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Home Office To Ignore Wikipedia Founder's Petition Against O'Dwyer Extradition 276

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the if-jimbo-can't-nobody-can dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Home Office has confirmed home secretary Theresa May will not block TVShack founder Richard O'Dwyer's U.S. extradition, despite widespread calls for her to do so." It would appear the fate of the tvshack founder is now sealed.
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Home Office To Ignore Wikipedia Founder's Petition Against O'Dwyer Extradition

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  • Time and Place (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan B. (20610) <slashdotNO@SPAMbryar.com.au> on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:28AM (#40524759) Homepage

    So if you do something that is not a crime in your own country, but is in another, yet you never set foot in that country, you can now be extradited? Wouldn't that fall under persecution grounds for asylum? Maybe I should check with the Equadorian Embassy...

    • by Barny (103770)

      Only so long as the crime is committed IN the country it is illegal in.

      • by kraut (2788) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:39AM (#40524789)

        > Only so long as the country the alleged crime was committed in is the USA.

        There. Fixed that for you.

        • Re:Time and Place (Score:5, Insightful)

          by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:44AM (#40524815)
          If I fire a gun from the England border into Scotland and kill someone, you can bet I'll be extradited to Scotland to stand trial for murder.
          • Re:Time and Place (Score:5, Insightful)

            by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:49AM (#40524831)

            Exactly. These people are supposedly guilty of the heinous crime of... copying! Totally worth extraditing someone over, and why not waste taxpayer money doing so? It's not our money!

          • Re:Time and Place (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Sique (173459) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:55AM (#40524861) Homepage

            But only because murder is illegal in England too.

          • Re:Time and Place (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tehcyder (746570) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @03:09AM (#40524915) Journal

            If I fire a gun from the England border into Scotland and kill someone, you can bet I'll be extradited to Scotland to stand trial for murder.

            Isn't the slight difference that murder is a crime in both countries, whereas copyright infringement isn't?

            I don't think I've ever heard of anyone being extradited for a civil matter before, although no doubt someone can prove me wrong.

            I have zero personal sympathy for this guy. I read an interview recently in which he said he had spent the GBP140K he had earned from his website on "normal student things" like going to the cinema and buying pizza. Which is such a load of bollocks it's a joke..

            However, he certainly shouldn't be extradited for this. If this had been the other way round, there is no way he would have been extradited from the US to the UK even if he had committed a real, serious crime.

          • Re:Time and Place (Score:5, Informative)

            by Pseudonym (62607) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @03:13AM (#40524929)

            Interestingly, there have been test cases to this effect in Commonwealth countries. There was a famous test case to this effect in Australia [austlii.edu.au], where someone fired a gun on one side of a state border (much of the decision was to decide precisely where the border was) and killed a person who was on the other side.

            The murder, it was ruled, happened in the state where the victim was shot.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Zemran (3101)

            Errr, you do realise that Scotland and England are the same country??? There is no reason to extradite as the Scottish policeman can just arrest you as you are still in the UK... Other than that and you are talking about a crime rather than a civil offence etc., good point.

            • by 91degrees (207121)
              They have different legal systems though. And you would be tried under Scottish law.

              But this isn't murder. It's copyright infringement. The physical location of the servers hosting the data, or of the client, or of the website, or of the defendant could all be relevant, but where he happened to register the domain seems to have as much relevance as where he bought his PC.
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
              Scotland and England are the same country in the same way that Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are the same country, in that they're not. Separate parliament, police force, legal system... The UK is a sovereign state, not a country.
              • by chrb (1083577)

                Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are the same country

                That is a particularly bad example due to the conflict over that territory and the fact that, due to that conflict, there is nothing politically linking them apart from them both joining the E.U. in the last few decades. There has been no similar civil conflict over the union of Scotland and England in recent times. How about a different example: Hawaii and Texas? Two somewhat different societies, with different political systems, different legal systems, but also represented by a unified parliament? Would

            • Re:Time and Place (Score:4, Informative)

              by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @04:27AM (#40525265)

              Errr, you do realise that Scotland and England are the same country???

