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May I draw everyones attention to the plight of Sheffield Halam student Richard O'Dwyer? Answered

Hi everyone, yeah sorry if this seems a bit spammy,

anyway Jimmy Wales leads the call to stop his extradition.


Interesting times we're living in.

Thanks for looking and maybe signing too!



It's a bit "ranty", but the message is that the internet is still rather vague in legal terms. To the best of my knowledge the Data Protection Act 1998 was the last major IT act (in the UK). I'd like to be better informed.


I wouldn't say "ranty" ( but then I would say that wouldn't I? ). However definately calling out to the Instructables Community to go and have a look and hopefully sign the petition :)

>I'd like to be better informed<

What would you like to know? Start here for O'Dwyers take on his initial questioning.

Video Interview.

We often hear it's the case that police dissuade interviewees from their right to a solicitor, something he seems to regret.

UK law enforcement dropped any charges in order to enable US law enforcement with the connivence of the Home Secretary Theresa May to whisk him away to stand trial in the US.

Apparently no crime had been committed under UK law in the first place.

So we have extraordinary rendition-light right?

According ti the email from the Home Office, what O'Dwyer [allegedly] did is a crime under UK law.

The real issue is that the [alleged] offense was committed entirely within the bounds of of the United Kingdom (British citizen, in Britain, using a British website based on a British-owned server on British soil), yet the corts have ruled that the US has jurisdiction over the [alleged] offense.

If I vandalised a US embassy car on British soil, I woud not be extradited. If I burned the US flag, I would not be extradited. If I shouted racist comments at a passing US Marine, I might get beaten up, but I would not be extradited.

So why does breaking a US copyright on British soil warrant extradition? Because, as far as I can see, the British government and law-courts are more afraid of American corporations than they are of the wrath of their own citizens, and that's just wrong.

Just curious... has anyone actually confirmed where his website was hosted? I know he's a British citizen, but that doesn't mean he used a UK company. As far as I can tell, before the FBI seized his site, it was being hosted on a server in North Carolina (i.e. The USA). If that's the case, then the U.S. does have grounds to extradite him because the offense would have been committed on U.S. soil.

AFAIR, the same held true for MegaUpload owners. They had 'most' of their servers off shore, but since they had at least one in the U.S., it gave the U.S. cause to have the owners arrested in New Zealand in anticipation of extradition to the U.S.

The first reports I saw said the site was hosted on a UK server. Bosherton indicates otherwise.

If Bosherton is correct, then the court's ruling that the US has jurisdiction is even less legitimate, since they are making rulings regarding activities in other nations.

Just did some reading.... TVShack's about page indicated that the website was run and hosted by Swedish students in Sweden. The U.K. court papers say that the website was hosted in the Netherlands. The U.S. argument appears not to have anything to do with the hosting location, but the profits that O'Dwyer (who admitted ownership of TVShack.net) gained from U.S. Advertising companies, and through the link sharing sites that their website pointed to of illegal copyrighted content. The U.S. further argued that a day after they seized control of TVShack.net, O'Dwyer secured the domain TVShack.cc and posted an image to the home page which said "F*uck the Police".

I guess that got their goat up...

Interesting, could you throw in some links? Ok hand's up I'm still reading (when I can) on this so could have missed it, but sometimes there's a marked divergance in reporting depending on which side of the pond you sit.

> I haven't taken any sides <

No of course, I meant geographically, having made the assumption you are in Canada.
Thanks for the links.
Are you considering signing the petition at all?

I was bemused as to why City of London Police were sent to pick him up. Perhaps part of the reason is BlinkX listed on the London Stock exchange, but is HQ'd in San Fran.

I'm only guessing that London Police were asked to pick him up (by U.S. Authorities)... I would think that its much like with the MegaUpload owners, who were in New Zealand, and arrested by New Zealand Police for extradition to the U.S. AFAIK, there were no crimes committed in New Zealand (much like O'Dwyer in the U.K.). Obviously the U.S. Authorities didn't act alone, and gained cooperation from the countries they've dealt with in getting these individuals in custody to stand trial. If the U.S. did something wrong, then I would agree with signing the petition, but if they acted according to the law and to the agreements with the U.K. (and New Zealand), then its hard for me to find fault with their request.

So far, Wikipedia has the most on the subject of TVShacks history.
The site (Shack) stated that it was goverened by the laws of Sweden, where all its services were based.

No extradition without representation. If US wants jurisdiction over Britains, then we'll have to vote in their elections.

Hang on maybe not :-o

I agree. It's cacotopian.
Do you think precedent has already been set in the courts with the O1nk case?
Same principal different file formats, but a legal precedent no?

Here's hoping it gets thrown out on appeal.

I don't think so. This is a human rights issue, it's an issue of civil liberties and national boundaries vs jurisdiction.

Thanks for the reply, with regard to "ranting":

must not tolerate censorship - this isn't censorship.
must stand up for our rights online - "must" again, and what online rights are we talking about here?
did his best to play by the rules - which rules are The Rules?
The section on copyright essentially says "we should be allowed to disregard it with impunity if we like"


The right to a fair trial in the nation in which the alleged offense took place?

My personal beef with this issue is not whether O'Dwyer is guilty of breach of copyright*, but that he is being extradited to another country to be tried for an alleged offense that was [allegedly] commited in this country.

*Under UK law he is probably not guilty of breach of copyright, since the "equivalent offense" referred to by the Home Office is about providing a device that can be used to make unauthorised copies. O'Dwyer provided links to other websites, which, in my interpretation of the law, are not "devices designed to copy", any more than a library card allows you to create a copy of a book. However, under US law, providing links to other sites has been made illegal, with a potential fine of $150,000 per offense, which could mean per link on O'Dwyer's site. The pressure for extradition, IMO, is from the companies who feel agrieved by the links, who want O'Dwyer tried under the law that causes him the most damage.

IMO, the Home Office, and Theresa May in particular have acted in a very cowardly manner in this affair, bending over backwards to accommodate the wishes of a group with no actual powers in this incident.

With regard to your personal beef; this is what it is about, but the page seems to avoid discussing it in an informative way.


I think it's easier to stir people up by pushing the censorship button.

For what it's worth, I think that O'Dwyer's actions were questionable, but, because the law has a long way to go to catch up with the digital age, they were not against the word of the law in this country. He should be prosecuted under UK law, found innocent, and then the case used as a starting point to write a sensible law governing the actions of anybody using a UK website (the cookies ruling was a start).

stir people up

Yes, people who then don't really know what's going on and it adds to the confusion... This is what Forum Topics are for of course, the truth should set people free, I hope it does for Mr O'.


Well put K.

I believe the petition is open to everyone, not just here in the UK.

Theresa May, words fail me.

I have already been in contact with the Home Office regarding this matter.

See my blog post here.

It's a pretty horrifying situation where a British court hands over jurisdiction of a strictly British incident to US law enforcement agencies, purely to appease US commercial interests.