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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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Step over this line and we can shoot you.

      So if you just step over this line then we can finalise the agreement whereby I don't shoot you.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Except el presidente gave himself the ability to shoot over the line with robots. ;)

    • by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:20AM (#42116541)
      But they also offered him a cookie bouquet, an iTunes gift card, and comp'ed the buffet if he stops in the US for just a liiiiittle bit, lol.
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      there's no guarantee, if this is signed by the UK only, that he won't be arrested by the US the second he arrives here.

      Chances of that + being covered widely on the internet + not being covered on faux news/mainstream media at all? extremely high.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:52AM (#42116901)

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

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by gauauu (649169)

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

        Don't go! The cake is a lie!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

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

        Just pick a different set of senators...

    • Look at what happened to Dmitry Skylarov for doing some coding that did not break the law in his home country, and led to his being arrested whle in the USA making a presentation about the software he had created. He was charged with circumventing the DMCA [wikipedia.org]:
      .
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimitri_Skylarov [wikipedia.org]
      .
      So even if, ultiimately, you are let go or exonerated or allowed to leave, it may be after false imprisonment or after true imprisonment for charges different from what his plea bargain covers. Why tak
  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)

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

      • by JWW (79176)

        Yep, no arrest. They'll just be happy taking all the money you will make for the rest of your life....

  • Quit with the subtle disparaging of anonymous sources. The term for decades was "an anonymous reader". Who suddenly decided to call them "random users?"

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

    by BertieBaggio (944287) <bob@m[ ]cs.eu ['ani' in gap]> 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 concealment (2447304) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:08AM (#42116407) Homepage Journal

    As it was explained to me, deferred prosecution is like a pro-active parole. They don't bring you to trial, but if you do anything illegal and they catch you within the period of the deferment, they bring the old charges back with both barrels.

    This is a crafty way of neutralizing an activist. You keep them out of the media circus of a trial, but then you've got a sword of Damocles to hold over their heads. If they continue their activism, they face old and new charges. If they do not continue, they become irrelevant and end up working in some back room, coding websites for dubious startups.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      Activism is generally not considered illegal in civilized countries.

      • There's using legitimate political means to agitate for change. I agree that this is usually legal in industrialized countries.

        There's also pushing the limits by being a test case, which is usually neither legal or illegal. You're waiting for the courts to decide. In the meantime, you may be arrested and raped in jail.

        It's a tough life, this activism stuff.

      • We are, however, talking about the US and the UK here, so that's not relevant to this case.
      • by Hatta (162192)

        The US is not a civilized country. Nor the UK it seems.

        • by minus9 (106327)
          Or as Mahatma Gandhi put it when asked "What do you think of Western civilisation?"
          "I think it would be a very good idea."
          • That guy let his wife die by refusing 'Western' medicine.

            Used it himself though when he needed it.

            Creepy egomaniac if you ask me. You ever ask people to wash your feet?
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Activism is generally not considered illegal in civilized countries.

        He's not an activist, he's a student who managed to make a fair whack of money (GBP 15,000 a month which he allegedly just spent on normal student things like pizza and beer) from his twist on copyright infringement.

        He's just lucky that a lot of people in the UK hate the US (mainly since Iraq) and so he got a lot of public sympathy and so his supporters could bring up the whole Guantanamo Bay/disproportionately long potential prison sentence thing.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          He's just lucky that a lot of people in the UK hate the US (mainly since Iraq) and so he got a lot of public sympathy and so his supporters could bring up the whole Guantanamo Bay/disproportionately long potential prison sentence thing.

          That and the fact that he doesn't seem to have actually done anything illegal under UK law.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Why what he did is in the grey area, and many people think it shouldn't be illegal, calling the guy an 'activist' is a big stretch.

    • 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.

      • I found an interesting assessment of this US-UK extradition pact:

        In fact, Andrew Smith, an extradition specialist at the London law firm Corker Binning, said that statistical evidence suggested it was easier for the UK to extradite someone from the US, rather than the other way round.

        http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/americas/claims-uk-us-extradition-pact-lopsided-but-some-legal-experts-disagree [thenational.ae]

        It could be that what you're seeing is that the US, at five times bigger, is merely making more requests becaus

        • by Xest (935314)

          This has been discussed here (and many places) before.

          The issue exists because when the UK requests extradition it's asking to extradite someone whose actually committed a crime worth extraditing over - things like murder and so forth.

          In contrast, US requests are sometimes for the most pathetically petty of things, such as in this case.

          As such it's perfectly sensible that the US extradites in the majority of cases because the seriousness warrants it, but it doesn't make so much sense that the UK extradites

          • The issue exists because when the UK requests extradition it's asking to extradite someone whose actually committed a crime worth extraditing over - things like murder and so forth.

