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Jimmy Wales Calls UK Government To Halt O'Dwyer Extradition

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:03AM (#40438907)

    Silly Jimmy. Don't you know that U.S. law *is* international law?

    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      I'm not sure I like Wikipedia getting involved in politics like this. I tolerated SOPA, but this is a bit different.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Said politics can directly affect their website if it happens.

        It turns links in to lethal weapons that can destroy anyone.

        • by Loughla (2531696)
          At which point they are no better than the giant corporations/media conglomerates they once sought to replace.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            At which point they are no better than the giant corporations/media conglomerates they once sought to replace.

            I'm not sure Wikipedia ever sought to replace giant corporations/media conglomerates. That might be a practical effect in some edge cases (and even there, very iffy - I don't think even Britannica counts as a giant corporation/media conglomerate and anyone they've 'replaced' is probably smaller) but I don't think it was ever a goal.

      • by beltsbear (2489652) on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:11AM (#40439017)
        It is not Wikipedia getting involved, it is Jimmy Wales. There is no action being done by Wikipedia. I do not think Wikipedia should get involved in this one either but have no problem with Jimmy Wales (even as the head of Wikipedia) doing so, as long ask Wikipedia is not used in the process. The Sopa protest made sense as it effected Wikipedia directly.
        • Fwiw, Wales isn't "the head of Wikipedia" anymore either. He remains one of the 10 members of the Board of Trustees [wikimediafoundation.org] in a special member-for-life seat, but he no longer runs the organization day-to-day (the staff [wikimediafoundation.org] do that), and has no specific authority to make decisions, except via his vote on the Board.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            So who then shows his face begging for donations every few months?

            He has more influence than you care to think.

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              President Clinton shows his face asking for donations, and does a lot of charity work internationally. However, he's no longer the President; while he has a certain amount of influence because of his former position, he no longer has any real power within the US government.

              • He probably has a decent amount of influence via his wife, who holds one of the most senior government positions.

                • by Grishnakh (216268)

                  Ok, maybe I should have said President Carter. He's also heavily involved in a lot of charity and international work.

            • by Trepidity (597)

              It's actually been A/B tested, and continues to be used mainly because it converts the best. There were some experiments this year in rotating in more faces of other Wikipedians, to emphasize the breadth of contributors, but Wales's face still statistically converted best, so it was kept in heavy rotation.

              • It's actually been A/B tested, and continues to be used mainly because it converts the best. There were some experiments this year in rotating in more faces of other Wikipedians, to emphasize the breadth of contributors, but Wales's face still statistically converted best, so it was kept in heavy rotation.
                What about the young girl w/ the purple scarf? I haven't seen that one in a while. I would imagine she tested quite positively as well.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:43AM (#40439439)

          The Sopa protest made sense as it effected Wikipedia directly.

          AFFECTED.

      • by Crasoose (1621969)
        It's probably more along the line of him making this decision as a UK Government Advisor [slashdot.org] if he ever received that position. I don't think Wikipedia has anything at all to do with this.
      • He needs some way to stay relevant.
    • It's a terrible state of affairs when this is more true than not. Unfortunately, the only part of American law that is internationalized are the parts that benefit the corporations...
  • Oh boy! (Score:5, Funny)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:04AM (#40438927)
    Finally, a new banner for Wikipedia!!
  • Extradition? WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:24AM (#40439181) Homepage Journal
    So, A UK citizen is cleared of breaking any UK laws, yet he still 'faces extradition' to another country, one he's not a citizen of and has probably never even been to, who claims he broke their laws? How the fuck does that even get considered? If I, an American citizen, set up a website that was perfectly legal in my country but criminal in, say, Swaziland, would the US government honor an extradition request for my ass? I highly doubt it.

    That's the definition of ri-goddamn-diculous.

    Don't take this shit, UK - tell my government (and, by extension, the MAFIAA) to piss up a fucking rope. You are a sovereign nation, act like one.
    • Re:Extradition? WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by JosKarith (757063) on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:41AM (#40439415)
      Blame Tony B.Liar. He had his tongue so far up Dubya's ass that he willingly signed one of the most lopsided extradition treaties not backed up by the threat of millitary force ever.
      • Blame Tony B.Liar. He had his tongue so far up Dubya's ass that he willingly signed one of the most lopsided extradition treaties not backed up by the threat of millitary force ever.

        Personally, I'm a bit surprised that assbag didn't apply for statehood...

        • by idontgno (624372)

          "Prime Minister of (nominally) independent and sovereign nation" gets more action than "governor of newest state". If you know what I mean.

          Besides, Liz woulda pitched a fit.

