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US Government Seeks Extradition of UK Student For File-Sharing

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the if-you-can't-stand-the-heat-don't-link-to-the-kitchen dept.

Piracy 409

Gimble writes "The BBC reports that UK student Richard O'Dwyer has lost a legal battle to block his extradition to the U.S., where he faces copyright infringement charges for running a file sharing site (ruling). O'Dwyer operated the site 'TV-Shack' from 2007 until 2010, which didn't offer any files itself, but posted links to streams and files hosted elsewhere. O'Dwyer was first arrested in June last year by British police acting on information from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The domestic investigation was subsequently dropped, but Mr. O'Dwyer was re-arrested in May on an extradition warrant to face charges in America."

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409 comments

Well. this will be a first... (5, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686708)

A natural person extradited to the US, through the indirect urging and lobbying of the "media" industry. 'tis sad, 'tis sad... what have we become ?

Re:Well. this will be a first... (5, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686742)

Next up: Extradition because you violated a website's policies.

that will tieup the courts and jury trials (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686914)

Next up: Extradition because you violated a website's policies.

that will tieup the courts and jury trials.

Good luck getting a jury to under stand the policies and in court it will take a lot of time to read out a 50 page policies any ways.

Re:that will tieup the courts and jury trials (5, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687116)

Write to your Congressman urging them to stop this. It's absolutely ridiculous that the US is going after this guy for sharing links. If the British courts found nothing to press charges then why is the US wasting money pursuing this, and we all know it's at the behest of the MPAA, RIAA or whomever. It's stupid to say the least. Here's an idea, put his name on a list and grab him if he ever tries to enter the country. If he never does then he never does, but hell. Part of me would like to see this play out and play out in his favor, he gets extradited, lengthy trial, he gets acquitted. Tax dollars wasted, but the bright side of that scenario would be there would be legal precedent for the next person.

This was a Magistrates' Court (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687410)

It's worth keeping in mind that this decision was made in a Magistrates' Court. That is basically the lowest court in England: as the name suggests, most of the decisions are reached by magistrates, who are lay people offering their services rather than legally trained judges, and do not involve a jury. The penalties that can be handed down in such courts are also typically very limited compared to a Crown Court (to which more serious cases can be referred if the magistrates consider it necessary for the interests of justice because they cannot impose a sufficient penalty themselves).

It sounds like this wasn't a typical case for such a court, but the implication is still that this is only the first step down a long road. I imagine there are several rounds of appeals to go through before the guy in question is in any danger of actually leaving British soil. Those will involve a lot more people who are legally trained and who can spot the obvious (you would think) implication of allowing someone to be extradited for allegedly breaking a US law on British soil but not, apparently, a British one.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (5, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687392)

your honor, the defendant was accused of blocking banner ads. I see full punishment. this crime can't go unpunished.

our client paid good money to have those forced on the defendant. our client was defined its god given right to advertise and annoy.

I seek full damages on this case, your honor. (check the suitcase to your left; yes, that's the one you can take home with you.)

thanks for your consideration. oh, you're welcome, too. (see you on the green next wednesday?)

Re:Well. this will be a first... (2)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686800)

"what have we become ?"

Nations who enter into treaties with one another and then abide by the terms of those treaties?

Re:Well. this will be a first... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686954)

I didn't make a treaty with anyone. I'm willing to bet that the majority of the population in all countries involved didn't have a hand in this "entering into treaties", nor even support them. The fact is, we are not a nation anymore. We are a servile class, subject to the whims of the corporatocracy.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (5, Interesting)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686960)

It's funny you should mention that.

The entire framework of diplomacy and international relations is predicated on the principle of sovereignty, which is being joyously trampled here.

It just means that the UK is not a real country, but rather a protectorate or colony of the US. Here's to hoping the Scots wake up and head for the exit this time around.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (5, Informative)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687114)

I don't usually reply to my own comments, but I realized I got distracted and forgot to present my argument. Here it is:
The extradition arrangement is not reciprocal.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687248)

I don't usually reply to my own comments, but I realized I got distracted and forgot to present my argument. Here it is:
The extradition arrangement is not reciprocal.