              No, they aren't. They are distinct countries, each of which is part of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

            • I dare you to go to Scotland and call someone English! They most definitely are not the same country. Also, Wales is not the same country as England.

              You must be confusing countries and nations e.g. Scotland, Wales and England are all part of Britain.
          • by Dan541 (1032000)

            However Richard O'Dwyer never crossed any borders.

          • What if you shoot the guys dog, that just escaped over the border into England? Will Scottish law apply just because the alleged 'victim' was Scottish?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, if you happen to be in the UK when America takes an interest in you. Best avoid the UK like lava. Leave the Brits to enjoy their prison island.
    • Re:Time and Place (Score:5, Informative)

      by wild_quinine (998562) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @04:26AM (#40525259) Homepage
      Here are the important facts.

      1) O'Dwyer never went to the US whilst running the site. He visited as a small child, but I don't think he has a stronger connection to the US than this.

      2) The servers on which his service were being run were not in the US.

      Most sensible people would therefore argue that he hasn't comitted a crime on US soil.

      But it gets worse. The existing case law in the UK suggests very strongly that the UK does not consider what O'Dwyer did to be a crime. A similar site (TV links) was accused in similar circumstances and let off the hook, because it was deemed to be a 'mere conduit' (Like a safe harbour defense, rather than that deciding that *linking to things is not a crime*, for example).

      Now a UK judge has said that O'Dwyer probably was criminal in this case, because he exerted considerable control over the site, and therefore cannot use the same defense.

      But that's smoke and mirrors, frankly. The way we figure out if that is a crime or not is to try him in court, not to push him off to some corrupt nation where it definitely is a crime.

    • by Ash Vince (602485) *

      So if you do something that is not a crime in your own country, but is in another, yet you never set foot in that country, you can now be extradited? Wouldn't that fall under persecution grounds for asylum? Maybe I should check with the Equadorian Embassy...

      Nope. In this case we are extraditing him because the crime he is accused of is also a crime here as well just with such a low sentence (maximum 6 months instead of 5 years) their is no public interest in prosecuting him. If what he did was not a crime here though he would not have a problem.

  • The War on Youth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:39AM (#40524791)

    Ah, one more small battle in the War on Youth. Let's see: cameras in the streets, ASBOs, patents that kill new competition, laws against drugs, laws against sharing, laws against resisting arrest, student loans, sugar-laden foods, credit card debt, loss of permanent jobs, the list goes on. The UK and USA lead the world in the War on Youth, which pits the old against the young. Extraditing a couple of "pirates" is just consistent with this theme.

    • by progician (2451300) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @04:26AM (#40525261) Homepage

      Strange thing, but there's truth in this. In an other discussion I was wondering that the current trend in demographics in relation to electorate politics creates a political system that is by nature becomes the enemy of the younger generations, and that is easy to show all over Western Europe. Most of the politicians and the people who vote for them were educated on the expense of the budget, that is, "for free". This generation benefited of the welfare state in every way, health case, job protection, rent control, council housing, cheap mortgage and property prices, so they could cut these services with the line "there ain't such thing as free lunch".

      Ageing population is a real political concern for the under-thirties generation.

      • by gutnor (872759)
        It gets even worse when you think that the generation in power in politic and in the private sector is the hippie generation ... they are like the ultimate get off my lawn generation.
      • by khallow (566160) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @07:33AM (#40526195)
        Funny how so many social benefits lead to this sort of generational warfare. Education clearly helps the young more while medical care and pensions (especially of the sort that can't be sustained with changing demographics). This is one of the reasons I advocate getting government (well, my government, yours can keeping doing whatever it's doing) out of the entitlement racket.

