back to article UK Home Secretary approves TVShack's O'Dwyer extradition

Blighty's Home Secretary Theresa May has approved the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer to the US on charges of copyright infringement stemming from his TVShack website. According to his mother Julia, O'Dwyer's extradition was signed off by May on Tuesday as the Prime Minister David Cameron flew into the US for talks with …


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  1. James 139

    I doubt

    it would matter if the "much needed" change, so that the US had to provide proof, would matter in any of the cases mentioned.

    In O'Dwyers case, they would show he profited from crime, and the extradition request would be granted.

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Down

      Re: I doubt

      Whether or not the change would have an effect on this particular case doesn't really matter; as it stands it's still a silly state of affairs which needs fixing.

      1. James 139

        Re: I doubt

        Oh, I dont disagree, just because the US system requires proof, that their constitution requires, doesnt mean they shouldnt have to provide the same proof here.

        However, its not beyond the US to provide all sorts of evidence, remember that a monkey in a suit convinced Tony Blair that Iraq had all sorts of nasty weapons.

    2. Tim Parker

      @James 139 Re: I doubt

      "I doubt it would matter if the "much needed" change, so that the US had to provide proof, would matter in any of the cases mentioned.

      In O'Dwyers case, they would show he profited from crime,"

      Really ? I was un-aware of any proof of profit from a crime (not a crime in the UK that is, nor using resources located in the US). Judge Purdy did say in his ruling: "There are said to be direct consequences of criminal activity by Richard O'Dwyer in the USA" but that hardly constitutes an admission of proof, and i've not heard details of any such proof from the US side.

      There are accusations of link bumping to copyrighted material, but they are just that - accusations. So perhaps there is "proof" somewhere - but i've missed it - and if so, please point me in the right direction. I know they (US) don't need it, but that was the thrust of your argument I believe.

      Frankly, this smacks of capitulation for other reasons - isn't the first, won't be the last, just a pity.

      1. James 139

        Re: @James 139 I doubt

        I never said they HAD proof, just that they would show it if the law were the same for both sides.

    3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: I doubt

      What crime is that then?

    4. PT

      Re: I doubt

      Very often, in the US evidence is neither required nor produced in criminal cases. What will probably happen is he will be mercilessly badgered by the "nasty" cops for a few days until they convince him he's in jeopardy of a thousand year sentence, then the "nice" cop will show up and get him to sign a confession in exchange for dropping most of the charges. Bingo, conviction achieved, no evidence necessary.

      My son got a ticket for running a stop sign. When he decided to go to court to fight it, they even offered him a plea bargain on that.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crazy world

    The lobbyist's expect results from politicians who they donate money too...

    We are unable to put extremist clerics on a plane out of the country yet we extradite someone who runs a website which upsets a company or group of companies?

    New laws and treaties are sold to us under the pretense of stopping terrorists and that they will not be used for anything else. Just like how coppers have misused the terrorism laws by threatening to arrest people under the terrorism act simply for wanting to record a simple event happening on the street.

    It appears the US government wants to be the world police and does not care that more and more people are rising against it.

  3. Andrew Jones 2

    The fact that the actual copyrighted material is hosted on numerous streaming websites - which clearly have not been targeted - probably because they American.....

    Meanwhile a certain popular website (with a .eu domain) which offers EXACTLY the same service as Richard's is still up and running......

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Special relationship...

    ...still seems to be that the UK repeatedly takes it up the arse from the USA and goes back for more.

    If you're in Scotland then FFS vote for independence, its the only way you'll ever escape the lunacy.

    1. Mr Common Sense

      Re: Special relationship...

      Scotland has the same as or worse extradition treaty with the yanks.

      Whether this would change with independence is anyones guess.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Special relationship...

      It is a special relationship. The UK just happens to be a power bottom and loves it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    51st state of America.

    Our justice system is now officially owned by the USA.

    Time for us to learn all American laws as it is clear they all apply here irrespective of what our own law might be and our government is happy to ship us off to be tried in a foreign land for doing something that isn't a crime here.

    1. GuyC

      Re: 51st state of America.

      Maybe if it was a crime here, they wouldn't need to be shipped to the

      US for punishment

      1. Burkhard Kloss
        Thumb Down

        Re: 51st state of America.

        If it's not a crime here, why are we extraditing?

        I'm pretty sure that Rick Santorum has said a few things which are homophobic enough to get him prosecuted on the east side of the pond - any chance of getting him prosecuted over here?

        Thought not.

        In the meantime, anyone sad enough to look for US TV shows online since they haven't come out over here yet will probably watch them again when they finally cross the ocean, and then buy the DVD box set.

  6. Stephen 11

    The U.S. does not have a legitimate claim against O'Dwyer.