So who the fuck elected stupid politicians in the first place ?
I think the EU court of justice can help this guy. You just can't trample over a EU citizen's rights. And what this guy did is not a crime in the EU. Allowing extradition under this circumstance is to abdicated national sovereignty. I would hope that EU laws in this case take precedence over whatever fuck up arrangement the UK did with the Assoholes of the world. aka the US.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (2)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687450)

You would, but you'd be wrong to so hope. Things are what they are.

It works like this: from the point of view of the international community, the UK (as represented by its government and HM the Queen) has sovereign rights over its citizens. It has unilaterally (if partially) surrendered one of these rights (that of jurisdiction) to the US of A. It is the prerogative of the UK, as a sovereign nation, to do so.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687142)

What it means is that the governments of the US and UK are working together to justify more spending and more power. They are simply business associates. Not very romantic is it?

The answer to everything government does, since the dawn of organized coercion, is to follow the money.

Re:LOL (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687240)

No, not really. In this case, it is the government of the USA asserting power over the government and the people of the UK. This bears repeating until it gets through even the thickest skulls.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687266)

The last time I checked, the UK government was highly democratic. Even though it is technically a monarchy, it certainly has a transparent process of lawmaking. If there's some question of sovereignty here, at least the people of the UK can settle such a matter by going as far as calling for a general election *at any time*. I would venture to say that this particular matter is conducted in a way that meets with the (at least tacit) approval of the overwhelming majority of citizens of the UK. So if there's a question of sovereignty, it's that the sovereignty of the UK has been ceded to the British. I can't see the problem.
 

Except this isn't an extraditable offence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686974)

And the USA never signed their half of the bargain.

Re:Except this isn't an extraditable offence. (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687204)

The judges ruling explicitly disagrees with you. Did you even read it? Let me quote the relevant parts.

The issue is whether the conduct actually alleged falls foul of S.107 (2A) not, as I fear Mr Cooper was urging, that no offence in law actually exists. It does exist unless or until S.107 (2A) is amended or repealed

Accordingly Mr Jones argues (@ para 15 of his written submissions of 31st October 2011) “O’Dwyer would not be able to avail himself of the “mere conduit” defence enumerated in Regulation 17 because he was intimately involved in deciding who was allowed to post links on the TVShack websites, which links would be osted” (etc) & ( para 16 continues) “ a plain reading of the phrase “make available” in this context makes clear O’Dwyer “made available copyrighted material”.

... and finally the judge was in no mood for angels-on-pinheads arguments:

I also have in mind the mischief Parliament had in mind. Accordingly in my judgement I am satisfied the conduct alleged in the instant request meets the dual criminality test and would be an offence in this jurisdiction.

That seems pretty sensible. The guy was making large sums of money by running a site that very clearly was designed for piracy. He wasn't some innocent middleman who was abused. He profited handsomely off piracy knowing full well copyright infringement was illegal, and is now being extradited for it.

I'm a Brit and think there are quite a few things wrong with the US/UK extradition treaties that are in place, but the judges ruling is easy to read and logically sound. What he did was an offence under UK law. It would not infringe his human rights to be tried abroad. So what's the big deal? My only concern with this is that the UK Govt didn't prosecute him itself.

Re:Except this isn't an extraditable offence. (2)

fedos (150319) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687398)

So as long as the US alleges an offence that's extraditable, he can be extradited? They don't have to show some sort of evidence that he actually did it?

Re:Well. this will be a first... (0)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686990)

Treaties that essentially say "Actions taken on the internet are subject to the jurisdiction of whoever damn well feels like it"?

Re:Well. this will be a first... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687032)

There's a wider issue here because of the hugely lopsided extradition treaty that was signed by Blair and which has been lambasted by most human rights organisations. There has been no need to *prove* anything to get the extradition beyond the fact the USA justice wants him there. For some strange reason the same favour wasn't granted to us in our extradition of American citizens who still have their full legal protections. The same treaty has meant one man has been held without trial for more than 7 years despite having committed no offence in the UK...(although his views were abhorrent they weren't illegal, something the USA used to understand)

Not just lack of proof, lack of any crime at all (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687220)

It looks like this is actually worse than a treaty merely being one-sided in the requirements for proof. This is about someone who committed acts in the UK that were not illegal in the UK (let us assume, given that his equipment was taken by British police in November 2010 but no criminal charges followed). His actions might have been illegal in the US if they had been committed in the US, but as far as I can tell, they were not and this all happened entirely in the UK. But the US is apparently trying (and currently succeeding) to get him extradited anyway.

