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British Student Faces Extradition To US Over Copyright 340

Posted by timothy
from the hey-free-trip dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 23-year-old British computer student faces possible extradition to the U.S. for linking to copyrighted content on his website. The student, Richard O'Dwyer, was accused of copyright infringement after setting up the website TV Shack, which had links to thousands of films and tv shows, but did not directly host them."
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British Student Faces Extradition To US Over Copyright

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  • TV-shack, seriously? That was a link site and a damn good one. What kind of twunt is trying to prosecute this guy for running a really good site.
    • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Informative)

      by milkmage (795746) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:24PM (#36468296)

      READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE.
      ICE is the twunt... yes that ICE.

      The website was seized by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. O'Dywer was arrested on May 23, brought to Wandsworth prison and then released on a £3,000 bail paid by his aunt.

      I assume the US wants him extradited so he can face prosecution HERE.

      • by funkatron (912521)
        Prosecution for what?? There was no mention of him doing anything wrong in the article.
        • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

          by zill (1690130) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:18PM (#36468864)

          Soviet prisoner #1: So how long is your sentence?
          Soviet prisoner #2: 10 years.
          Soviet prisoner #1: What did you do?
          Soviet prisoner #2: Nothing.
          Soviet prisoner #1: You liar! "Nothing" gets you 20 years under the PATRIOT ACT.

          • The scary part is that the soviet version punchline goes "Liar! For nothing you only get 5 years".

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          Prosecution for annoying the people who pay for US Senator's lunches. Haven't you been paying attention?

      • Re:Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:13PM (#36468804) Homepage

        The US wants him extradited so they can prosecute him for alleged crimes in the UK?
        I didn't know the US jurisdiction stretched that far over their borders.

        • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Informative)

          by paulo.casanova (2222146) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:37PM (#36469020)
          C'mon, the US never really cared about jurisdiction in the first place... Dmitry Sklyarov [wikipedia.org] anyone?
        • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @07:57PM (#36469688) Journal

          The UK signed up to an Interestingly one-sided extradition treaty which is best summed up as follows:

          US: We want on of your citizens for x crimes
          UK: Do you have the kind of evidence we would require in order to press charges?
          US: No
          UK: He'll be on the 2:30 to O'Hare

        • Re:Pointless (Score:4, Interesting)

          by rtb61 (674572) on Friday June 17, 2011 @03:16AM (#36471874) Homepage

          This one sounds like the US has no real interest at all in the case, they are just trying to lower the bar for extradition cases, with the aim of targeting other people. This guy is just seems to be a victim of a political game, with the intention of making it easier to extradite other people currently in the UK for the crime of handling intellectual property that the US does not want them to.

          So will the British government and the British people just role over and become another third world country when it comes to providing the citizens justice against politically motivated chargers by the US government.

      • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Informative)

        by lothos (10657) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:00PM (#36469718) Homepage

        TVShack wasn't just seized once, it was seized TWICE.

        tvshack.net was the original domain, which switched to tvshack.cc after it was seized. They then put up a video of the song "Fuck the police" on the homepage. They were seized a second time.

        http://www.domaincensorship.com/2010/11/tvshack-cc-seized-again/ [domaincensorship.com]

  • Jurisdiction (Score:5, Informative)

    by Robadob (1800074) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:18PM (#36468210)
    Do they have any jurisdiction over this? It wasn't even hosted in the US.
    • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Informative)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:19PM (#36468228)
      The US doesn't give two shits about jurisdiction, they care about sticking it to the kid.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      Being the greatest, best country God has ever given man kind, US law is God's law, which recognizes no jurisdiction.

      This is how American Exceptionalists really think.

    • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:24PM (#36468288)

      Do they have any jurisdiction over this? It wasn't even hosted in the US.

      Well, since both countries are signatories to the Berne Convention [wikipedia.org] ... technically, by treaty the US is legally entitled to ask for the extradition.

      Of course, if you were living in a country which said that linking didn't actually constitute copyright infringement, then the response would be "go away". If your country rules that linking is the same as infringement ... well, then you get extradited. So, depending on precedent in the UK, that's what will likely happen.