            In contrast, US requests are sometimes for the most pathetically petty of things, such as in this case.

            You're applying your own moral judgment to which laws are important. That's not how the law works.

            Among other things, extraditing him here would allow the court battle to rage and a decision be reached on what behavior is or is

            • by Xest (935314)

              You're reading my suggestion out of context, you're absolutely right that the example I gave was my own moral judgement, but it was also just an example of a possible option should a new treaty be agreed to replace this one.

              However, if your implication is that the original treaty was meant to be for all and any laws then you are wrong. The original treaty was sold by citizens on both sides of the pond as being entirely about extradition of terror suspects, many of us complained at the time that the proposed

              • This part struck me as particularly interesting:

                It's your country and your problem- it's something you can, and should sort out amongst yourselves.

                I can't agree here. The internet and global trade mean that we have to find ways to collaborate on standards between countries.

                And someone just walked into my office, so I have to address the rest of this later (sigh

            • by pbhj (607776)

              >> "when the UK requests extradition it's asking to extradite someone whose actually committed a crime worth extraditing over - things like murder and so forth"
              >"You're applying your own moral judgment to which laws are important. That's not how the law works." //

              Copyright infringement is a tort, a civil wrong. It's not even a crime.

              The UK shouldn't extradite Her Majesties subjects to the USA to decide if he committed an act which the USA finds criminal when the act happened on UK soil and is known

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        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.

        McKinnon had only broken the law in a minor way in the UK. It was the talk of the US imprisoning him for 40 or 60 years that outraged the UK public, when his crime here would have got him a fine and a suspended sentence.

  • Free Dmitry Sklyarov [wikipedia.org] shirt, and a sharpie.
  • 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.

    • There's a standard clause in most extradition treaties that you cannot be extradited unless your action is ALSO illegal in your home country.
      In this case - since the UK doesn't know, I suppose they filed him under "Gray area" and when the US said "we do know" nobody thought to give the accused the benefit of the doubt (isn't that what's SUPPOSED to happen with legal gray areas ?)

      • 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.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          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.

          Who's we?

          About 25% of Britons voted for the Labour party, and a majority of those in England who voted voted for the Tories. So you can really blame Blair on a small minority of Scots.

    • Re:DO NOT TRUST! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by VAElynx (2001046) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @10:08AM (#42117095)
      As my friend said, we should attempt extraditing a large, random sample of US population on possession of handgun charges (Illegal under UK law.)
      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Of course the 'no questions asked' extradition treaty between the UK and USA is a one-way deal. You don't think the US government would agree to anything so insane, do you?

        • Of course the 'no questions asked' extradition treaty between the UK and USA is a one-way deal.

          Another poster [slashdot.org] mentioned this [thenational.ae], perhaps it'll cause you to reevaluate your understanding of the law, and your opinion stated as fact.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You'd fail miserably unless you targeted Kennesaw, GA. Most US citizens don't actually use the 2nd amendment. They just blather about it endlessly.

        Kennesaw, GA, however, has a mandatory gun ownership law. It's mostly unenforced and has enough loopholes to let everyone out of it, but by the basics of that law, every citizen of that city has to own a gun. They did it as an experiment in reducing crime by making criminals fear for their own safety. It seems to have worked. Their crime rate remains far below th

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        As my friend said, we should attempt extraditing a large, random sample of US population on possession of handgun charges (Illegal under UK law.)

        Ooh, I like this. A nice little earner. We'll send each adult US citizen a letter asking for a thousand quid and no more questions asked. 250 million (guess) times a thousand quid should sort out our financial worries for a while.

  • Taxpayer here... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzybunny (112938) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @09:30AM (#42116629) Homepage Journal

    ...can someone please remind me how much of my money is being wasted on this shit?

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Depends on whether you're from the US or UK. They're both wasting money, but the US is probably wasting more money.
      Also, the MPAA is wasting money on this as well, which will have a negative impact on movie-theater and DVD/Bluray prices in the US.

  • 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.
  • With a 10-year layover at the Guantanimo Terminal...
  • It's a trap. Just like on Law and Order, you've got a deal with one set of cops and an agreement or plea bargain, and you're forgetting that there are other branches of the government with teeth, so either
    -- a different prosecuting branch will arrest and try on the same charges
    -- the same branch with which he thinks he's made an agreement will arrest him on a different set of charges with a slight variation, using the old "we gave you immunity for X, but not for Y" trick.
    I agree, there's no reason he s
  • So the point that's being missed is "when exactly and why did having a link become illegal?"
    .
    Doesn't the fact that Google searches the web and provides links to copyright infringing material that is hosted on Youtube show that Google is performing contributory copyright infringement by providing links to material which infringes copyright? Should Google be facing the same charges?

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