      • You've never heard of a fiberglass axe handle? We're past that proverb now :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The good people of the UK are getting what they deserve. Blair, despite pushing this odious treaty, was re-elected in 2005. People seemed to have few concerns with Blair dragging the UK blindly in to war, and to the encouragement of sectarian schooling as a means of encouraging an inclusive society. Blair was a fucking nut job who did a rather good job of covering up his muddled yet pervasive religious beliefs until he left office. He also neglected to mention his financial interests in Iraq, and has been m
        • Re:Extradition? WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday June 25, 2012 @04:59PM (#40444289)

          Blair, despite pushing this odious treaty, was re-elected in 2005.

          By 22% of the population, and without even winning the popular vote in England. He was re-elected only because our electoral system is about as democratic as the military leadership in Egypt right now.

          Short of violent revolution, it's going to take time to fix that, but we're working on it on several fronts already.

          People seemed to have few concerns with Blair dragging the UK blindly in to war

          Aside from literally millions of people taking to the streets in the biggest protest by the British public in living memory, you mean?

          Blair had plenty of faults, but if you're going to have a dig, kindly don't imply that most of the "good people of the UK" supported him. It simply isn't true.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Actually the treaty isn't too bad, it is the implementation. UK judges follow the legal procedures when making decisions, US judges have a lot more latitude to make decisions it seems. In all probability many of their decisions could be challenged, but of course that means going to the US to do it. So basically a UK citizen being extradited to the US is fucked.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        The crazy UK extradition extends beyond the US to many other other countries. What the purpose was of such a ludicrous extradition one way extradition treaty where basically any request and pretty much any poor person is immediately handed over, leaving it to the government of the day being the only body that can limit extradition.

    • due to the borderless nature of the internet, what this guy does in the UK most certainly has an impact on the media business in the USA

      this is not a statement in support of this bullshit extradition, this is to point out how utterly fucked american IP law is in the modern world, eventually

      because you would have to constantly extradite citizens of other countries to the USA to continue the existence of this rent seeking parasitical media business

      obviously, the idea that you are extraditing people from other countries for this "horrible crime" should rise to the level of such moral stink that there is no way this can continue... were it not for the media corporations greasing the palms of enough legislative whores and executive enforcement goons

      i'm not one to give up the game so easily, as some cynical cowards are when it comes to the wholesale purchase of our government by corporations. no, the game is not over. yes, you can defeat the corruption of our government: with enough people caring and not just throwing up their hands at news like this

      we the people still matter, so let us fight the good fight and raise the proper moral stink our corrupt, compromised conflicted government cannot

      • by Anonymous Coward

        due to the borderless nature of the internet, what this guy does in the UK most certainly has an impact on the media business in the USA

        And the reality of the situation is that when you rip off powerful people, it doesn't matter what country you're in at the time.

        • due to the borderless nature of the internet, what this guy does in the UK most certainly has an impact on the media business in the USA

          And the reality of the situation is that when powerful people think that you have ripped them off, it doesn't matter what country you're in at the time.

          FTFY.

        • by sjames (1099)

          Where rip off is defined as failure to surrender all your money upon request.

      • by Chewbacon (797801) on Monday June 25, 2012 @12:00PM (#40439685)
        Sounds like a good plan for people in starving nations. Just need the means to setup an infringing website and boom! 3 hots and a cot, education, conjugal visits. America, fuck yeah!
      • due to the borderless nature of the internet, what this guy does in the UK most certainly has an impact on the media business in the USA

        True but only because the US lets people in the UK connect to its network. If you don't like what people in the UK can do legally in our own country then you are free to refuse all network traffic from the UK. If you choose to accept it then you have to accept the consequences too. It's entirely your decision which you are free to make as you wish as a sovereign nation. The only time extradition should be allowed is when the crime was committed while the culprit was on US soil and then fled to try and avoi

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Usual Slashdot BS. He wasn't cleared.

      You can't be extradited from the UK for an act that is legal in the UK. O'Dwyers actions might be illegal in the UK. The extradition judge decided they were, but the point has never been tested in a criminal trial.

      I think it should be tested in the UK and that's why the extradition is bullshit.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        IF the act hasn't been tested, then it's legal by default.

        Therefore apparently you can be extradited for something that is not illegal in your resident country.

        Also ask Mr Assange what he thinks of your opinion - as we definitely don't have any laws regarding condoms in the UK, but he's still facing imminent extradition, if they can dig him out of the embassy that is :P

    • The UK signed a rather ridiculous extradition treaty that allows these shenanigans. Why I have no idea, but it shouldn't be surprising that people get hauled up on it.