        Among other things, it stirs rivalry between different segments of the population, young versus old, poor versus wealthy, politically marginalized versus the politically connected, uncredentialed versus the credentialed, etc. How are you going to get society-wide cooperation when so many groups are fighting for their piece of government squeeze?
  • by fantomas (94850) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:41AM (#40524799)

    Theresa May is from the Conservative Party [wikipedia.org], the UK's right wing major political party (I think this means something like Democrat in the USA?). Her party is very pro-USA in terms of where they take their political lead from and want to orient their geo-politics - as opposed to, say, a more pro-centrist/socialist European line. So I don't think it's too surprising that she'll be happy to do the US government a small favour on this one.

    Some might say it's going too far to extradite UK citizens who are alleged to have broken a US law while in the UK, others might say it's pragmatic to work for closer ties with the world's largest super power when they come asking a favour (which is within English law: the Extradition Act of 2003).

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:52AM (#40524839)

      In America you have the the Republicans, who are the equivalent of our Conservative party, and the Democrats, who are the equivalent of our Conservative party....

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And to complete it, you have Hollywood, which rules them all.

    • by Sique (173459) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @03:02AM (#40524879) Homepage

      So the UK will extradite car driving women to Saudi Arabia, where it's illegal for women to drive, for better oil purchase conditions too?

      • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @03:41AM (#40525047)
        Absolutely. The UK sent people to Libya [guardian.co.uk] while Gaddafi was still in power in exchange for lucrative business opportunities.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by gnasher719 (869701)

        So the UK will extradite car driving women to Saudi Arabia, where it's illegal for women to drive, for better oil purchase conditions too?

        No, because (1) driving a car is not illegal according to UK law, so you wouldn't be extradited even if it was proven that she drove in Saudi Arabia. (2) because driving a car in the UK happens in the UK and has no effect outside, so she can't be extradited, just as even murdering a Saudi Arabian citizen in the UK would't get her extradited. (3) possibly not because it would be checked what is the punishment in Saudi Arabia vs. the punishment say for driving without a license in the UK, and if the punishmen

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:43AM (#40524811)

    Bet they don't extradite Bob Diamond for overseeing the fraud [wsj.com] of vast amounts of money that may actually have done real damage to US citizens, never mind the UK and the rest of the world.

  • Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xenobyte (446878) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:56AM (#40524865)

    If a UK citizen can be extradited to the US for breaking US law outside the US while physically never setting foot on US soil, why don't we see people getting extradited to all sorts of countries for breaking their laws while sitting in our homes in our own countries?

    Second, extradition is for serious crimes only. Why wasn't the request squashed as it's only related to a civil matter of copyright infringement, not a criminal offense?

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      because the "victims" claimed that it was equivalent of robbing 40 banks.

    • Other countries don't have the MPAA/RIAA.

    • Second, extradition is for serious crimes only. Why wasn't the request squashed as it's only related to a civil matter of copyright infringement, not a criminal offense?

      It might only be civil in the UK, I don't really know. But the actual charges in the US are criminal, not civil. The MAFIAA have been steadily increasing the footprint of the criminal statutes regarding copyright infringement for decades now.

      • by julesh (229690)

        UK has a similar criminal copyright infringement law to the US; in this case the charge would be "infringing the right to "make available" copies to the public (either in the course of a business, or to an extent prejudicial to the copyright owner)"

        • "infringing the right to "make available"

          More probably the exclusive right of communication to the public. s107(2A), Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1977 (here [legislation.gov.uk]):

          (2A) A person who infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work to the public—

          (a)in the course of a business, or

          (b)otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,

          commits an offence if he knows or has reason to believe that, by doing so, he is infringing copyright in that work.

          ...

          (4A) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (2A) is liable—

          (a)on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding £50,000, or both;

          (b)on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

        • And there's always the classic trick, too: Charge him with some form of fraud or tax evasion. It's often easier to get a conviction that way.
    • Re:Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @03:31AM (#40524999)

      Wait, that brings up a thought - why can't Greece extradite Jamie Dimon & Lloyd Blankfein to Greece for their "crimes" at defrauding the country into massive debt? After all, if the US can extradite someone for something as "horrible" as posting *links* to *other sites* that contain copyrighted material, *surely* outright financial fraud ought to be extraditable. :-)

      • by haruchai (17472)

        I suppose it's because so many countries would want to extradite all those Wall St criminals, the US would have to ship them in pieces to make everyone happy.
        That's not necessarily a bad thing.