Extradition is supposed to be about not letting a criminal flee to another jurisdiction to escape justice. It is not supposed to be about making someone in one country guilty of any offence they commit according to the law in any other country with which an extradition treaty exists.

Just to be clear, I am utterly lacking in sympathy for this guy. I don't for an instant believe he was either ignorant of copyright law or doing this purely out of the kindness of his heart, and if he was making a significant amount of money off the back of helping people to break the law then throw the whole damn book at him. But it should be our book if he did this in our country. The legal principle that anyone can be extradited from a country when their actions committed in that country were not against the law in that country is very, very dangerous.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687046)

Nations who enter into treaties with one another and then abide by the terms of those treaties?

Hahaha... the US abides by treaties only when it's in their best interest. Softwood lumber for ex., So tell them to go pound salt.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (-1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686844)

I suggest someone check the judge's finances.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686952)

Just hand the country over to the MAFIAA...it's inevitable so why struggle? Delaying it just fills up the pockets of the senators and congressmen and the country needs the money to pay for other things.

The sooner it happens, the sooner we can get everybody onto a secure connection to the MAFIAA website so they can monitor your usage and sort people into categories.

Let me get this straight (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686998)

A non-US citizen who took actions completely outside the boundaries of the U.S. "or any territory subject to their jurisdiction" is subject to U.S. law? Does that mean U.S. citizens are subject to Chinese law, even when all actions take place on U.S. soil?

Re:Well. this will be a first... (1, Insightful)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687104)

Now you know why many small countries are trying to build nukes. They need protection against a certain global abuser.

Re:Well. this will be a first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687362)

I wonder if American "news" will finally start reporting on SOPA [mediamatters.org] , and use this as the context to frame SOPA in a "necessary" light?

Fristy Pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686724)

Tell them septics to go fuck themselves!

so UK is USA pet ? (0)

armandoxxx (2484940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686736)

It's kinda cool to watch how far US of A tentacles reach ... and it's kind of scary at the same moment ...

His extradition has been granted (5, Insightful)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686746)

Just within the last hour and is pathetic.

Re:His extradition has been granted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686834)

Time to tear down the ridiculous extradition treaty with the US. Sorry guys, you are just being a bunch of mentals now...

Re:His extradition has been granted (0, Troll)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686916)

It is going that way, and the UK will be just behind. I hope the UK doesn't get Bible Bashed into the middle ages of science too.

Re:His extradition has been granted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686852)

It's almost like the USA is on a mission specifically to get the rest of the world to hate it.

Why they're doing so, I don't know. It's going to end up with them cut off from the rest of the world, as everyone eventually gets tired of letting the USA shove its laws down every other country's throat.

Dear USA: please stop. Seriously. Just stop. You're turning your friends into enemies.

Re:His extradition has been granted (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687038)

Dear Everyone Else: We're not in control! The car is driving itself. Seriously, save us! PLEASE!

Re:His extradition has been granted (3, Funny)

j35ter (895427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687212)

Al Qaida is trying, but you never listened to them :)

Re:His extradition has been granted (2)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686976)

Technically this was just one step in the extradition process - the case now goes to the Home Secretary for a decision, then the whole thing can be appealed to the High Court. This case probably won't be over for months, if not years.

Is this even a crime in the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686808)

Can someone be arrested in the USA for just posting links to copyrighted material? I've never heard of it.

Re:Is this even a crime in the USA? (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686934)

If you don't have a lobby group to back you up it is.

Re:Is this even a crime in the USA? (5, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687110)

It's only happened once in the UK before as well, and then (TV-Links), the case was dismissed. Despite the web being around for some time now, it seems that the issue of linking is only just reaching courts, and unsurprisingly, there will be a few odd rulings until it settles down and precedent is established.

In this case, the US was arguing that providing the website (even merely linking to stuff) was "communicating [copyrighted stuff] to the public", and was "in the course of a business" due to the money being made from adverts (contrary to Section 107 (2A) [legislation.gov.uk] of the CDPA). The counter-argument was that (as in the TV-Links case) his actions were protected by the 'mere conduit' defence (established by Article 12 of the Electronic Commerce Directive [europa.eu] ) which protects ISPs, website hosts etc. from the actions of their users. However, in this ruling, the judge seems to have found that because O'Dwyr (the defendant) was in control of the site, and those adding the links had to be "vetted". Imho (as a mere observer, not a lawyer) that's a very narrow interpretation of the Directive, which might be grounds for a successful appeal.

