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TVShack Creator's US Extradition Approved 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the send-them-a-link-to-his-picture dept.
chrb writes "British student Richard O'Dwyer, creator of the TVShack website, has had his extradition to the United States approved by Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May. Mr. O'Dwyer now has 14 days to appeal the decision. The extradition was requested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which has accused O'Dwyer of aiding copyright infringement by publishing links to pirated content hosted on external sites."
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TVShack Creator's US Extradition Approved

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  • Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:31PM (#39343547)

    I'm more afraid of the US government than I am of any terrorists.

    • WTF (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:39PM (#39343659)

      The problem is the UK government.

      Extradited for copyright infringement? Looks like both governments are "pwned". I know, lets make them bigger, that'll solve the problem.

      • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DaMattster (977781) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:42PM (#39343727)
        Both governments got pwned by industry and it is a sorry shame!
        • Re:WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

          by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:13PM (#39344195)
          The voters got pwned. Vote them out! Oh no, we can't, there's support/oppose religion, education, abortion, etc., so I can't throw my vote away on some guy who believes in what I believe because then the "other party" will get in, and they don't agree with some diversive issue!
          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            >>>I can't throw my vote away on some guy who believes in what I believe because then the "other party" will get in, and they don't agree with some diversive issue!

            I'm facing that now with the U.S. election. I've told people I refuse to vote for Romney, and getting a lot of flack for it "because we can't let the Democrat Obama back in". Really? But Romney is barely any different than Obama.

            I'll vote for the best guy (Paul), and if he fails to get the R nomination, then I'll just stay home cause

            • by RMingin (985478)

              Not voting is giving up. Vote for the guy who won't win. At least stir the waters and indicate to the analysts that someone out there isn't goose-stepping smoothly like the others.

          • Re:WTF (Score:5, Informative)

            by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:06PM (#39347447)

            "... so I can't throw my vote away on some guy who believes in what I believe because then the "other party" will get in, and they don't agree with some diversive issue!"

            "There are two parties: the Stupid Party and the Evil Party. Once in a while, they get together and do something that is both Stupid and Evil. This is called 'bipartisanism'." -- Thomas E. Woods.

      • by migla (1099771)

        The problem is the UK government.

        Extradited for copyright infringement? Looks like both governments are "pwned". I know, lets make them bigger, that'll solve the problem.

        Who's gonna grab the power left behind by a shrinking government, though? The ones that all ready own the big government. That's who.

        So making government bigger is worse if it isn't one of, for and by the people. But making it smaller won't help, either. Corporations will get even more direct power and corporations are not even the slightest bit democratic.

        Government needs to be made better. More decentralized direct power to the people. In the short to medium turn that doesn't seem very plausible.

        Maybe on

      • Re:WTF (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jrumney (197329) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @08:45PM (#39346639) Homepage
        Except he's not being extradited for copyright infringement, but for "aiding copyright infringement". Is that even a crime outside the US?
    • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaMattster (977781) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:41PM (#39343711)
      These days there appears to be very little difference between the US Government and The Terrorists. The US Government just puts everyone in fear of even the remotest possibility of copyright infringement. I remember when that wasn't criminal but a civil offense. America cannot really call itself "The Land of the Free" anymore.
    • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:57PM (#39343977)

      "Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which has accused O'Dwyer of aiding copyright infringement by publishing links to pirated content hosted on external sites."

      Kind of like me pointing to a naked woman in the street and saying "look". She gets arrested for indecent exposure and I get arrested for pointing to it.

      • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Robadob (1800074) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:52PM (#39344739)
        I better metaphor would probably be, holding a sign pointing to a shop that was left unlocked at night. Those who took notice of the sign and stole from the shop would be committing the offence, however you would probably be seen as inciting theft.
        • by Idbar (1034346)
          You see, the problem is that you go back to claiming this is theft.

          Wouldn't it be different if instead you have a sign that says "Here is a window where you can look through and see Monet without paying the museum entrance".
    • Re:Sigh... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:00PM (#39344013)

      I'm more afraid of the US government than I am of any terrorists.

      As a U.S. citizen, I no longer see a distinction between the two.

    • Makes sense.