      I think this pretty much demonstrates how copyright has become the big bogeyman that circumvents any sanity in law any more. It's become somewhat out of control, and something people are treating as the most important thing going.

      • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:30PM (#36468350) Homepage Journal

        Getting authorities to act sanely entails that they understand a *tiny* bit about how these systems work. They don't. By the admission of many legislators they are getting all their information from lobbyists... which means almost all their information has bias problems.

        We've come a long way from the "creme rising to the top" and such in government. It's purely face-men listening totally to corporate interests. And anyone with true unbiased knowledge are simply "the other" now and their input is completely thrown away.

        He could get a judge that isn't on the take and actually cares about the facts and the best outcome is that it becomes a VERY EXPENSIVE fiasco... what is one more very expensive fiasco, eh?

        • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:59PM (#36468664) Journal

          We've come a long way from the "creme rising to the top" and such in government.

          Are you familiar with the septic tank paradigm for government (and politics in general)?
          The biggest shits always rise to the top...

        • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

          by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @08:42PM (#36470074)

          I think they understand how these systems work just fine. The problem is that 'we, the people' like to think that the technical workings of things offers ways around the intent of laws in addition to getting around the letter of them.

          e.g. if I get 1,000 individuals to upload 1,000 movies to 1,000 individual sites which don't have any particular public presence, then those 1,000 individuals are technically the ones breaking the laws.
          The people behind those 1,000 sites may also be breaking the law (depending on (nation) state and internationally applicable conventions, they may be in direct violation of a copyright law or at least in violation of a copyright 'safe harbor' clause a la the DMCA).
          Any of the, say, 1,000,000 who directly download from those locations - by having received one or more of those locations - may also be breaking the law (depending on the (nation) state in question).

          But finding those 1,000 individuals takes a lot of time, and costs a fair amount of money, and there's no guarantee that even one of them is found.
          Shutting down 1,000 sites takes a lot of time and costs a fair amount of money, and there's no guarantee that even one of them is actually shut down.
          Finding and suing the 1,000,000 downloaders takes even more time, costs even more money, and there's no guarantee that even one of them is actually found/sued.

          Not to mention the great public backlash against actions taken against downloaders; not so much when it's against uploaders, oddly enough.

          But now imagine that those 1,000,000 downloaders got those 1,000 addresses from 1 site. One single site. Now they've got an easy target. Now they've got the site that, while not responsible for the uploads, not hosting them, and not exactly putting a gun to people's head and saying THOU SHALT DOWNLOADETH, can certainly be successfully argued to be facilitating copyright infringement in a significant way.

          The facilitating argument is usually what's used in these cases, at least around Europe. Not sure how that is in the U.S., but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the same were to apply there.

          • by squizzar (1031726)

            I used to live somewhere where there was a lot of drug dealing. So if I told you where that was do I get arrested for 'facilitating' the drug trade? What about if I put up a website with a list of areas known for dealing? Taking down a site like this does look like the simple solution, but at the end of the day it's all for show. Just like drugs if you bust the guys on the streets there are plenty more to take their place, the only solution to stopping it is to prevent the supply (or, for both sides of

      • I think this pretty much demonstrates how copyright has become the big bogeyman that circumvents any sanity in law any more. It's become somewhat out of control, and something people are treating as the most important thing going.

        I'm sorry, somewhat out of control?

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        That was back when copyright infringement was a civil issue not a criminal one. AFAIK you don't get extradited for civil disputes.
      • by aeoo (568706)

        It's become somewhat out of control, and something people are treating as the most important thing going.

        What an understatement.

      • by Muros (1167213)

        Of course, if you were living in a country which said that linking didn't actually constitute copyright infringement, then the response would be "go away". If your country rules that linking is the same as infringement ... well, then you get extradited.

        What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Linking is providing a pointer to some data. Are journalists going to be held to this standard as well, or is it only for things that happen to be on a computer system?

      • by lennier (44736)

        I think this pretty much demonstrates how copyright has become the big bogeyman that circumvents any sanity in law any more. It's become somewhat out of control, and something people are treating as the most important thing going.