If he does appeal, we might get a "definitive" ruling on the legality of linking, and the scope of the EC Directive defences, which could be very useful (or terrifying, if they go the other way), so in some ways this is a good thing.

Of course, if he gets to the US, he then may face a completely different trial under US law, where he will be able to argue facts, not just points of law...

Arrest Sergy next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686830)

Doesn't Google and other search engines also list those links if you just do the right search? I don't pirate anything, but stories like this make me want to never pay for a song/movie/tv show ever again.

Re:Arrest Sergy next... (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686942)

Well, I'd go further than this, as with organised crime ...
Google profits from the ads on the pages showing links to (potentially) copyrighted material
Everyone working at Google profits from the money that google make, and shall be liable
Anyone lobbied by someone working for Google is liable too, and then you can take out quite a chunk of the governement :)

Re:Arrest Sergy next... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686950)

They pay for their immunity.

Re:Arrest Sergy next... (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687010)

Google is "grandfathered in". Don't be ridiculous. It's a matter of control, not legality.

Google Search is not vetted (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687310)

Google doesn't choose which links appear in Google Search. The provider of an unvetted service such as Google Search or YouTube can keep its safe harbor status by following the OCILLA takedown procedure (17 USC 512) or foreign counterparts. As I understand this comment [slashdot.org] , TV-Shack may have been too vetted to qualify for the OCILLA safe harbor.

They're just goddamned TV shows. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686856)

Boycott. Stop watching, stop buying, stop feeding these asshole media publishers. If you must buy, buy used.

Re:They're just goddamned TV shows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687180)

As long as you can. The media moguls are trying to make the sale of used media as illegal as trading in copied media.

Re:They're just goddamned TV shows. (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687302)

Boycott. Stop watching, stop buying, stop feeding these asshole media publishers. If you must buy, buy used.

Actually, that's the right approach to take. You don't have the right to copyrighted stuff. What you do have the right to do is to not watch or listen. That's the proper approach. Stop watching the shows, stop listening to the music. Go find stuff that fits your idealism.

Re:They're just goddamned TV shows. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687340)

the more big media comes after the little guy, the more the little guy wants to stick it to big media

this is not a fight that big media can win.

otoh, in some ways, its a rather entertaining fit, in and of itself.

not for those getting harsh punishment, though. I'd donate to his legal cause if there is any (is there any?). geeks really should band together and help each other out.

I'll bet he wishes he was a banker... (5, Insightful)

hydertech (122031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686894)

who had just engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the pension plans of half of the country. He wouldn't be charged much less extradited. What a country!

time to boycot usa products (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38686908)

People should stop buying any USA made products to protest against them trying to shake down other countries.

Oh, wait... they don't make anything except songs and movies. How's that working out for you guys, anyway?

Wow. (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686910)

The GREAT britain, now a BITCH to u.s. corporations. you think this is an uncalled for and aggressive post ? because the keywords were capitalized ? ............ does that change the street-speak summary of this situation ?

Re:Wow. (2)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687322)

The GREAT britain, now a BITCH to u.s. corporations. you think this is an uncalled for and aggressive post ? because the keywords were capitalized ? ............ does that change the street-speak summary of this situation ?

Britain hasn't been great for a long time now. And lest you think I'm gloating over them, I'm not. I'm mourning them, and I realize we're headed in the same direction.

Farscape Time (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686922)

ICE the new Peacekeepers of the planet.

With the same type of public perception and welcome.

Special Relationship? (4, Insightful)

Spottywot (1910658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686932)

More like an abusive one, the American government clearly thinks that we are weak and treat us as such. Maybe they're right. *sigh*

Re:Special Relationship? (4, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686988)

The first and most difficult step in ending an abusive relationship is realizing that you can just walk away.

Re:Special Relationship? (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687286)

Exactly. The UK should just walk away from this nonsense. This seems like a perfect reason to present for withdrawing from the one sided extradition treaty. The corruption is so blatant on the US side, it should be a very popular move with UK citizens.