    • Re:Absurd (Score:4, Funny)

      by Zemran (3101) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @03:37AM (#40525027) Homepage Journal

      This treaty was created to aid with the extradition of terrorists and we all know that file sharing and terrorism are the same thing.

    • by N1AK (864906)

      If a UK citizen can be extradited to the US for breaking US law outside the US while physically never setting foot on US soil, why don't we see people getting extradited to all sorts of countries for breaking their laws while sitting in our homes in our own countries?

      Because you have to commit a crime in the country which asks your goverment to extradite you. Thus you can't be extradited to face trial for selling nazi memorabilia in the UK even though it is illegal to do so in parts of Europe. However if yo

      • Because you have to commit a crime in the country which asks your goverment to extradite you. Thus you can't be extradited to face trial for selling nazi memorabilia in the UK even though it is illegal to do so in parts of Europe. However if you ran a web shop and were selling within a country where it was illegal you could be.

        To clarify: You can and will be extradited within the EU for something that is a crime in one country but not another. So if you ship from UK to Germany, you can and will be extradited. If you ship from the USA to Germany, Germany will ask for extradition which will be denied; if you are then stupid enough to travel to the UK, you will be extradited.

    • by Ash Vince (602485) *

      Second, extradition is for serious crimes only. Why wasn't the request squashed as it's only related to a civil matter of copyright infringement, not a criminal offense?

      Where are you getting that from? Actually there is no such exemption in the UK, extradition applies to every crime, not matter how minor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @03:23AM (#40524959)

    Be accused of copywrite infringement = UK extradite to USA
    Be accused of rape = UK will NOT extradite to USA.

    Umm excuse me but this just feels wrong.

    • by Zemran (3101)

      It is wrong - the word is "copyright"... It relates to the right to copy rather than the act of writing the copy.

  • Internet petitions don't change governments? Say it isn't so!

    And to say that his fate is sealed is to ignore a large number of appeals routes he still has available to him. Hell, McKinnon is still here despite YEARS of attempts to extradite him.

  • Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coisiche (2000870) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @04:16AM (#40525227)

    As Dr. Ben Goldacre has just tweeted, "it's the little things like extradition at the behest of a corporation that make you worry the whole world is corrupt".

    I think that ship may have sailed.

  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @05:09AM (#40525479) Journal
    Congratulation, media industries : you clearly made your point : innovation in media content distribution will not be tolerated, even if it is done according to the laws.

    If you were not already boycotting the people behind this, I think you can begin now.
  • Wow, this is a total shock. I mean, when Jimmy Fucking Wales got involved, I was sure the government was going to drop everything!
  • As an American, I do think this is absolute crap. However, I've seen a willingness of both American political parties to cross lines that nobody ever dared to cross before so I can't say I'm truly surprised that the US government would push for his extradition while on the other hand not being very fond of the idea of having foreign laws apply to US companies in a restrictive sense. The real reason I think that the US government wants him is that I suspect he was making a lot more money on advertising tha
  • ...To the Right Hon. Theresa May, MP from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Religious Justice.

    You have been flagrantly displaying bare shoulders, forearms and legs in public in the UK and are in breach of our decency laws. We hereby apply to have you extradited to Saudi Arabia so that you can receive a summary trial with the sentence of being publicly whipped.

  • This story is false (Score:5, Informative)

    by jwales (97533) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @10:03AM (#40528063) Homepage

    Theresa May has not said "NO" and indeed has not responded at all. The report quotes a press release that was issued before my petition was even launched. There has been no response to me at all so far.

    Every signature counts as they are clearly feeling the pressure.

    Jimmy Wales

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