    It is not as if he went to the U.S., murdered someone while he was there and then returned back to the U.K. In a situation like that, extradition would be justified.

    In this case, a student sets up and operates website in the U.K., where he lives. He is not an American citizen, has not been to the U.S. Therefore American laws don't apply. British law and only British law should apply.

    On what basis does the think it should be able to enforce its laws on U.K. citizens living in the U.K? Surely, if O'Dwyer broke the law, he should be prosecuted in Britain, by a British court according to BRITISH law.

    It is disgusting that this government is happy to ship British citizens to foreign countries that have no legitimate claim against the individual, and that individual has never set foot in that country.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      @Stephen 11

      "It is not as if he went to the U.S., murdered someone while he was there and then returned back to the U.K."

      He's done something much more serious - he's angered MPAA executives. This insolence must not be tolerated and the world will be shown who is the boss.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Welcome to the Alice in Wonderland world of USA judiciary

      USA has a very interesting judicial doctrine.

      USA disagrees with the doctrine of the universal jurisdiction when the defendant is American. Google for USA and the international war crime tribunals, etc for an example. At the same time they are quite zealous at enforcing it when the plaintiff is American (especially if the plaintiff is the USA government).

      This stems from several old supreme court decisions. Their government is mandated by their law to disregard any foreign justice and always enforce USA justice. Similarly, all treaties USA signs are effectively null and void too because they have no value whatsoever in USA - only USA law applies. So a ratification of a treaty by USA actually means plain nothing. There has to be a USA law and it has to enter the law books after that.

      As a comparison - any treaty ratified by any Eu country (sans UK) automatically becomes law and overrides any local law. It is in the constitutions for most of them.

      These differences are something which any country must keep in mind when signing docs with USA. Quite clearly previous (and current) UK governments have not done their homework on this one so we will now have consume the consequences for time to come.

    3. Mark 65

      I agree with your post entirely. However...

      As a computer science student at Sheffield Hallam University, O’Dwyer set up the TVShack website in 2007. The US government alleges he made over $230,000 from advertising revenues given the site's popularity. When the original site was shut down he set up a mirror, with an NWA graphic and the slogan “F*ck the Police”.

      That just really wasn't smart. Funding by ad-revenue even though you have hosting costs stokes the "did it for profit" argument. Being a total twat after a takedown when you should have just skulked away is really dumb. Sooner or later someone will stand up to the US's extra-territorial bullshit. I doubt it will be the UK though.

    4. The Original Ash

      @Stephen 11

      Not so. Groupthink here seems strong, though, so I fully expect to get downvoted lots for this.

      The main issues here are:

      - O'Dwyer created a site which encouraged viewing of unlicensed content (Top 10 list consistently showed unlicensed titles)

      - O'Dwyer profited from this (advertising revenue estimated at $230,000)

      - O'Dwyer's site was a "nexus" for copyright infringement in the US (Look it up)

      Unless you think that demanding extradition of a person standing in Mexico and firing a rifle over the US border is also outrageous, you're being a little hypocritical. It's perfectly reasonable for them to demand a trial in the US for this. He won't be tried in the UK as linking to unlicensed content isn't a crime in the UK.

      FWIW, he visited the US on holiday when he was five years old. It makes no difference, but it's just one more fact of the case you've missed. Remember, your opinion != (however flawed) fact.

  7. Matt 116

    Im interested to know why is this going to be tried in he US. Surely if the site was hosted in the UK and just because it could be accessed from States shouldnt be reason enough for extradition. What am I missing?

  8. Harry the Bastard

    i'm baffled by these cases

    if the person was not physically present in usa territiory when the alleged offence was committed, then what fuck has it got to do with the usa? since when did johhny foreigner's laws apply to the uk?

    if he committed a crime while in uk, under uk law, bang him up, otherwise, he's innocent

    otherwise, i assume we're going to extradite all usa handgun owners and lock them up because they are committing a crime in uk law

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Extradite all USA hand gun owners?! In direct contravention of UK laws that do not allow anyone (in theory) except the plod, the private LTD company (ACPO) that profits from them, and the armed forces to bear arms, it would seem that we have a shed-load of gun-toting Foreign Bureau of Intoxicants coming over to visit the Olympics! Grrr! (/rant off)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        an interesting point - what happens if some trigger-happy FBI prick shoots a foreign or UK national on UK soil at the olympics?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Re:Oodles

          They will all be diplomatic attaches...

          Something else to consider. A US soldier goes on a killing spree in Afghanistan. He in the actual country, on sovereign soil, with a government recognised by the USA. Guess who gets to arrest/try him.

        2. Burkhard Kloss

          Re: Re:Oodles

          Easy - he'll claim diplomatic immunity.