Re:Special Relationship? (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687130)

Hopefully, he can go to a EU court in the end. But then, the UK has been fighting so hard to keep rights from being bestowed on their citizens that who can say? I mean, what kind of government specifically lobbies to not be bound by the European Convention on Human Rights?

This is the reason why you should support the EU. Yes, it is imperfect, but as we have seen these last years, you can actually get your voice heard in the EP (software patents: had to fight against them, but it was possible to win; ACTA, where the whole process was designed to bypass parliamentary oversight, etc. ) -- unlike in the US, where clearly voices need to be bought. In many ways, the EU is the real guaranties of your rights in this perilous period where it seems the authoritarian systems of China and Russia are more efficient than democracies.

They aren't, and when, in the mid 20s, China has caught-up enough the system build around crazy high growth will crumble or morph into a semi-authoritarian democracy, which will eventually become a real democracy. In the mean time, we need to fight to stay represented, and to keep our rights alive.

"maybe" ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687160)

oh come on ....

How is this legal? (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38686948)

How can they legally extradite him, when he didn't commit a crime IN the US? He's not even a US citizen and isn't subject to US law!

WTF happened to the concept of jurisdiction? Why should the US be able to enforce its laws in the UK? This sets a VERY bad precedent; what if country A has some really stupid law that country B doesn't, and someone in country B breaks it? Should they be extradited to country A?

What's next; extraditing people to China for speaking badly of the communist regime over there?

"WTF happened to the concept of jurisdiction?" (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687006)

capitalism happened. power of money transcends borders.

Re:"WTF happened to the concept of jurisdiction?" (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687064)

That I understand. What continues to escape me is how the movie and music industries manage to call the shots like this when there are far bigger players (Google) who stand to lose from congressional pandering to them.

Re:"WTF happened to the concept of jurisdiction?" (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687136)

because, the i.t. sector, and its generation - therefore owners, execs - are so young yet. and they think that the 'magic' that surrounds the i.t. - and makes entire i.t., internet, golden companies inhabiting it - untouchable, will last forever. this is why brin and page and similar go to congress to give testimonies, and just talk in front of the bought congressmen and back, when called. they think their intelligence, insight, perspective, will be actually taken into account . and things will be seen, understood, and acted accordingly. then they return without buying congessmen. (they should have bought them before going there in the first place).

they dont have any idea that money calls the shots, and if you havent bought congresscritters, what you say - regardless of how wise and revolutionary - will not be heard.

Re:"WTF happened to the concept of jurisdiction?" (5, Insightful)

byrnespd (531460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687236)

Blaming capitalism is a common misconception. The US has arguable NOT been capitalist for the better part of the last century. We have changed to a corporation run government. In a free market capitalist society, corporations would have no power over government policy. The government sets up and maintains courts of law to enforce any disputes, or broken laws, etc.. between the people and the free market (Desirable quality, just go watch Milton Friedman for a bit).. We live in a society where corporate lobbying essentially sets up regulation and law and leverages the government to do its bidding (need examples, how about DMCA, SOPA, the leaked threats to trade blacklist Spain if they don't adopt a SOPA esque law policy, just to name a few recent ones, but if I took the time to dig deeper I could certainly increase the size of this post by orders of magnitude). Anyway, I don't want to go on and on about the true workings of a capitalist/free market society, I just wanted to point out a few HUGE misconceptions about blaming capitalism and free markets when in fact we are not really running our system that way.

Re:How is this legal? (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687060)

It may well be that the US believe that he has committed a crime, and that they wish this to be tested in court, but this seems to be a significant stretch.

Re:How is this legal? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687062)

If you own the justice, is "legal".

Re:How is this legal? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687120)

Because the U.K signed a very bad and very lopsided agreement with the U.S, The Extradition Act of 2003 witch implements the US-UK Extradition Treaty of the same years. It was controversial for exactly this, it allows the U.S extradite U.K citizens for infractions of U.S law even when that offense occurred outside the U.S with no ability for U.K to do the same to citizens. What's worse the standard of proof in extradition cases under this act is reasonable suspicion.

Re:How is this legal? (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687170)

Wish I had modpoints right now. This person is exactly right.

Re:How is this legal? (2)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687206)

How can they legally extradite him, when he didn't commit a crime IN the US? ... WTF happened to the concept of jurisdiction? Why should the US be able to enforce its laws in the UK?

