a pirate!

      Yes Jesus Illegally copied five loaves of bread and two fish and distributed them amongst a reported five thousand people.

      Piracy really is a crime of biblical proportians!

      I wonder if the Pope has received an extradition request yet...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phuck around go to prison

    A person really has to be pretty dumb to operate a website with pirated content.

    1. Mad Mike


      Maybe someone would have to be dumb to operate a website containing pirated content, but then you'd have to be pretty dumb not to read the article first and realise he didn't!! He posted links to pirated content. So, he's done nothing that google hasn't done. Get it now?

      Epic fail.......just epic.

      1. Tom 13

        Google don't read and edit their posts,

        what-his-name did.

        I'd still lean toward saying the application in this case is overreach, but not nearly as much as your statement.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But not as dumb as someone who can't read.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 05:15

    That's just the point, his site had NO pirated/copyrighted/suspect material on it, it provided *links* to it, much the same as Newzbin/Google/Yahoo, et al.

    Funny how the big business models seem to be exempt from court action though.

    1. The Real Loki

      You mean Big American Business?

  15. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I hope someone doesn't tell the White House to do a search like "inurl:.torrent"

    Or the SWAT team will get sent round to the Chocolate Factory.

    Or possibly not.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is history bunk?

    I have just been to an exhibition about Charles Dickens and read some articles about him (anniversary of his birth or death or something): it seems he was wildly popular in the USA, mobbed on arrival and never left alone, his works selling there by the million. However, he was a bit put out: The USA earned him not one single cent as it did not respect copyright, merely pirated and distributed without let or hindrance, happily ignoring any authorial or other rights. This was justified in the name of freedom and the constitution I believe, otherwise known as greed.

    Funny how times change.

    1. Daedalus

      It's true, CD did not do well out of the USA

      What can you say? A young country with no copyright treaties at the time. Later G&S worked hard to make sure their work was published and performed in the US so they had copyright there as well as in the UK. There were similar issues in the early days of the movies.

      1. Local Group

        Fortunately, Dickens made a fortune speaking in 'Merica.

        Apparently he and the Mrs had the worst crossing on record in January 1842. Here's a little teaser from Dicken's "American Notes for General Circulation."

        "It is the third morning. I am awakened out of my sleep by a dismal shriek from my wife, who demands to know whether there's any danger. I rouse myself, and look out of bed. The water-jug is plunging and leaping like a lively dolphin; all the smaller articles are afloat, except my shoes, which are stranded on a carpet-bag, high and dry, like a couple of coal-barges. Suddenly I see them spring into the air, and behold the looking-glass, which is nailed to the wall, sticking fast upon the ceiling. At the same time the door entirely disappears, and a new one is opened in the floor. Then I begin to comprehend that the state-room is standing on its head.Before it is possible to make any arrangement at all compatible with this novel state of things, the ship rights. Before one can say 'Thank Heaven', she wrongs again. Before one can cry she IS wrong, she seems to have started forward, and to be a creature actually running of its own accord, with broken knees and failing legs, through every variety of hole and pitfall, and stumbling constantly. Before one can so much as wonder, she takes a high leap into the air. Before she has well done that, she takes a deep dive into the water. Before she has gained the surface, she throws a summerset. The instant she is on her legs, she rushes backward. And so she goes on staggering, heaving, wrestling, leaping, diving, jumping, pitching, throbbing, rolling, and rocking: and going through all these movements, sometimes by turns, and sometimes altogether: until one feels disposed to roar for mercy.

        A steward passes. 'Steward!' 'Sir?' 'What is the matter? what do you call this?' 'Rather a heavy sea on, sir, and a head-wind.'......A head-wind!"

  17. Semaj

    Fud Dud

    There's 2 reasons why you older techy people can't get jobs:

    1 - You live miles away from the work and won't move. I had to move within the UK from North to South where there's more work, it's even more necessary in a big country like America.

    2 - You failed to keep up with advances in technology in your given field because you are opposed to change and have become a fuddy duddy. This is a death sentence for any technical career.

    Immigrants are quite happy to move and they are generally from countries where there has been lots of change recently. It is no wonder that companies employ them.

    1. Mad Mike
      Thumb Down


      There's two principle reasons why your almost totally wrong.

      1 - Your making a wild, sweeping generalisation about older people wanting to move less and not keeping up with technology. Plenty of older people do keep up with technology and will move, and I've known plenty of younger people who won't. There might be some degree of age determination of it, but it isn't as great as people think.

      2 - This doesn't just apply in techy jobs and even applies in non-techy, where no particular skills are required. It is actually because of employers misconceptions about how age affects a person and how they work. It's the same reason that older people tend to be the first hit by compulsory redundancy. Younger people are considered more dynamic, more hungry for success etc. Crude generalisations like yours and these are what causes so much pair to older people. More intelligent managers and companies judge each candidate individually and also take into account factors such as older people are less likely to lie/ham up their CV.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Americans will take any amount of shit

    I hope you guys enjoy being an international joke. Might motivate you to think a little harder next election.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How's that Dope and Chains working for ya?

    Elect a charlatan and expect to get hosed.

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