          You weren't expecting any kind of accountability, or UK laws to apply, were you?

        3. Rob 21

          Re: Re:Oodles

          They get scooped up and sent back home pronto. The vic gets a delayed autopsy while a weapon is found in his/her personal effects and connection to a hitherto unknown extremist organisation is discovered.

  9. KrisWragg
    Thumb Down

    If this kid made $230,000 from this website why was he still living at home with his mum and attending Uni? Seems to me that the first thing a student would do would be move out of his mums house!

    I think this is a total abuse of power, if he is clear of all charges in this country then we shouldn't be extraditing him, else surely that means we think we didn't do a proper job ourselves??

  10. fLaMePrOoF

    The whole treaty and it's application are the complete fucking disgrace:

    Brought in to supposedly 'fight terrorism' the treaties recent application proves the much laboured point that bad laws will ALWAYS be abused and used for purposes that were not originally intended.

    Now UK citizens can be shipped out when they've done NOTHING illegal under UK law, (as the Oink verdict established - linking to copyrighted content is not a crime).

  11. andy gibson

    two points of view

    While I don't agree with the extradition issue, I think the guy and his mother need a reality check if they think he's done nothing wrong.

    Did she not even question the £147,000 he raked in? You don't get that kind of dosh from a website and Google ads.

    In the never ending battle of the entertainment industry of the US versus the internet and the way they use the US legal system did he honestly think he'd be completely safe from prosecution? Maybe he should have read The Reg and seen all the stories that have been published over the years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: two points of view

      Never fear in a few years we'll be sending woman that have affairs to Afghanistan so they can be ritually murded. Oooo you mean only US law is global law?

    2. fLaMePrOoF
      Thumb Down

      Re: two points of view

      The alleged infringement was way back in 2002, when the site was first set up the extradition treaty wasn't even in place...

      Even so, if this had all occurred last week I'd still argue that he's done nothing illegal under UK law and should not be subject to the Whims of the US media industry.

  12. Jason Hindle

    Couple of questions

    1. Is what he did also illegal here in Blighty?

    2. Could it also be argued that the effects of the crime were felt here?

    I suspect the answers are yes and yes. However, I'd not be surprised if a compliant CPS had declined to prosecute. I'd quite like to know what May carefully considered; not to mention see where all the aledged profits went, since US prosecutors aren't exactly shy when it comes comes to exaggerating numbers.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Couple of questions

      "Is what he did also illegal here in Blighty?"

      That is a moot question. Because an American could access the site from America they will claim US jurisdiction.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Jason Hindle

        Re: Not moot at all

        I understand the accused should be tried where the crime is felt. Since Britain has a vibrant and creative entertainment industry, is the crime not also felt here (assuming it is a crime here)?

      3. Burkhard Kloss

        Re: Couple of questions

        They can claim that all they like, it doesn't mean the UK government has to accept it.

      4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Couple of questions

        Whittaker's Bookseller is available to any Amercian who wishes to buy it. Shock horror! It contains lists of copyright material!!! Oh Noez!!!!

    2. VMax

      Re: Couple of questions

      From what I've read, linking to content is legal in your country. There have been several cases (OiNK and FileSoup) that have shown that. Otherwise he probably would be on trial in the UK. He hasn't committed a crime there, so the US is flying him here for trial.

      1. Jason Hindle

        Re: Copyright law has been tightened here

        But I've not been able to find a definitive answer on linking. Either way, the case is disturbing. If we assume what the accused broke no British law then should all British citizens learn US law?

      2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Couple of questions

        You can only be extradited to the US if the offense is an "extraditiion offence", which is defined in section 137 of the Extradition Act 2003:

        * if the offense occurred either the US, or not in the US but no part of it in the UK, and the conduct would get him 12 months or more in the UK

        * if the offence occurred outside the US and no part of it occurred in the UK, and the conduct would get him 12 months or more in the US.

        I'm not sure which of these applies, but I think given "command and control" of the site was clearly in the UK it would have to be the first - the offense occurred in the US and he could get 12 months for the same offence in the UK.

        Clearly the CPS believes a crime would have been committed in the UK, which given his site was available worldwide, does make me wonder why they're not prosecuting here. If I were him right now I'd be supplying the UK with all the evidence of the crime so they could prosecute him here.

        1. Dr. Mouse

          Re: Couple of questions

          @Androgynous Cupboard

          IANAL, but looking at what you quoted there, he is not elligible. Looking at both statements, they say "but no part of it in the UK". He was in the UK, and so were his servers, hence part of it was in the UK. Whether or not the rest applies, surely it must hold that part of the "offence" occured in the UK.

          As a side note, from now on I am making any sites I run inaccessible from the US. I don't know US law, can't afford to hire a US lawyer and do not wish to be subject to US law, so I shall block all US IP addresses. Simples.

