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Piracy United Kingdom United States Your Rights Online

TVShack Founder Signs Deal Avoiding Extradition 147

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the until-he-steps-on-cuban-soil dept.
another random user writes with news that the founder of TVShack probably won't be thrown into a U.S. prison for life. From the article: "Richard O'Dwyer, from Sheffield, is accused of breaking copyright laws. The US authorities claimed the 24-year-old's TVShack website hosted links to pirated films and TV programs. The High Court was told Mr O'Dwyer had signed a 'deferred prosecution' agreement which would require him paying a small sum of compensation. Mr O'Dwyer will travel to the US voluntarily in the next few weeks for the deal to be formally ratified, it is understood." Looks like Jimbo going to bat for him generated a bit of bad press. As usual, the MPAA is not enthused. Different articles are reporting that his mother is the one traveling to the U.S. to finalize the deal.
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TVShack Founder Signs Deal Avoiding Extradition

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  • by koan (80826) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @08:52AM (#42116255)

    But I personally wouldn't be travelling to "finalize a deal" in a foreign country, no you can just mail me the paper work.

  • A modicum of context (Score:5, Informative)

    by BertieBaggio (944287) <bob@@@manics...eu> on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:00AM (#42116341) Homepage

    Looks like Jimbo going to bat for him generated a bit of bad press.

    Not being intimately familiar with the story, I wondered who the 'Jimbo' in the summary was. I should have guessed it was he of the 'please give Wikipedia money' banners, Jimmy Wales. In fairness, there have been a [slashdot.org] couple [slashdot.org] of stories on /. about it, and it is in one of TFAs; but some context in the summary from the editors or submitter would have been nice. While I'm at it, The Guardian has some coverage too [guardian.co.uk].

    Here ends the obligatory grousing about the article summary.

  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:03AM (#42116371) Journal

    For just piracy? They won't arrest you, they'll just charge you an absurd amount of money and steal your stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:09AM (#42116419)
    It's a registered user, not an anonymous reader. another random user (2645241) [slashdot.org]
  • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Informative)

    by prefect42 (141309) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:35AM (#42116683)

    He was definitely morally guilty as he's a chancer who thought he could make a bundle of cash by skirting the law. He made money with advertising by hosting links to pirated content, where he provided facilities for the people with the pirated content to provide and update the links, and took a more custodial role than a simple hands off search engine. He shouldn't be extradited, but he should be charged in the uk, and fined sufficiently that he hasn't made a profit out of this venture (which netted him hundreds of thousands of pounds I believe).

    I don't believe he directly hosted any content.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:4, Informative)

    by silentcoder (1241496) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:43AM (#42116787) Homepage

    >I'm fairly certain he was hosting the content himself
    He wasn't. It's in the fucking article. He didn't even submit the links himself ! He merely provided a forum where users could submit links.

    >If I spent all my money to make an expensive show and then someone ripped it off and started streaming it for free and stealing my viewers and making money off my work that they paid nothing for, I'd fucking kill them.
    Really ? You're aware that most people don't pay to watch your TV shows on TV right ? Advertisers pay. If somebody misses an episode and downloads it, how the hell did the studio lose any money ? The show was still aired, still showed ads and the advertisers still paid the network - who ALREADY paid you for the show !
    You may have half a point when it comes to movies but for TV-shows your argument falls flat on it's arse. At best you could argue that maybe some of the people watching it online would have bought your DVD release later - but guess what, only hardcore fans of shows buy DVD releases to begin with (usually to re-watch) so that's a fairly small percentage of the income anyway.

    >Stealing content is stealing content and making money on someone else's work is wrong.
    You cannot "steal" content, copyright law is not property law. You can violate the monopoly granted to somebody under it. There's a huge difference.

    > If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash and violating the GPL
    Those two things don't go together - you can sell Libre Office for cash, people DO that all the time, and you can do so without violating the GPL. Of course we'd be up in arms if you violated the GPL but none of us would call it "stealing" and RMS (the guy who WROTE the GPL) is on record as saying that if software didn't HAVE copyright there wouldn't be any NEED for the GPL. The GPL does NOT support copyright. It deliberately subverts it, the fact that it uses the same copyright law to subvert it is just cleverness, not an endorsement.

    >There is no difference
    No, there isn't - but most of us GPL supporters believe there SHOULD be. What the GPL covers, we believe would be better of without copyright, or at least short-term copyright with a requirement for source-disclosure. Changing the law against such powerful foes is difficult. The GPL is a stop-gap intended to destroy their business model - when there is enough free software, nobody will be able to sell non-free software - and the outcome is the same as if the law didn't allow it (but without legal coercion - we achieve freedom using simple market forces).

    But since you can't tell the difference between felony theft and civil copyright-infringement I don't expect you to understand a word I wrote, I'm merely correcting your false facts for the sake of other readers.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:55AM (#42116947)

    I'm fairly certain he was hosting the content himself.

    You are fairly incorrect then; he hosted links.

    If I spent all my money to make an expensive show and then someone ripped it off and started streaming it for free and stealing my viewers and making money off my work that they paid nothing for, I'd fucking kill them

    Then you are a psychopath.

    The fact that Hollywood companies are rich, greedy assholes is irrelevant

    Except when they use their wealth to buy off politicians and create a situation where the US government tries to use an extradition treaty over a website with links to other websites that supposedly infringed on copyrights (whether or not a particular use of a copyrighted work is actually copyright infringement needs to be decided in court; only judges can decide if the fair use doctrine applies, even if the entire work was copied, and even if it seems "obvious" that it was no fair use).

    Stealing content

    Nothing was stolen. Hollywood had as much access to and benefit from their movies and TV shows before TVShack as they did afterwards.

    making money on someone else's work is wrong

    Oh, is it now? Let's get the assholes who are doing it then:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org]

    If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash

    That person would be entirely within their rights, as the GPL allows the sale or commercial use of covered works. In fact, there is a multi-billion dollar software company that routinely sells LibreOffice:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat,_Inc [wikipedia.org].

    There is no difference.

    Sure there is: the GPL allows people to sell copies covered works without having to ask permission, so nobody will face extradition over doing so. Hollywood thinks that every time you copy a movie, you are committing copyright infringement, regardless of whether or not that has been settled in court, and has been trying to hijack the government to keep their business in the black (while simultaneously claiming they are losing money). That is the difference. This is not about the legality of hosting links to possibly illegal videos, it is about the hijacking of a major world power's government.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:50AM (#42117601)
    GWBIIs legal counsel in the UK (and poodle) the Rt. Hon Anthony Blair QC, at the request of the said GWBIII caused his government to pass a law that the US could request the extradition of British citizens without having to produce any evidence. I can forgive McCain a lot because he said it was unreasonable.

    Blair sold us to Murdoch, he sold us to Bush, he connived at the deaths of many Iraqis.We really cannot point the finger at the US political system; we elected him all by ourselves.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:4, Informative)

    by tehcyder (746570) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @11:11AM (#42117859) Journal

    Copyright, for example, is not a moral imperative; it was created to promote a particular industry's financial interests, and it has always been about promoting industry interests.

    No, in the UK at least it was created to provide artists like Dickens with a way of earning money from their creations. Obviously, places like the US ignored our copyright laws, which makes the current RIAA/MAFIAA hysteria somewhat ironic, as the US economy was basically built on infringement of intellectual property laws.

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