        Due to outsourcing of physical manufacturing, intellectual property is about all the USA has left to export. "Designed by Apple in California; made in China." So from an economic perspective, copyright is the most important thing going for the information-sellers of the world.

        It's not a very good thing at all from the point of view of civil liberties, but liberty costs money and you are not the paying customer.

      • by julesh (229690)

        Well, since both countries are signatories to the Berne Convention [wikipedia.org] ... technically, by treaty the US is legally entitled to ask for the extradition.

        Could you point out to me where in the Berne Convention [wipo.int] extradition to the country of origin is mentioned as a remedy. In fact, it's quite clear in the opposite direction: violations are to be prosecuted in the territory where the infringement took place, in this case (if any infringement did take place) that is the UK.

    • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nick Ives (317) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:27PM (#36468314)

      Back when Tony Blair was in power he signed an extradition treaty with the US which means that if a DA files charges against someone, they can be extradited from the UK. Our Parliament ratified the treaty without inserting a reciprocal clause in the legislation making it dependant on your congress honouring the treaty.

      Obviously your congress decided that having US citizens extradited just because a prosecutor in the UK fancied it them was mental, so they didn't ratify that clause. That leaves us with the current imbalance where your criminal justice system can essentially pull anyone out of the UK for any reason.

      • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Informative)

        by chrb (1083577) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:05PM (#36468728)

        Obviously your congress decided that having US citizens extradited just because a prosecutor in the UK fancied it them was mental, so they didn't ratify that clause.

        No. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in 2006 - see Extradition Act 2003 (US ratification 2006) [wikipedia.org].

        • by Nick Ives (317)

          OK. That's actually pretty good news, but the treaty as negotiated is still imbalanced as I've commented above.

          Still, I guess I learned that now our prosecutors can pull people out of your country too! Our news didn't report that, you guys seeing sense and honouring your negotiated obligations doesn't sell papers you see.

          In any case, the treaty we have with the USA isn't the worst of our extradition arrangements. In the European Union we have these things called European Arrest Warrants which mean national

        • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:11PM (#36470308)

          Actually, its still one sided, you see it works like this,

          UK citizen wanted by an American prosecutor, can be extradited under mere suspicion

          US citizen wanted by a British prosecutor, can only be extradited when evidence is shown that a crime has been committed.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003 [wikipedia.org]

          Sounds one sided to me..

    • by blair1q (305137)

      I keep trying to explain this, especially in relation to Julian Assange.

      You don't get a free pass to commit crimes against a nation's people or corporations or government just because you're not a citizen and not in that country when you do it.

      Jurisdiction is about determining who gets to prosecute you, based on where you were and who you victimized and what you did and how the judicial systems want to organize it.

      Also remember, the Berne convention is an international treaty, and it likely spells out the p

      • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:13PM (#36468798)

        the Berne convention is an international treaty

        Signed in the 19th century when copyright infringement was a civil matter, not a criminal one.

        • by blair1q (305137)

          Updated continually since then and adopted by the United States in the late 1980s.

          The distinction between civil and criminal law is variable, depending only on where the crafters of a law want to draw the line, if it is a line and not a jagged tear.

      • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:16PM (#36468846)

        I keep trying to explain this, especially in relation to Julian Assange.

        You don't get a free pass to commit crimes against a nation's people or corporations or government just because you're not a citizen and not in that country when you do it.

        So you think the editors of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten should be extradited to an Arab country so that they can be beheaded for posting cartoons of Muhammad?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy [wikipedia.org]

      • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dahamma (304068) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @07:04PM (#36469270)

        "Crimes" against a nation's people? For *linking* to copyrighted content!?

        Since (according to the Berne convention) copyrights are automatic, that means pretty much every website on the Internet is copyrighted. Which means every hyperlink to a page that you don't own is potential copyright infringement. I think it would be safe to say that under this definition, almost every website on the planet is now guilty of a crime.

      • Re:Jurisdiction (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @07:43PM (#36469582)

        Thats ok,

        I called the Saudi Arabian crime stoppers and let them know that your mother, sisters, and daughters have all consistently failed to wear veils, or burqas. They also insist upon driving. I suspect they shall be extradited post haste.