          1. Jason Hindle

            Re: Couple of questions

            Perhaps the US prosecutors successfully argued the crime was committed outside of the US based on the location of the web server (clutching at straws at this point - I don't see how the extradition could be legal based on the text above).....

            1. Dr. Mouse

              Re: Couple of questions

              "based on the location of the web server"

              I am fairly sure I read that all services were hosted in the UK.

              Even if they weren't, the site was developed in the UK, so some part was done in the UK.

              I wish a lawyer would come on and explain this. May have to try to convince OutLaw to do a write up...

    3. fLaMePrOoF
      Thumb Down

      Re: Couple of questions

      Answer to both questions is no...

      1. The Oink verdict firmly established that sites which link to potentially infringing content but host nothing infringing do not break UK law, even if the site operator profits from advertising / donations as Oink did.

      2. Did this site enhance / proliferate other sites which held infringing content, probably yes, but the same can be said of any search engine. If the US want to protect creative rights they should go after those who are infringing those rights. If I were to offer up copyrighted content, or sell illegal satellite decoders / copy bypass systems then I've clearly broken the law, if I publish URLs of sites doing this, I have done nothing wrong; indeed, the media police should be thankful to me that they can use my site for it's intended purpose and to their own ends - to locate and take action against those infringing their rights.

      If I see someone shop lifting and I point them out and publicly declare; "this person is shoplifting, and probably has stolen goods to sell" I'm doing nothing wrong, I';m being a good public servant.

      The only factor which could turn this into a crime would be an element of agreement / conspiracy between the infringer, and the one linking to the infringing content - if that could be proven then the site owner would become an accessory - it looks like this is the route being pursued against Tim Dotcom and Mega-Upload where the US believe they can prove a degree of collusion.

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Complete and utter insanity. Maybe getting rid of terrorists and controlling fraudulent bankers is too difficult for either of our countries, so they go for a soft option to distract the masses while the countries continue to dive bomb.

  14. Asgard

    WTF! ... this has to stop!

    Theresa May is in power to protect UK citizens, not US corporate interests. Therefore Theresa May is now guilty of a gross violation of allegiance to our country and its citizens, which is literally an act of treason against our country and all of us.

    I said a few months ago, this legal president, if allowed though, is so shocking it would have been unbelievable 10 years ago. 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!

    Also this shockingly bad legal president can now be used to silence any whistle blower who tries to release information deemed to be copyrighted, which is all of it. So no more exposure of corruption then, because any attempt to release the information and its off to the US for punishment.

    The US are trying to create a global totalitarian state and the UK politicians are helping them. Our politicians are suppose to be our representatives in government. They are not our dictators. This has gone far enough.

    Seriously, do our leaders want a revolution against them and the growing global Corporatocracy that rules them and us?!

    1. Dick Emery

      Re: WTF! ... this has to stop!

      UK residents are not 'citizens'. They are subjects of the realm. Thus we are treated as such. You riff raff need to learn your place.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's Extradite all those MP's who commit adultery to Saudi Arabia

    Since it's a crime there, even though they did in this country where it is not a crime.

  16. Dr. Mouse

    I have 2 main gripes

    1) The treaty IS unballanced, and this should be redressed. I am unsure what good this would do in the cases publicised so far, but it needs sorting.

    2) As many pointed out here, he did all this in the UK, AFAIK hosted on UK servers. To extradite him to the US when all his actions were in the UK is rediculous! There is something to the extradition of McKinnon (as he "hacked" US computers), although I still think he acted in the UK so should be dealt with here. When it gets to the point where someone can act soley in the UK and be extradited to the US, we really do have "Team America - World Police". We all need to learn about US law as that applies here thanks to a spineless UK government and a US govt which thinks it's entitled to police the world.

  17. mark phoenix

    The priime minister should hang his head in shame

    No British citizen should be bound by foreign laws that do not carry the same level of punishment in the UK.. The action(Civil - not criminal) were committed while residing in the UK. He should be charged and punished in the UK by UK law if applicable.

    What next - British citizens shipped to Thailand and given 20 years for saying something rude about the Thai monarchy while in the UK


    1. Mark 65

      Re: The priime minister should hang his head in shame

      Someone start the petition on the Government's "echo chamber for those lowly scum that voted us in and we need to make out we're listening to" website and we can all sign up.

      I'd start it myself but fear my lack of wordsmith capability and the flagrant overuse of such terms as "scum", "wankers", "self-serving pricks" etc would likely undermine said campaign.

      1. Openminded Cynic

        Re: The priime minister should hang his head in shame

        Online petitions are a waste of time. MPs have already proven that here:

        Write to your MP: tell them why this is wrong and why you want something done about it. Tell all your family and friends to write to their MPs too. Keep writing to them. Make it clear we're not going to go away until they revoke this treaty. It's the only way we're going to get any movement on this.

