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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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  • Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @08:58AM (#42116315)
    This is how we know that our copyright system is completely out of control. Extradition over links?
  • ahhh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @08:59AM (#42116321)
    It's a trap! Don't do it!
  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @08:59AM (#42116327)

    Send a representative who isn't going to get arrested at the airport.

  • DO NOT TRUST! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:12AM (#42116455) Journal

    Seriously DO NOT TRUST THIS!

    Why can't this simply be carried out at the US embassy in London?

    Why do they want him to be physically present in the USA?

    Also, this is the most disgusting use of the extradition "agreement" so far, much more so than the McKinnon case. The reason being is that what he did isn't even a crime in the UK. Well, perhas/probably not. The CPS decided not to bring a case because noone is sure. Apparently a "test case" is needed.

    So apparently here not only do yu have to know the local law in more detail than even the government, you also have to know that even if you're not comitting a crime here you also have to know all the USA laws too just in case the government decides to hang you out to dry and try to extradite you for a crime that doesn't even exist!

    At what point does ignorance of laws of a country you've never visited and never dones business in become a valid excuse?

    At least this madness is possibly over.

    But I certainly would not trust the USA authorities if I was him. If he can pay, then he can mail a cheque to the embassy. Anything else is way beyond the boundaries of trust.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kh31d4r (2591021) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:32AM (#42116651)

    I'm fairly certain he was hosting the content himself. 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. The fact that Hollywood companies are rich, greedy assholes is irrelevant. Stealing content is stealing content and making money on someone else's work is wrong. If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash and violating the GPL, everyone on slashdot would be going apeshit over it. There is no difference.

    Sigh. If he stole it, they wouldn't have it anymore.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:32AM (#42116657) Homepage
    The "Jimbo" in the summary is Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia. I usually get shouted down for suggesting that summaries could do with a bit more context on occasion, but this is ridiculous.
  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:38AM (#42116723)

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

    You can be as fairly certain as you want, but you'd still be completely and utterly wrong.

    "If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash and violating the GPL, everyone on slashdot would be going apeshit over it."

    Except the GPL allows you to do exactly that providing you also offer the source code for binaries, so no, I doubt they would be going apeshit over it, unless, like you, they knew not what the fuck they were on about. See here:

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney [gnu.org]

    As the rest of your post is based on your false starting assumptions it is all equally wrong.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jesseck (942036) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:41AM (#42116753)

    A few problems with your post:

    • TVShack hosted links. See here [wikipedia.org] for more information. All TVShack did was create a one-stop source for links to content, and that is what pissed off Hollywood / the US.
    • Hollywood doesn't spend all their money making shows, and shouldn't kill people for it.
    • Anyone can "rip off" (AKA "fork") Libre Office and sell it for cash- they just need to make the source code of the fork available. That's part of the freedom of the LGPL.

    I think part of the problem here is you know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to make an informed decision- just like the type of people in Goverment / Hollywood who start this crap. If TVShack hosted content, then prosecute. If not, then pass a law against linking to copyrighted content and prosecute if TVShack is still in business at that time.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:43AM (#42116781)

    Except he hasn't done anything wrong under UK law. The police and music industry already tried that in the OiNK case and lost their case with the site owner walking free having been found not guilty of the fraud laws they tried to frame him with over it:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tees/8461879.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:58AM (#42117003)

    He should've just called their bluff. America wouldn't have got him over this. Public outcry was enough about the McKinnon case, but this guy hadn't actually done anything illegal under UK law so the noise would've only got strong regarding this.

    There is already a massive amount of pressure to reform our extradition agreement with the US as is, the US has done this in the hope that avoiding another embarassing turn-around by our government in deciding not to extradite because it would be politically impossible to do so due to the uproar which would've been the final nail in the coffin for what is an already struggling extradition treaty.

    I hope this means America is finally realising that if they want to retain an extradition treaty with the UK where they feel it matters, i.e. with terrorism suspects - in other words, what the treaty was generally intended for - then they need to stop abusing it for, and taking the piss with other things.

    This is their way of saving face, and simultaneously hoping they don't lose a valuable tool. It's a shame he didn't call their bluff though and become the guy who forced the final nail into the coffin for the extradition treaty, though I do sympathise with him making the decision he has - I imagine it's tough to be willing to put your life on the line for the greater good when your opponent is the most powerful nation and government in the world.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:00AM (#42117019)

    He was definitely morally guilty as he's a chancer who thought he could make a bundle of cash by skirting the law

    Not all laws are rooted in morality. 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.

    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

    So what you are saying is that he created a system where anyone who was hosting video files could advertise their videos? Maybe the MPAA should have made use of this system, since it sounds like it would have been a hell of a lot cheaper than their current advertising strategy.

    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

    So he had a good idea that might threaten the financial interests of the movie industry; your solution is to drive him out of business?

  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:12AM (#42117147)

    Well of course it doesn't make fraud legal, it does however mean that what he was doing - running a website with links to copyright infringing material, even if making money from it - was deemed not to be the crime of fraud under the circumstances of the case.

    There was another similar case where a guy was found guilty but it was largely because he made it a professional enterprise actually forming a company out of it making it a genuinely criminal case.

    O'Dwyer's case is identical to the first case.

  • by gauauu (649169) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:13AM (#42117153)

    But they invited him to a party! Everyone loves a party.

    Don't go! The cake is a lie!

  • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sique (173459) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:15AM (#42117181) Homepage
    You can't steal rights, you can just infringe upon them.
  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:47AM (#42117569) Journal

    He isn't the one traveling:

    > Different articles are reporting that his mother is the one traveling to the U.S. to finalize the deal.

    She is better equipped to handle "backroom negotiations" than he is.

  • Re:Insanity (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @11:08AM (#42117829)

    I disagree.

    Passing laws that extend copyright out to infinity minus a day, locking up content in DRM'ed formats so that even when the copyright expires you still can't make use of it the way you want to, backing up that DRM with laws making it illegal to crack even after the copyright expires, and enforcing the whole thing with million dollar fines for crimes no worse than jaywalking takes away the people's rights to do what they want with what they legitimately purchase.

    i.e. it's stealing.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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