Jurisdiction has always been quite a flimsy issue; merely needing some sort of link between the alleged offence and the country. In this case the US are arguing that some of the TVShack users and advertisers are based in the US, and as they're sort co-conspirators/accessories to the crime, that brings it within the US's jurisdiction. As strange and counter-intuitive as it may seem, this sort of thing isn't all that rare; a good example being if someone in country A murders a person from country B in country A, country B has grounds to extradite him for the offence; the reason this rarely happens is that country A will usually try him first.

This case is unusual because there's enough uncertainty as to the legality of what O'Dwyr did that the UK authorities don't want to prosecute him, but the US authorities do (for whatever reason). However, the judge has now, in theory, cleared up some of that uncertainty by ruling that it was probably illegal.

Re:How is this legal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687244)

You have Tony B-Liar to thank for that one sided UK/USA extradition law back in 2003.

Re:How is this legal? (1)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687246)

What's next; extraditing people to China for speaking badly of the communist regime over there?

Shit dude. Umm, you shouldn't have said that. It's been nice knowing you. Those bastards are going to...shit, I better go hide now...

Re:How is this legal? (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687326)

WTF happened to the concept of jurisdiction? Why should the US be able to enforce its laws in the UK? This sets a VERY bad precedent; what if country A has some really stupid law that country B doesn't, and someone in country B breaks it? Should they be extradited to country A?

In German law, you would be extradited to the USA if: 1. You did something that would be a crime according to German law. 2. The crime was committed in the USA, and according to German law a crime is committed at the place where it has an effect (like sending a letter bomb from Germany that explodes in New York would be a crime committed in the USA). 3. There must be enough evidence that according to a German prosecutor, it would go to court if it happened in Germany. Not enough evidence to convict, but enough to prosecute. 4. There must be a guarantee of a fair trial, and no cruel or unusual punishment. That means in case of murder, the court would have to guarantee that there is no death penalty. For small offences, the trauma of being extradited and having to stand trial in a foreign country could already be considered too much punishment.

There must also be a guarantee that you cannot be prosecuted for anything other than the things that you were extradited for. Which means police often delays asking for an extradition of you are suspected of having committed multiple crimes unless they have enough evidence for each crime.

Re:How is this legal? (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687422)

How can they legally extradite him, when he didn't commit a crime IN the US? He's not even a US citizen and isn't subject to US law!

Well, read the ruling which is helpfully linked from the summary. What he was doing (is charged with doing) is indeed an offence under UK law. The fact that the CPS didn't prosecute him does not change the act that UK law does contain provisions for "making available" copyrighted materials, and that is what he was charged for.

US law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687004)

I'm curious to know how O'Dwyer can be tried under US law when he isn't in the US or a US citizen. Are all UK citizens now living under US law, to be extradited at any time?

Just heard this reported on BBC Radio 4 (3, Interesting)

AccUser (191555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687016)

The item stated that in order for extradition to be considered, O'Dwyer had to have been accused of committing a crime that was illegal in both the UK and the USA. As far as I am aware, no crime was committed in the UK, which is why the criminal investigation was originally dropped.

Re:Just heard this reported on BBC Radio 4 (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687256)

So two wrongs make a right?

Or lack of rights, as the case seems to be...

Re:Just heard this reported on BBC Radio 4 (3, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687270)

The item stated that in order for extradition to be considered, O'Dwyer had to have been accused of committing a crime that was illegal in both the UK and the USA. As far as I am aware, no crime was committed in the UK, which is why the criminal investigation was originally dropped.

This was one of the main challenges to the extradition (section 7 in the ruling, iirc) - the judge disagreed, and held that what he did probably was illegal in the UK. However, that may prove to be a good point to appeal on.

Just in time (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687020)

With NDAA updated they could have a room for him in Guantanamo. Could be very interesting if this happens, no more subterfuges and showing the world who really governs USA.

Any search engine... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687048)

How does this differ in any way from a generic search engine response linking to those same files? Why is it that a single individual is targeted?