    2. Mark 65

      Re: The priime minister should hang his head in shame

      Petition along the lines of "stop cowering to the interests of corporate America and its shills and start performing your actual role of acting in the best interests of the British public and advancement of its society" etc

    3. Crisp

      Re: The priime minister should hang his head in shame

      In shame? You mean from a rope surely?

      1. Dick Emery

        Re: The priime minister should hang his head in shame

        Careful what you say. They are listening (reading). Tin foil hat firmly in place.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be careful not to fund extradition cases

    You too can vote with your feet and STOP this disgraceful abuse of power by the USA

    If you disagree how a company behaves then simply STOP purchasing their products.

    I am strongly against disproportionate legal action such as this case so make your views known and stop funding this abuse. They just won't learn will they?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome To Bend Over UK

    Hands up those who are really fed up with sceptic tanks (q.v. Yank) throwing their (considerable) weight around. At this rate Chinese laws are going to look quite libertarian.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid blaming game

    Don't blame the American government for selling their souls to lobbyists. They are fucking stupid and corrupt and we all know that. Blame yourselves in UK for not making any changes in the government. You guys can protest, can vote and can make the changes using the Media.

    If you are so unhappy that all the policies seem fucked up, move out of the country like many people do. Here in Canada the government stupidity is at the same level, but we are starting to put pressure on the government. And if it doesn't work, they will be out in the next election. If nothing changes, then you can complain.

    Policy changes usually take years to reverse so start forcing the changes NOW. The french seem to know how to pressure the government quite well. We should learn from them on this topic.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Stupid blaming game

      "You guys can protest, can vote and can make the changes using the Media."

      We tried. The previous Govt enacted the treaty. The new Govt are using it without seeing anything wrong with it. That's all three of a major parties (well, two major and the biggest of the minors). There is no other choice.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Lots of freetards about then...

    I notice every comment even remotely suggesting O'Dwyer is guilty is getting down-voted.

    Some people need a reality check.

    What O'Dwyer has done IS illegal in this country (rightly or wrongly) - the fact that nobody here could be bothered prosecuting him over it is another matter entirely.

    Given the fact that after shutting one site down - he gave them the finger, I think the little **** deserves all the jail-time he'll get.

    That said the treaty does need a re-write and we should tell the USA to f**k off - the way they have treated Chris Tappin is disgraceful - and he is a guy who should never have been extradited.

    1. ph0b0s
      Thumb Down

      Re: Lots of freetards about then...

      No, some just have this old fashioned idea that you should be tried and convicted in the country where the alleged crime happened. Rather than having the US policing the world and taking people from around the world to stand trial there. As a precedent it is rather worrying.

      This has noting to do with the specific crime, but is due to the precedent setting circumstances of it, i.e there was no crime on US soil, so it is none of their business.

      I am sure every day, I do something that is against the law somewhere in the world. Should I be extradited to stand trial in a country where my actions are illegal.

      Or if I do break the law in my own country but the CPS does not want to press the case, should I then be extradited to another country, where they have more of an interest in prosecuting.

      Why not just out source the whole of our justice system to countries like the US, by extraditing any alleged criminal there. It will save a lot of money in these debt ridden times. Call me old fashioned, but I don't like that idea....

    2. Vic

      Re: Lots of freetards about then...

      > What O'Dwyer has done IS illegal in this country

      Really? What offence has he committed? Which Act has he contravened?

      "Being a dopey little shit" isn't (yet) illegal...


    3. TheFifth
      Thumb Down

      Re: Lots of freetards about then...

      From what I understand what he did is NOT illegal in the UK, and if it was it would be a civil matter at most, not a criminal one.

      There is even legal precedent set by the Oink and FileSoup trials (where prosecutions over linking to torrent files were dropped) that shows that his actions are not illegal in the UK. The CPS investigated him and didn't press charges.

      So our governmental prosecution service (CPS) think he has no case to answer within UK law, we have legal precedent saying he has no case to answer within UK law, and he only operated within the UK. Why exactly is he being extradited again? Oh I remember, US law is enforceable worldwide and our Government is happy to sell its people down the line.

      I'm sure we all do something everyday that is illegal somewhere in the world. Should we all start worrying?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lots of freetards about then...

        It ceases to be a civil matter when it is carried out commercially, it's pretty easy to argue that if he's made something like quarter of a million dollars then it was a commercial operation.

        As well as this, we don't know where the advertising was being served from, it's highly likely that the company serving the advertising is from the USA, as most are, this would be a fairly good link to a crime happening on US soil.