      Compare the amount of lives destroyed by terrorists in, say, the last two decades and compare it to the amount of lives destroyed by the US government and realize what's the bigger threat you're facing.

  • USA! USA! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:34PM (#39343577) Homepage

    Way to go big boys! Extradite a harmless college kid who might be doing something moderately illegal but who's transgressions don't amount for a hill of beans, all things considered.

    Leave those nice bankers and upstanding Wall Street financiers to ruin the economy with nothing more than an indignant letter and a small fine.

    Yep, leaders of the free world we are.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The rich rule. The rich have always ruled, and always will rule.

      When some non-rich punk does something that pisses the rulers off, expect punishment.

      "Justice" is just a fancy word the rich use to get the poor to buy in to their rulership. There is no reason to be surprised when any real sort of justice is sacrificed for the sake of enforcement of the Highest Law (the rich are entitled to wealth).

      Something that is important to point out: competence and popular approval have *no bearing whatsoever* on actua

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:43PM (#39343733)

      Way to go big boys! Extradite a harmless college kid who might be doing something moderately illegal but who's transgressions don't amount for a hill of beans, all things considered.

      Leave those nice bankers and upstanding Wall Street financiers to ruin the economy with nothing more than an indignant letter and a small fine.

      Yep, leaders of the free world we are.

      You dirty, diseased hippie! Do you not understand the ineffable majesty of the free market? Behold! Mammon hath spoken and lo, the government has acceded to its demand. In my father's house there are many rooms but you have to pay your way if you want to stay. The bankstas have bought their way into heaven, as hath been shewn to be just in the Gospel of Wealth.

      Blessed are the rich: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
      Blessed are those who own: for to those who hath much, more shall be given.
      Fuck the meek: for they shall inherit shit.
      Fuck those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be mulch in the flowerbeds of the wealthy.
      Blessed are the powerful: for they shall gain more power.
      Blessed are the pure of avarice: for they shall take more than they are owed.
      Blessed are the warmakers: for they shall make bank on both sides of the conflict.
      Blessed are those who persecute: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>Do you not understand the ineffable majesty of the free market?

        Funny. But not true. Private profits and socialized losses (taxpayer bailouts of failing companies) is NOT in any way a free market. In fact it's a centralized economy with the private cartel known as the Federal Reserve Banks pulling the strings for the corporations it serves (not the american people). And Presidents Bush/Obama/Romney and the Secretary of Treasury were/are/will be happily cooperating with the transfer of wealth

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Abolition of the reserve would make the problem worse, not better.
          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            Prior to the Fed there were 50 State banks. The spreading of the power made it very difficult for corporations to bribe and control. More importantly: These banks did not have the power to print money (and thereby destroy our savings). There's a reason why the dollar lost 97% of its value since the Fed's creation, but lost none prior to its existence. We were better-off before the Fed existed with its loose and irresponsible fiscal policies.

            • by lgw (121541)

              There was far worse corruption and corporate control in the late 1800s than today. JP Morgan personally did the job of the Fed (with his personal fortune) for a while before it was established - hard to get more corporate control than that. I'm not sure the establishment of the Fed helped any, but the raw data does the opposite of making your point.

          • by green1 (322787)

            Maybe, maybe not. The point still stands that government meddling in the economy is precisely the opposite of the definition of a free market.

            A free market may, or may not, be better than the current system, but you can't call the current system a free market.

            Free markets never have government bailouts, regardless of the reason.
            A truly free market would not have the concept of copyright, patents, or trademarks.

            People frequently blame our current situation on the free market, but that's not what we have righ

      • by sjames (1099)

        That is a pretty good description of the policies the religious right have hitched their wagons to for some reason.

      • Hmm... guess we have a first amendment issue at hand. The US government created a state religion.

      • by forkfail (228161)

        Ah, you must be a follower of Supply Side Jesus! [youtube.com]

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>nothing more than an indignant letter and a small fine.

      And a nice mortgage bailout for those fatcats too. (Yes it's a bad thing. It did almost nothing for mortgage customers, and was a giant gift for Bank of America and other major lenders.) Ignore the article and watch all the embedded links/videos. http://www.infowars.com/mortgage-settlement-is-just-another-stealth-bank-bailout/ [infowars.com]

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Leave those nice bankers and upstanding Wall Street financiers to ruin the economy with nothing more than an indignant letter and a small fine.