Because he doesn't have the resources to defend himself properly? Perhaps simply looking for a weak target to set more precedence? I consider this a prime example indeed of how low we can stoop as a nation. Granted I don't agree with copyright infringement yet the actual damages should be considered as opposed to the over hyped theoretical maximum damages which are simply bogus. We should really get our priorities straight and be focusing more on the larger issues of direct paid file sharing individuals and black or gray market distributors. The media/content companies coming up with a new, more current, business model would go a long way to solving the problem as well of course!

Insanity..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687068)

This is a British Citizen,
- Who has been charged with no offence in the UK,
- Who commited the acts for which he's being extradited entirely within the UK

Yet our utterly one sided and totally inappropriate extradition treaty with the USA allows him to be summarily extradited to face charges in a foreign juristiction?

Irregardless of the normal opinion around here on Copyright, surely the principle involved in insane to anyone giving any thought to it that the laws of a foreign country can be violated to the point of extradition - without leaving your house.

The blame admittedly lies at the feet of the previous Labour government for effectively unilaterally making us subject to the laws of a foreign coutry - without recourse.

Re:Insanity..... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687196)

making us subject to the laws of a foreign coutry - without recourse.

the irony of it being the UK subject to the laws of the US is just astounding.

Tought Policy (0)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687092)

Don't worry, there comming after you next.

Where ? (0)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687100)

He was living where? and committed a crime in which country?
I'd love to see China start insisting U.S or U.K citizens need to be extradited to because they are 'defaming the party' as is against the law in China.

Sorry guys this is just WRONG. It is one thing if you don't like a web site , but that site is certainly governed under the jurisdiction of the country the sites owner lives in.

If the server is in your country , by all means shut it down , but if the server and the owner are not in your country they aren't covered by your laws.

US Hegemony vs. World Government (2)

under_score (65824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687138)

I know a lot of people here are anti-world-government. But isn't this just one of a growing list of examples of the need for a world government of some sort? I suspect a federalist, democratic world state that has some global jurisdiction would be better than the growing injustice of US business hegemony. Two groups that seem to have workable ideas are the World Federalists [wikipedia.org] and the Baha'is [wikipedia.org] (which, because it is religious is almost certainly going to be dismissed out of hand by lots here, but hopefully we can learn from a _working_ global system).

Anyway, this type of American dominance frightens me. I'm a Canadian citizen where certain types of file sharing are allowed... we pay a tax for this in fact. If the Americans can prosecute me for something that I am doing legally in my own country, then we have a major failure of global governance.

and (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687182)

how are you going to protect that world government from being run by the wealthy and corporate interests, just like current usa is being run ?

Re:and (1)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687452)

Making all the people running that govenment take life long vows of poverty seems to be the only way at the moment.

Good! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687156)

It is long past time we started locking people up who commit crimes in other countries. No more of this "It's legal here" loophole crap.

Finally Change I Can Believe In! I'll probably get modded down for this. So what? You opponents of this are all racist anyway. After all, that's the only reason anyone COULD be opposed to this.

Setting Precedent (1)

ThomasLB (1220384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687162)

A lot of people purposely violated Thailands lèse majesté laws on the internet because they thought it was funny. We'll see if they're still laughing while they're on their way to Bangkok in shackles. Anyone who ever posted a less-than-modest photo will soon find themselves on the way to Iran.

If it's illegal anywhere, not it's illegal everywhere.

The real enemy of freedom is... the media? (5, Insightful)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687176)

Its funny when you think about it. The media moguls pushing these laws are the very people who's vast empires are supposed to be helping protect us from tyranny via the free press.

It was fun while it lasted I guess. At this point anyone running for office who would fix this mess is either demonized by the media, or just outright ignored.

Do something about this (5, Informative)

AccUser (191555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687208)

To all my fellow UK /.ers, you can write to the Home Secretary about this matter, explaining politely why this is wrong:

Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Home Secretary
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone number: 020 7035 4848

What would happen if we switch roles? (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687224)

What if arab countries start seeking extradition of US citizens for women who don't cover their faces in public, or because they didn't do certain things (like traveling) with their husband's written permission?

What about european countries seeking extradition of US citizens for carrying guns in public?

I'm sure there are _many_ things which are done every day by US citizens but are illegal in other countries, perhaps some of which do have extradition treaties!

PD: I realize most US citizens think this is ridiculous, too. I'm not confronting them, just making the same statement with switched roles.