        As a final point when a crime happens in multiple jurisdictions the general agreed way forward is that the jurisdiction who signals intent to prosecute first is the one who gets the extradition/puts on the trial. This is what happened with the NatWest four.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lots of freetards about then...

      I think the point is that it doesn't really matter about O'Dwyer, beyond his just being an example. It doesn't matter what he has or hasn't done, because this extradition treaty is magnitudes more serious. It has to be stopped.

      Really so-called 'Democracy' is a joke. You can't wait 4 or 5 years before you can stop them by voting (I mean, if voting the opposition it ever made a difference anyway!). That's about as responsible as emergency services only doing something about fires, motorway pile-ups, murder sprees, on one day a month and justifying it with the hope that 'not too many people die in the meantime!'

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The American Empire

    America is to the modern world what Rome was to the ancient: the no. 1 power. Like any over-arching power it can do what it likes & it's little tributary nations (e.g. the UK) submit. But there is a double standard. You can bet that American soldier who slaughtered those Afghan civilians won't face Afghan justice.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Thin end of the wedge' / 'slippery slope' case in point

    So this is a case in point of legislation put in place for one thing, being used for something else completely. The current extradition treaty was set-up in the way it was, to allow the US to get hold of potential terrorists who even though not in the US, have had involvement in crimes against US interests.

    Of course no-one was bothered at the time as it was stuff to stop only terrorism, right? As per usual, wrong. Like most legislation put in place to combat the bogey men terrorists or child abusers, it will mostly end up being used against people who have not involvement in these crimes. Another case in point is that the extreme porn law gets mostly used against immigrants selling pirated DVD's (report from this website), rather than against stopping more murders like the Jane Longhurst one, that promoted the legislation. Don't even get me started on the RIPA abuses.

    So those of us who argue against these kinds of legislation. Which are advertised as needed to stop terrorists or child abuse. We are doing so not because we support either of those crimes, but because we know from experience that the legislation will not be used against the groups intended, but against others who do not deserve the same treatment.

    Has the guy who is being extradited done something wrong, probably. Does he deserve to have legislation designed for people who want to perpetrate terrorist acts against others, of course not. And this will keep continue while people are happy to give up there rights in order to be protected from the Terrorists or Paedos, without realising they are just shooting themselves in the foot....

  24. Anthony 10

    I don't understand

    I never used the site so don't know exactly how it worked. Every week I use google video search to find links to videos of premier league highlights. If this kids site was a similar concept then can we extradite the board of google to the UK for trial?

    1. SJRulez

      Re: I don't understand

      Google and other search engines etc have a "takedown mechanism" in place by which content owners can send them a request to have something removed from the site or de-listed from search engine results.

      As long as you can show reasonable compliance and action for these requests you have a "get out of jail card". Its pretty stupid really, if O'Dwyer had a button offering the ability to remove content he probably would have got away with it.

      The thing I find amazing with these cases it the US constantly quoting how much this site and that site made from advertising which has some serious flaws:

      1. The amount they make on advertising has nothing to do with copyright infringement.. the advertising is based on site views, just because someone viewed an advertisement generating income does not mean they then viewed copyrighted material.

      2. The figures they use are always based on gross costs they never seem to add the costs of actually running sites which in some cases can be as much as the revenue generated effectively making no profit at all.

      1. chriswakey

        Re: I don't understand

        "Google and other search engines etc have a "takedown mechanism" in place by which content owners can send them a request to have something removed from the site or de-listed from search engine results."

        So did Megaupload.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't understand

          Yes, but Megaupload also actively encouraged people to re-upload the material.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One-Man Revolt

    I travel for work and spend plenty of time in the US so I'm shafted really by any government that wants to deem me a threat to their cartoon mice... that said it's becoming clear for UK citizenry (myself included) that if the US ever comes knocking at the door for the next extradition on spurious charges your only hope is to go on the rampage.

    Yes, I mean start a riot, steal a car, set fire to a school (at the weekend) or cause some other incalculable financial loss that is (a) enough to raise the ire of Daily Fail and Sun readers but (b) does not cause death or GBH and (c) ensures you get national attention and (d) a long enough term in a UK slammer that delays or frustrates the US process.

    I can't say whether it would be successful but it may force a national debate and possibly set UK law enforcement against US law enforcement. But you have better survival chance in a UK prison versus the very real threat of rape and murder in a US prison. There's also the slight possibility that when you get released in the UK a change of culture has taken effect in the US that they no longer wish to pursue you.

    On the other hand if the US still manages to twist the UK's arm and extradite - think about all the scores you could settle and effectively leave the country knowing your enemies would see no justice.

    $$$$$$'s worth of property damage vs $'s worth of copyright infringement

  26. David 45


    That's right. Don't go for the big guys, Ms. May. Go for the little ones who probably can't defend themselves properly. Why is he being extradited anyway? What's the matter, Theresa? Afraid of upsetting the Yanks? It's about time someone did, poking their noses into foreign governments' business and trying to rule the world.