        Do you see why you fail yet? Because some of us have been trying to explain this to your stupid thick headed ass for quite a while now.

        Do you know why it will never happen? Because Saudi Arabian laws don't apply here. Now lets follow that through logically... Do you think American laws apply elsewhere?

        Oh BTW I'm an American, and veteran. My opinion? Julian Assuange should be freed, Bradley Manning should be freed, and the charges against this college kid should be dropped. The way my government is currently acting at times makes me physically sick.

  • Waiting for politicians to have some reason is not going to work, other means should be considered by the general populate.
  • by MonsterTrimble (1205334) <monstertrimble&hotmail,com> on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:19PM (#36468234)
    So this guy is being extradited because he has a website which links to copyrighted content only? When did the rules change, because somebody should be talking to Google & Microsoft....
    • by Bogtha (906264) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:36PM (#36469016)

      When did the rules change

      On the 17th of August, 2000 [wikipedia.org], when 2600 was barred from linking to DeCSS under the terms of the DMCA.

      Given the peculiar characteristics of computer programs for circumventing encryption and other access control measures, the DMCA as applied to posting and linking here does not contravene the First Amendment.

      (Emphasis mine.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:20PM (#36468238)

    I got access to all copyrighted content via youtube, google and facebook, I wonder why thoses company(CEO) are not in jail, if this "crime" can send you in jail for 5 years.

    • They have better lobbyists than this guy. Duh.

    • I wonder why thoses company(CEO) are not in jail, if this "crime" can send you in jail for 5 years.

      Because they follow the 'rules' which, presumably, this kid didn't do. Namely, if they get a takedown notice, they take it down. Those are the rules the interweb lawyers have agreed upon. I would bet my mouse this kid got some notices, ignored them and then the law descended.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Take down notices only apply to hosts. This man wasn't hosting anything, just providing links to files that other people were hosting. It's an incredibly stretch to suggest that he's done anything criminal. It's morally grey, but legally, I can't imagine how he's responsible as the materials are still going to be accessible whether or not he links to them. Plus, you can find them via Google, Bing and others anyways.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Well, youtube, Google and Facebook do not exist for the sole purpose of activities that infringe copyright. They also take measures to ensure that the infringing material is blocked or that the copyright holders are recompensed for it.

      TV shack exists purely to allow people access to copyright information without the copyright holder's permission.
  • by ZipK (1051658) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:23PM (#36468284)
    If this Slashdot article points to an Inquirer article that points to a website that points to videos, isn't Slashdot some fraction as guilty as the website owner? What is the decay rate for guiltiness-per-level-of-indirection?
    • by DaHat (247651)

      Kids today... not knowing the implications of the MPAA v 2600 case over the DeCSS source code.

      God I feel old... and I only turn 31 next month :(

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Fair use of fair use of fair use of fair use of pirated content.

    • by Twinbee (767046)

      There is a decay rate you speak of, whatever it is - you can bet on it.

  • by Rijnzael (1294596) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:26PM (#36468306)
    I like using rlslog.net [rlslog.net] to conveniently find torrents. They host no copyrighted content whatsoever, only link to sites which link to torrents which in a sense link to a swarm of people who have parts of the file of interest.

    I imagine that, just following random links on the internet from nearly any given site, I could eventually get to the site I mentioned above. How many links is enough degrees of separation? Surely if liability is introduced simply by linking to a website, you are liable for anything sites you link to also link to. I wonder how many government sites link to Google as their site search provider? Google can get you anywhere, so surely the government would in those cases be liable for linking to Google which links to torrent sites. And that's why this idea is completely absurd.

    And how the hell is what this kid did worthy of extradition, or even a felony in the US? Our copyright policy is so ridiculous.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      Aiding and abetting isn't illegal where you are?

      When you figure out that it isn't, tell Tommy Chong's lawyers he shouldn't be in jail for selling bongs. Not for selling dope to put in bongs. Just bongs.

      • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:55PM (#36469186)

        More specifically, Tommy Chong was jailed for selling bongs to Pennsylvania cops who repeatedly tried to purchase them even though Chong Glass refused each time because it is illegal in Pennsylvania. After placing a large order under a false name for pickup (where it was legal), the cops refused to pick up the material and had them ship it to get payment.