      Brits, it IS your country. Man up and start running it like a real one, not the butt-boy of the USA.

      • The UK signed a rather ridiculous extradition treaty that allows these shenanigans.

        Damn, and I thought our government hated us...

        In other words, to be a British citizen, you have to know and obey the laws not only of your own nation, but any and every nation that your government decides to make back-room deals with... wonderful.

        And to think, 10 years ago talking about the plan for a one-world government was enough to garner a person 'tin-foil hat crazy' status...

      • by muuh-gnu (894733)

        > Brits, it IS your country. Man up and start running it like a real one, not the butt-boy of the USA.

        How are people supposed to change stuff without being able to directly vote on it? Like with copyright, big parties can simply agree on extradition and effectively shield it from any democracy, since nobody is going to form a new party just to fight this one single extradition law.

        Without direct democracy, parties can simply win elections on "big issues" and completely and utterly disregard the will of t

        • Without direct democracy, parties can simply win elections on "big issues" and completely and utterly disregard the will of the people on such "small issues".

          </thread>

          That is the basic flaw with the political system in many (most? all?) of the major Western powers today.

          There are a number of reasonable ways of fixing this problem, or at least dramatically improving the situation, but of course it is not in the interests of most people in power to promote those alternative approaches. Thus the vicious cycle will continue until either we accidentally elect someone with a conscience or something happens that brings down the whole system for whatever reason,

        • >How are people supposed to change stuff without being able to directly vote on it?

          Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi got the Brits out of India without casting a single vote.

          Surely you remember something about that?

    • by sjames (1099)

      The laws in most jurisdictions are already sufficiently complex and numerous that individuals can barely manage to comply with all of the ones that might be enforced. Add in the additional and sometimes conflicting laws involved ibn every jurisdiction one might incidentally contact through the net and it becomes literally impossible not to violate some of them.

      The simple enough solution is that individuals are only responsible for obeying the laws of the jurisdiction they are bodily occupying at the time.

  • Whew. I read that as "O'Dwyer execution" .
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:27AM (#40439231)

    Traditionally, extradition laws were clear. You kill someone, flee the country and that country asks for you to be returned. As long as what you did is a crime in both jurisdictions, you get returned. Slightly more complicated: you stand near the border and shoot someone across the border; here, I think, most people would agree with extradition, even though you weren't in the target country when the crime was committed.

    Now what we have is , someone not resident in country X, sets up a web site not hosted in country X, but because some users access it from country X, country X has the right to extradite you, even if the country you reside in doesn't think a crime has been committed. So, should a US-hosted site that (amongst other things) sells Nazi memorabilia, have its operators extradited to Germany? Etc.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So, should a US-hosted site that (amongst other things) sells Nazi memorabilia, have its operators extradited to Germany? Etc.

      That is the ultimate endgame. if this audacity continues

      Born and bred US citizens that have never left their country are suddenly going through extredition to China for mentioning Tiananmen Square's 'Tank Man'

      Not good.

      • My son, I doubt very much that this would happen. The State Department sees extradition as an almost one-way-street. It seems pretty unlikely that we'd be seeing white American teenagers being handed over to strange foreign barbarians for copyright violations. Granted it's possible for more serious crimes. Most extraditions are for non-nationals and typically for something more serious than running a website linking to copyrighted materials. Can anyone seriously in envisage a white American being extradited
    • So, should a US-hosted site that (amongst other things) sells Nazi memorabilia, have its operators extradited to Germany? Etc.

      I think we already have enough problems with (Neo-)Nazis and right-wing extremists as is in Germany. I don't think German law enforcement agencies are too keen on importing even more of them from other countries...

      • by yacc143 (975862)

        Well, actually they are, so they can stop their crimes from being continued, and throw these guys into prison for a couple of years.

        • Problem is, in the USA being a Nazi isn't a crime; as much as it pains me to say this, that's a Good Thing.
    • Reminds me of an interesting case in the 1970s in Australia. Edward Ward shot a fisherman on the Murray riverbank near Echuca, and the body ended up half in the water. He was found guilty of murder in Victoria. But because the boundary wasn't well defined (the river itself belonged to NSW), there was a drawn out legal battle that eventually ended up in the High Court having to define the boundary more precisely. Ward didn't get a reprieve though, because he was retried in NSW and still got life imprisonment

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @11:34AM (#40439315)

    "The DeCSS case is almost certainly a harbinger of what I would consider to be the defining battle of censorship in cyberspace. In my opinion, this will not be fought over pornography, neo-Nazism, bomb design, blasphemy, or political dissent. Instead, the Armageddon of digital control, the real death match between the Party of the Past and Party of the Future, will be fought over copyright."