He broke the law IN THE UK! (3, Informative)

Tryfen (216209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687226)

According to the very well written judgement [judiciary.gov.uk] he can only be extradited if there is a proportional offence in the UK.

107(2A)
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988:
“A person who infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work in public
(a) in the course of business, or
(b) otherwise than in the course of business but to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright commits an offence if he knows or has reason to believe that, by doing so he is infringing copyright in that work.

I think this stinks, but it seems perfectly legal.

Re:He broke the law IN THE UK! (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687280)

He did not infringe the copyrights of the owner of the medias he had been linking too, as he himself didn't make any copy of them. Is there a law against this in the UK ?

Re:He broke the law IN THE UK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687378)

So... all the search engines are in violation too?

Don't forget that lawyers will argue on the technical merits of saying so.

List of Non Extradition Countries (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687274)

If you are going to be accused of piracy, hope that you live in one of these non-extradition treaty countries: Bhutan Botswana Brunei Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad China Comoros Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Gabon Guinea Guinea Bissau Indonesia Iran Ivory Coast Jordan Kuwait Laos Lebanon Libya Madagascar Mali Maldives Mauritania Mongolia Morocco Mozambique Nepal Niger Oman Qatar Russia Rwanda Samoa Sao Tome e Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Somalia Sudan Syria Togo Tunisia Uganda United Arab Emirates Vanuatu Vietnam Yemen Yemen South Zaire

The Extradition Act 2003 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687278)

But we can get criminals from America to the UK right? Err No.

Wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003
"Controversy surrounds the US-UK extradition treaty of 2003 which was implemented in this act. It has been claimed to be one-sided[1] because it allows the US to extradite UK citizens and others for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK"

Which retarded judges / laywers decided this was a good idea?

We stopped being Great when we let politics fall off the radar and the 1/3 of the population that actually take notice went along with all the party politics hype. If more people were interested and we actually had the best person for the job (rather than political party's with leaders and whips) then we may be in a much better position and would still be great.

Re:The Extradition Act 2003 (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687446)

But we can get criminals from America to the UK right? Err No.... Which retarded judges / laywers decided this was a good idea?

Traditionally, in the UK, it's *politicians* that write laws, lawyers and judges are then left with the mess of sorting them out. In any case, the Extradition Act 2003 is, in my opinion, being rather unfairly criticised by a lot of groups - it's not nearly as bad, or unusual, as it's made out to be. What's happened is that, in a couple of high-profile cases, there have been some abuses by the other country (usually the US), which should be sorted out by their legal system, but aren't being.

That said, I agree with what you said about getting decent politicians elected...

Money a factor; but how much? (1)

JJ Zabkar (1171911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687314)

Aside from the RIAA/MPAA perspective, US government resources spent money on this. How much money has the US invested in this legal pursuit?

What about Dropbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687336)

How do the operators of a site like Dropbox avoid the same fate? I'm sure people have shared MP3s and video clips that they didn't have the permission to share.

Exploited sum it up for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687394)

As someone who lives in the UK let me sum up our attitude to the USA with a video from the Exploited:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReFqf4kixVw [youtube.com]

Warped justice. Where to begin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687442)

While 'copyright infringement' for profit is abhorrent, and those who are found guilty should be reasonably punished, this guy was found guilty for linking to files that he wasn't even hosting.

Here's where I have problem with this.

His domain was TV-Shack.cc. The .cc is a TLD for an Australian Territory, and also used for Northern Cyprus, however the .cc TLD is maintained by a VeriSign subsidiary. This little tidbit is where I think some weight is being thrown around for jurisdictional authority, since VeriSign is an American company. This, possibly gives more creedence to why extradition is reasonable in the courts eyes. Putting aside the various rulings on file linking amongst different countries, where some find it free speech, and others find it illegal, this is at most a civil matter, not criminal.

In the context of Government resources, and usefulness of the D.O.J. , they're really showing their hand here to whom their Corporate masters are; the entertainment industry. Yes, we've known this for several years now, but to extradite a foreign national for hosting a site and file linking, completely outside of US jurisdiction (perceived), really throws any realm of reasonable justice on this matter completely out the window.

What I find sad, and highly hypocritical here, is that the US wouldn't allow extradition of a US citizen to a foreign nation for this very same scenario. US Prosecution? Possibly. Extradition? For file linking, equivalent to the case at hand? Not on your life.

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