      Time to get your optics checked? Most heavily regulated industries in the world and they're the cause of all that's wrong. Oookay then.

      • Re:USA! USA! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:30PM (#39344443) Homepage

        And all was sorta OK until the regulations were relaxed. NOT a coincidence.

        • by forkfail (228161)

          This. Wishing I had mod points.

        • by lgw (121541)

          The only "regulations that were relaxed" were the firewall between investment banking and real banking - which sucked but wasn't the biggest problem.

          The biggest problem was that the various silly mortgage derivitave securities weren't standardized and traded openly. The CBOT went to the government and said "we need to create a formal market for this stuff, for the exact same reason we have markets for corn and index futures derivitaves and so on", but the government said no (no doubt with GS calling the sh

          • by sjames (1099)

            The problem is that the sale of the derivatives was permitted at all. Take two piles of radioactive dioxin. Divide each into 100 smaller piles. Combine each pile from mound A with a pile from mound B. Sell as the new superfood.

        • Re:USA! USA! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Falconhell (1289630) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @07:11PM (#39345757) Journal

          Australia weathered the financial crisis with hardly a blip due to our strong regulatory regime. Free marketers are deluded if they think deregulation does any good other than to allow more corruption.

    • by biodata (1981610)
      What he was doing isn't even illegal in the UK. He has been charged with no crimes.
  • Uh huh.. right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:34PM (#39343585)
    What's wrong with the U.K laws on copyright infringement that a U.K. citizen needs to be shipped to a foreign country to face this kind of stuff? I don't remember any U.S. citizens getting shipped to some other country for this?
    • Re:Uh huh.. right. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:43PM (#39343737)

      It does seem odd I agree.

      The UK a year or so back signed a bizarre extradition treaty with the US a year or two back that allowed exactly this kind of thing.

      US really does want to police the world... and tax the world too- and the two things (tax, extradition) and probably linked. US expects citizens to pay taxes to the US government... even if they don't live there. If you live in Denmark, for example, but are a US citizen- the US expects you to pay income taxes to them as well as Denmark. (they have treaties with many countries which mean lower-paid paid people don't get double-taxed- it's mainly the rich they're trying to get).

      And... get this... if you renounce your citizenship- you can still be extradited for tax evasion because they can change you with renouncing your citizenship to avoid paying taxes.

      The next step of course is the US will start granting citizenship to random rich foreigners (who didn't ask for it) to get income tax from them.

      • by cpghost (719344)

        The next step of course is the US will start granting citizenship to random rich foreigners (who didn't ask for it) to get income tax from them.

        We are the USA, resistance is futile, you will be naturalized.

    • My understanding is that what he did was legal in his own country. It was only illegal in the US. Therefore, he gets extradited to a foreign country.

      I wonder. Would the UK extradite someone to Iran for some horrible crime, say, like looking at a non-nude picture of two shirtless guys kissing? (Or girls, if you are into that sort of thing.)
      • My understanding is that what he did was legal in his own country. It was only illegal in the US. Therefore, he gets extradited to a foreign country.

        That's just it. My understanding is that it is NOT illegal in the US to link to copyright-infringing websites. Can someone who RTFA'd provide some clarity?

      • by Shimbo (100005)

        My understanding is that what he did was legal in his own country. It was only illegal in the US. Therefore, he gets extradited to a foreign country.

        You understand incorrectly. The extradition requires dual criminality: by allowing the extradition the judge is implicitly saying that is illegal in the UK. However, other people have been acquitted in the UK for similar actions, so it's a bit of a gray area.

  • And again I ask: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:37PM (#39343631)

    Why isn't the U.S. on the Enemies of the Internet 'under surveillance' list? Russia and Australia and the UK are there, but the U.S. isn't? It makes no logical sense.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:40PM (#39343677)

    This will teach you to launch a suicide attack on our entertainment industry, you monster!

  • Extradition? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:40PM (#39343689)
    For posting a bunch of links, he is being extradited? Well, I guess that is what happens when politicians accept bribes from the copyright lobby...
  • Extrajudicial law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:42PM (#39343725)

    So, what this guy did is not a crime in the UK, but because it is in the US he is being sent to stand trial there. Basically, UK citizens are subject to US law (albeit it can only be selectively applied).