        All of this circus was done for political reasons by Mary Beth Buchanan with a wink and a nod from John Ashcroft.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Em Adespoton (792954)

      I think what these arguments are missing, which is what is often missing, is the area of intent. For example, Slashdot links to all sorts of "illegal" material -- but the site is a news site, not a site that is dedicated to indexing copyright infringed works.

      What this guy could have done was make his site a discussion site with TV schedules etc. that just happened to also have an area showing examples of where this content was available online. If these links were not the primary goal of the site, but onl

  • Importing criminals (Score:3, Informative)

    by siga (1638251) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:37PM (#36468428)
    I guess US does not have enough citizens in jails , so they need to import now . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]
  • All your base are belong to U.S.

  • Just saying if you Google "Watch movies free" and if returns the links for sites that allow you to stream movies for free, isn't this the SAME exact information being provided? If so Google could be prosecuted...however I doubt RIAA would like to go up against someone with a legal arm and financial backing.
  • Fucking. Insane.

  • by antdude (79039)

    http://tvshack.bz/ [tvshack.bz] still works. :P

  • by Stregano (1285764) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @06:42PM (#36469094)
    Deal with your problems and stop trying to deal with other countries problems. You guys have poverty and unemployment rates through the roof, but you are wasting federal resources to try and get some young kid over there to prosecute him. Just an example, last night I was bored and found an Obama interview where he was asked about making Medical Marijuana a Federal Law so that the Feds can stop doing what they do. He said he supported it, but had much bigger issues to use federal resources on. Apparently one of those bigger issues is shipping kids here from the UK who pirate stuff. Seriously America, let us handle our own people breaking laws. We have it taken care of. You don't need to ship our boy over there to punish him when we can do that just fine.
  • OMFG, what BS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lexsird (1208192) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @07:21PM (#36469392)

    This is a blaring indictment of how corporations run things. This copyright crap is just about corporate strings controlling our government. Where is the rage?

    I can remember back in the day when the Internet first started how when it was first used for making money how angry the users were against it. It was suppose to be a landscape of pure thought, ideas to be shared for the edification of us all. Bzzzt. That didn't work out. Now its been raped by corporations, if some kid puts up a website that they think they can squeeze a dime out of they burn him. What is sickening is how our pathetic lapdog piece of shit politicians hand over the keys of power to them. We then have a massive industry of enforcement and punishment. We have so many fucking people in jail now its fucking insane.

    Lets dissect all these fucking laws of ours that put people in jail to protect corporate interests. Next we need to consider that our retarded crooked cunt of a Supreme Court has decided in their fucked in the head reasoning that corporations are now "people" and have rights. Holy fucking shit people! How far does a cock have to jam up our asses before we realize how raped we are? How come they aren't paying taxes like a normal person then? Oh, that is right, they buy politicians to give us a tax code that stacks taller than a person.

    The one big lesson that we have collectively forgotten like a bunch of retards is this: When it happens to the least of us, it happens to all of us. When we let these fuckers in charge get away with fucking ONE OF US, then ALL of our liberties are in jeopardy. If you don't consider ANY violation of ANYONE'S liberties a violation of your OWN liberty, then you just fuck off and let it happen. They come for you eventually too, and there is nobody left to stand and fight them with you. Besides you don't deserve anyone helping you because you were a cowardly cunt who let it happen to others.

    I hope the British people fucking riot over this, but they will not. They are a bunch of lemming pussies too. Who am I to talk? We are proving to be the biggest bunch of retarded pussies in history. I shit you all not, if we don't get a grasp of our government and rip it away from corporations, we will be viewed by future historians as infinitely worse than the fucktards in the era of Germany that let the Nazis rise to power.

    Why get so excited over some punk kid getting treated like a high crimes criminal? Sweet Jesus, people, this could be YOU. This could be ME! I don't have the means to fight this kind of shit? Do you? How far will they keep taking control over us? Oh fuck it, what can I expect of the Facebook generation? Stop the fucking planet, I want off.

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