    John Perry Barlow, http://www.isoc.org/oti/articles/1000/barlow.html

    • by Hatta (162192)

      This battle has been brewing since the United States was created. The constitution itself establishes both copyright and freedom of speech, two incompatible propositions.

      • Freedom of speech et al were never absolutes (or at least not for a very long time). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_and_present_danger [wikipedia.org]

        • by Hatta (162192) on Monday June 25, 2012 @12:07PM (#40439809) Journal

          Neither is copyright an absolute. It exists for a specific purpose [pddoc.com]. Applications of copyright that do not advance that purpose are not permitted by the constitution. Since copyright is now mainly used as an impediment to the progress of science and the useful arts, it should be abolished.

        • Under the clear and present danger rule, complaining about the copyright lobby might actually get your ass thrown in jail for a very long time,

        • Freedom of speech et al were never absolutes (or at least not for a very long time). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_and_present_danger [wikipedia.org]

          "Everyone knows the fatuous verdict of the greatly over-praised Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who, when asked for an actual example of when it would be proper to limit speech or define it as an action, gave that of shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre." -- Christopher Hitchens [youtube.com].

      • "Everyone knows the fatuous verdict of the greatly over-praised Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who, when asked for an actual example of when it would be proper to limit speech or define it as an action, gave that of shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre." -- Christopher Hitchens [youtube.com].

  • Did he put his picture on top of the letter with a big H2 headline "And appeal from Jimmy Wales"?

  • I object, your honor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheNucleon (865817) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:49PM (#40441197)

    It's unbelievable. I object to this crap on so many different levels:

    First, nations have little control over the laws in other nations. The UK, for instance, has scant control over the insane copyright laws in the US. But they are considering extraditing one of their citizens to the US for allegedly breaking those laws. What if some other country makes it illegal to look at an image of a woman with an uncovered face? Will the US extradite me to that nation for breaking their "laws"? Where does it end?

    Second, it's old news that copyright and patent laws in the US have long strayed past their constitutional purpose. In fact, at this point, it's well established that the laws actually act counter to, rather than in support of, the intent of Article 1, section 8. How much longer will we blindly assent to this?

    Lastly, we are in a bad economy, and the government is flailing for resources. Especially in that situation, I don't want them spending my tax dollars to extradite and prosecute someone for breaking stupid laws on behalf of tainted, greedy and evil corporations. There are much better ways to use our Justice Dept. monies.

    Really, stop the madness. It's gotten so bad I don't even know where to begin working to make it better. I suppose a donation to the EFF is a good start.

    • First, nations have little control over the laws in other nations.

      In theory, my son. The United States has demonstrated a fond willingness for using carrots and sticks to influence the decisions of foreign governments that should pay more attention to those they are elected to represent. The US isn't by any strength the only country playing this game. Look at China's involvement in Africa. For the US though, a country claiming liberty and freedom as their defining characteristics, it's a little less excusable than Beijing doing business with some truly odious regimes. The

    • by houghi (78078)

      First, nations have little control over the laws in other nations.

      That would be if all countries would be equal. Some countries, however, are more equal then others.

  • by lophophore (4087) on Monday June 25, 2012 @02:06PM (#40441467) Homepage

    Apparently all he did was put up a web site that had a collections of links to pirated content apparently owned by American companies.

    This is quite a bit different than actually hosting the content.

    IANAL, but I don't believe the copyright infringement claims will be proven, and I doubt O'Dwyer will be convicted.

    I think this is being done as a strategic prosecution, the DOJ will not prevail; but O'Dwyer will be forced into an expensive and life-changing defense to make an example of him, which is wrong.

    I also think he will be extradited to the US, there's a small matter of international treaty involved here.

    Concerned Americans would be better served by protesting the prosecution of O'Dwyer rather than the extradition.

  • Sorry for the language but what lobotomized slime ball signed into existence an environment where European citizens (actually UK citizen) can face extradition to the US?

    I understand the EU makes this a little bit awkward, hence extradition inside the EU (and even there one of the requirements is that the crime exists in similar ways in both countries). But the normal thing has been always to keep your own citizen, and if the crime warrants the citizen is prosecuted at home. Neither Germany, nor Austria for

  • ***
    You cannot protect or increase the freedoms of your citizens if you make them subject to the laws of a less free country.
    ***

    And yes, I think it is legitimate for the people of a democracy to expect their elected representatives to defend *and increase* the freedoms of the people.

    It is also legitimate to punish them when they do not.
    I will be voting for Scottish independence in 2014, not because of any economic or national pride bullshit, but because I think the UK as an institution has for a long time be

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