  27. OpenIndiana

    Fucking disgrace!

    The US and the UK should be ashamed of their loss of perspective. See title.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plenty more fish in the sea...

    I've never used one specific site to find copyrighted material, preferring instead to use the search engine that indexes them all, Google. After all why limit yourself to one database in a sea of thousands?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "British law and only British law should apply."

    You may well be right, but you're a few decades too late.

    It's interesting that now this US "extraterritoriality" (?) affects the British man in the street, suddenly it's a hot topic. But actually it's nothing new. Not if you're in business, or if you have your eyes open, anyway.

    It's been affecting British companies for literally decades. If you are a British company with significant US connections, and you want to stay in business, you have to obey US export controls even when the UK (or more recently the EU) has no equivalent restrictions. End of. Same probably applies elsewhere, but it's the UK I know about.

    See also "secondary boycotts".

  30. Anonymous Noel Coward

    Theresa May, you are a disgrace to this country.

    Please resign with immediate effect.

  31. dgw

    Has everyone gone mad?

    The issue here (and with Christopher Tappin) is not *extradition* but *jurisdiction*. If what O'Dwyer did in the UK was illegal in the UK, then he is subject to UK law. He can not be subject to US law for something he did in the UK. I do not believe an American would ever be extradited for something he did in America.

    If I, as a UK citizen, have never been to the USA I should not have to concern myself with what is or is not legal in the USA. Or China, or Venezuela, or Djibouti. If I travel to another country and commit a crime there, then it is my lookout. But I can't become subject to foreign law just by, for example, trading with someone in that country. That would be absurd.

    E.g. Tappin is accused of the crime of exporting batteries from the USA. But he did not *export* them he *imported* them. Whoever sold them from the USA was breaking US law. But Tappin wasn't.

    It is illegal to import Bibles into Saudi Arabia. So if I sell Bibles to someone in Saudi can I be extradited?

    The test that the crime has to be illegal in both countries is flawed - because we do not know if what O'Dwyer or Tappin did was illegal in the UK unless there is a trial in the UK. It makes sense to apply that test only after jurisdiction has been established - not to transfer jurisdiction.

  32. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Washing his hands?

    Election coming up and wants to play a white man?

    He'll have to wash more than his hands. He's done nothing else but wash his hands since they elected the tosser.

  33. Melanie Winiger

    I have serious doubts

    I have serious doubts about the Yanks calculation for the amount of revenue that site brought in.

    I don't have any doubts that he will be "forced" to plead guilty and enter a plea bargain e.g. 6 years in prison isof. 120.

    Yeah, he did something wrong, we all did when we were young, but he never killed or injured anyone and yet he'll be receiving more time in Prison than UK rioters got.

    If I was Richard O'Dwyer, I would be seeing Political Asylum in the United Arab Emirates Embassy right now!!

  34. squilookle

    He shouldn't have set the mirror up after the site was taken down for the first time, but this is very, very scary, disproportionate and some big changes need to be made here.

    So, who do we vote for at the next election then (with reference to this issue only - I could give long lists why I wouldn't vote for any of them but that's not relevant to this thread)? Labour, I believe, paved the way for this, so not them. The Tories are using the legislation, so not them. And the Lib Dems... (disclaimer: the party I always voted for up until this time)... Absolutely not.

    ...we're pretty fucked then, and this is only going to get worse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who to vote for?

      You hit the nail on the head all our politicians are subservient to the mighty USA.

      I don't know about you but I'm getting pretty sick of it.

      Labour brought in the laws and the coalition uses them, says it all really.

      Guy Fawkes the only man to enter parliament with honest intentions...

  35. Purlieu

    Dear Theresa May

    Why are you rushing to extradite O'Dwyer while fannying about with Abu Qatada ?

    1. Rob 21

      Re: Dear Theresa May

      Because the Jordanians will ... 'do things' to him. Whereas the US lets fellow inmates 'do things' to you in choky, so that's alright.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Feel free to choose which country's side you're on in the next war ...

    ... because there is no wrong in betraying a country that practices extradition.

  37. Tony Paulazzo

    >Blame yourselves in UK for not making any changes in the government.<

    Er, we did, the last election was called a hung parliament, where no party got a major vote, so it was down to the most liberal party (the liberal democrats) choosing to share power with one of the other parties -

    1) Labour (the left), seduced by Hollywood moguls into forcing the anti piracy DEA thru, signing this extradition agreement, whilst simultaneously being for 'spying on our citizens' and spunking cash trying to buy their way out of a global economy dive... or the

    2) Conservatives (the right), which is who they chose and immediately forgot they were the Liberal party and agreed to everything David Cameron wanted (pretty much), so - shutting down community centres, libraries etc and raising the cost of University fees, not getting rid of the DEA or camera's and proving that -

    3) it doesn't matter who you fucking vote for (I used to vote Liberal Democrat - splitters!).