    Something to worry about for everyone in a country that has an extradition treaty with US.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:55PM (#39343943)

      So basically it's like the 1760s (Americans were taxed and arrested by laws of a UK parliament they never elected), except now it's operating in reverse.

  • Wow, what a crock (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:43PM (#39343743) Homepage

    His extradition is definitely a crock. If what he did is not a crime under UK law, then it shouldn't matter if it is under US law. I'm sure many things I do are crimes in other countries, but if they asked the US to extradite me they would be laughed at. The internet is an international entity (will more specifically, it is non-national). If someone does something on the internet that is legal in their country, then that is all that matters. If someone from your country accesses it and they shouldn't, deal with the people who fall under your laws.

    As for what he actually did, I am torn on it. He obviously did not actively violate copyright since he just linked. But I think he definitely wasn't in the right either, as he was actively making money off of piracy. To take a real world example, if I set up a business that tracked drug dealers and you could pay me 5 dollars to tell you exactly where the drug dealer was that had what you were looking for, I would definitely be prosecuted for aiding and abetting or conspiracy or something. I am not doing anything illegal, as I am not selling drugs, but I am certainly helping the people who are doing something illegal.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:44PM (#39343757) Homepage

    Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Mr O'Dwyer said: "I've done nothing wrong under UK law, and, it's pretty ridiculous isn't it?

    He didn't break any UK laws. But he can get extradited. That makes no sense. Never mind the fact that he never actually provided any copyrighted information, just links to it.

    This is so horribly flawed, it isn't funny. Welcome to a world in which extraterritorial laws can be applied whenever someone wishes -- or, more accurately, when the government in question can exert enough pressure on your own. Which basically is the US.

    Can't wait for Americans to be extradited to Iran or somewhere else for violating their laws ... because it would be hypocritical to deny the request now.

    After all, if you can ask for the extradition of someone who didn't break any laws in their country, you can't deny to extradite your own people who broke the laws of another country. But, we won't see that.

    Someone jumped the shark here, not sure if it was the UK or the US to be honest. I think both have set a horrible precedent.

    • by Whibla (210729) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @10:50PM (#39347897)

      Can't wait for Americans to be extradited to Iran or somewhere else for violating their laws ... because it would be hypocritical to deny the request now.

      Compare this case with that of the American soldier, a sergeant I believe, who while serving in Afghanistan decided to go on a shooting spree in a village close to his camp. He broke into several civilian dwellings, and killed 16 people, including many children. The Afghanis are understandably furious, and are demanding that this soldier be handed over to them, to be tried and sentenced in an Afghan court. So far the Americans have refused, and it is likely that they will continue to do so. Now, irrespective of what excuses they might come up with (and I'm struggling to think of any that might be termed reasonable), what does this say about America's attitude to other nations, and their rule of law? Again, compare the extradition to America of a citizen of another country, for doing something which was not illegal in the country in which he did it, to the murder of 16 people in a country by a citizen of the US, and not allowing that country to even try the man.

      Hypocritical doesn't even begin to say it!

  • Ugh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oldmac31310 (1845668) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:45PM (#39343773) Homepage
    This really is shameful to say the least. When I heard about this kid months ago I thought, no way, the extradition won't happen. His life has already been turned upsidedown but surely common sense will prevail - but when? I was very wrong obviously. If the intention is to make an example of this guy, exactly what message does it really send? To me, all this really says is that those misguided persons whose job is to enforce copyright have lost all sense of proportion and basic human decency. Bastards.
    • by forkfail (228161)

      The message is, "Fear the Corporations, and their subsidiary, the US Government."

    • by jrumney (197329)

      Someone needs to start a petition [direct.gov.uk] for the UK to get it over with and become the 53rd state of the US, in order to make it clear whose laws you are living under.

  • by KermodeBear (738243) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @04:46PM (#39343787) Homepage

    I don't understand why ANY government would want to take down these sites - even if they are in the pocket of Big Media.

    Websites which simply link to content point you to the people providing the content, making it much easier to find the people committing the actual crime.

    Why not let these sites stay up, let people run them, and just mine them for data?

    Once all the providers of infringing content have been sued / arrested / whatever, the linking sites have nothing to link to, and they die out too.

    Is my reasoning incorrect, or is it just too high a level of thinking for the government to handle?

    • Why? Because police the world over are fucking lazy.

      The site may be a library of copyright infringers, but try finding the person(s) responsible for the infringement.

      Someone somewhere did a whois lookup for http://randomletters.cc/ [randomletters.cc] thought about it for a few seconds, then said "Fuck this, I have a quota to make, and I'm not going to make it chasing imaginary people with names I can't pronounce through countries with no extradition treaty."
  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:01PM (#39344029)

    On Tuesday his mother said: "Today, yet another British citizen is being sold down the river by the British Government.

    Dear British government: Please grow a pair and tell the US to fuck off.

  • Dear America (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:01PM (#39344033) Journal
    Fuck You.
    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Dear America ... Fuck You.

      I am appalled that America would request to extradite someone like this, but please don't forget the part UK is playing in this. If I ask you to hit someone in the face and you do it, who's more at fault here?
      UK should not be handing over their citizens over such minor infraction. In fact, I thought that it was official that only significant crimes allow for extradition request to be initiated.
      PS. Please do not start your post from the subject... It's irritating.

  • It's good the FBI, and Scotland Yard can do this. I hear the Taliban are bad bunch of dudes to go up against?
  • by FeatherBoa (469218) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:07PM (#39344105)

    He will be charged with everything they can think of. Made up stuff, real stuff from jaywalking to treason.

    He will be facing 300 years possible sentence if convicted of even half of it.

    He will be facing a 5 years incarceration just waiting for a trial.

    They will offer a plea deal: plead to being a bad boy and you can go home tomorrow, wear a radio on your ankle for a year and that's it.

    He will do the deal.

    The US will get a conviction, which they will trumpet from the rooftops. They will have a precedent that they covet, and anyone running any similar operation will pretty well have to stop it, lest they meet with a much worse fate.

    The American's, no doubt, believe they are doing this fella a favour, since their first instinct was to scoop him up into a black helicopter, or even just nuke him remotely while he rides his bike to school.

  • If you're a God-loving, honest, and straight down to earth, hard-working, non-gay and non-commie/non-socialist man (a real man, not one of those metrosexual pervs) who likes to buy products very much, then you probably have nothing to fear. I guess.

  • by Teppy (105859) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @05:12PM (#39344191) Homepage
    Fuck Allah! Can I now be extradited to Saudi Arabia for violating Sharia Law?
    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Can I now be extradited to Saudi Arabia for violating Sharia Law?

      Yes, but only IF United States would agree to hand you over to them. Maybe Saudi Arabia already asked for you and the request was denied
      The only reason this particular piece of news is getting traction, is because UK is apparently planning to hand this guy over to US! If US asked for him and was denied, you wouldn't hear much about it.

  • Seriously, where're the tabloids that are usually latching on "scandalous" stories before they even hit the ground? Where's Sun's outcry about the scandalous hijacking of one of their finest young by a terror regime abroad?

  • by pinguwin (807635) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @06:12PM (#39344989)
    Some years back, the home secretary decided that pinochet wouldn't be extradited because he was...too sick, yeah, too sick. So someone who makes a few links gets extradited for something that isn't a crime in the UK and a mass murderer doesn't even though he murdered thousands. I'm ashamed of the U.S. If I were a UK citizen, I'd be ashamed too.
  • "It's not about the money, it's about sending a message". - The Joker.

  • by vain gloria (831093) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @07:12PM (#39345767) Homepage
    David Cameron talks about wanting the UK to produce its own internet giants. How can there ever be a "British Google" or the like under a system which ships off British innovators to the US when their business operates in the tricky legal grey area of international/internet boundaries? If YouTube didn't exist and were invented in Britain tomorrow, the creators would be extradited to the US post-hate, rather than allowed to develop their legitimate business. If Cameron actually wants the UK to punch above its weight on the internet, he needs to start fostering a culture of explicitly supporting British businesses and bedroom startups.
  • The solider who killed the 16 people in Afghanistan is said to be tried by US court because they know he'll be stoned to death. Since he did leave the military base he should be tired as a US citizen who committed a crime in Afghanistan.

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