    Mumble, whinge, moan, damn kids - GET OFF MY LAWN!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $230,000 seems to be a number that the US justice department pulled out of the air. They don't have to show any evidence remember.

  39. Wild Bill

    To everyone who has commented so far...

    ...please copy your comment to your clipboard and then visit the following link:

  40. The Axe

    Extridation and EAW

    So America can extradite a British citizen without showing much evidence to back up their case. So can the whole of Europe with the EAW. Witness the recent case of Graham Mitchell who has been re-arrested under the EAW for a crime he was found NOT guilty of 20 years ago - look it up his name on Google.

    How long before the whole world can extradite British citizens and the UK legal system and the politicians allow it to happen without doing anything to stop it.

  41. John A Blackley


    A quick read of the actual extradition treaty might vent some of the hot air.

    The United States is required to show 'reasonable suspicion' that a criminal act has occured in an environment in which the US has jurisdiction (in this case, where US companies claim to have been damaged). The United Kingdom has to show 'probable cause' to believe that a crime has been committed, etc. This change to the extradition treaty was made, in part, to redress an imbalance which, until 2003, had worked in the UK's favour.

    Sir Scott Baker, in 2011, was tasked with chairing an independent inquiry into the treaty and concluded that, in terms of evidentiary requirement, there is no material difference between the US' 'reasonable suspicion' and the UK's 'probable cause'.

    Is the US' claim of jurisdiction open to argument? Sure. Claims of Britain 'giving in' to the US over the treaty terms, however, are harder to support.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps

      Now there is actually a world of difference between "probable cause" and "reasonable suspicion" in law and you should know the difference before making a claim that its the same.

      Reasonable suspicion is weaker than probable cause and here is an example...

      Reasonable Suspicion - A police officer sees someone who looks out of place enough to be suspicious of their motives and think a crime may or may not have been committed.

      For example would be someone is stumbling around and not walking right when exiting a car, leading to the suspicion he may be drunk (but he might be injured or some other cause etc)

      Next the police officer approaches the suspect and smells alcohol on his breath. Now the officer has probable cause that a crime has been committed, and can perform a breath test or something on the subject and arrest him for drink driving.

      Basically probable cause needs more evidence to back it up than simply "someone appears to be acting suspiciously"

      1. John A Blackley

        Re: Perhaps

        Please re-read the post. I make no such claim. Sir Scott Baker made the claim. Go talk to him.

    2. dgw

      Re: Perhaps

      Has any US citizen ever been extradited to another country for an act committed on US soil?

      I don't know, but I very much doubt it. Please give an example if you know of one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Perhaps

        @DGW I heard on Radio4 news (IIRC) that more have been extradited to the UK than to the US under this "treaty" and that the US haven't refused one request, whereas the UK has.

        1. dgw

          Re: Perhaps

          "I heard on Radio4 news (IIRC) that more have been extradited to the UK than to the US..."

          Yes, but had those Americans committed crimes in the UK, or in the US? I do not believe the US would extradite one if its citizens for a crime committed while that person was physically in the USA. American law would apply. Happy to be proved wrong if anyone can give an example.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I just emailed the PM's office. The sort of thing that probably makes no difference alone...


    The US-UK Extradition Treaty

    "Said treaty is a greater crime than anything it supposedly helps fight, including terrorism. Such is treachery."

  43. Dennis Wilson


    When he set up his operation he knew it was involved in passing over bootleged downloads and what the fallout would be if he was caught.

    As the saying goes... If you can't do the time then don't do the crime.

  44. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Black Helicopters

    At what point can we expect the extradition of the creators of the Internet [ARPANET] to the UK?

    Since, let's face it, the Internet could be used for stuff which could be useful for a terrorist. (Next target, etc.)

    Or to download child pornography.

    Both of which are illegal here in the UK.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around...

    ...eventually comes around. When you poke a tiger with a stick, you're likely to become his dinner.

  46. Purlieu

    Now I know

    .... what US extradition etc is

    Example 1 = gut in the UK sets up a website that links forward to copyrighted media, not a criminal offense in his country, US extradites him

    Example 2 = guy in Afghanistan kills 16 civilians including children, a crimilan offense worldwide, US flies him out

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He knew what he was doing was illegal

    Infringement of copyright materials is a crime so I have no issue with O'Dwyer being extradited to the U.S. for trial.

This topic is closed for new posts.

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