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TVShack Founder Signs Deal Avoiding Extradition

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the until-he-steps-on-cuban-soil dept.

Piracy 147

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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I'm not familiar with the case (5, Informative)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#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:I'm not familiar with the case (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116307)

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.

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117235)

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

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116319)

Or send your representatives over, if it needs to be handled in person.

Still, was he breaking any UK laws? If not, what the hell is with this international policing bullshit over, what on a global scale, amounts to minor offenses, like this?

On the bright side, it's nice to see the have appropriate means of dealing with the **AA thugs [amazon.com] ...

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (4, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#42116823)

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.

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (3, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#42116901)

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

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (1, Insightful)

gauauu (649169) | about 2 years ago | (#42117153)

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

Don't go! The cake is a lie!

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118009)

Please assume the party escort submission position.

That sounds dirtier than it really is...

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117237)

She could be charged with "Contributing to the delinquincy of a minor" or she could be charged under the "Lacey Act" which would mean real jail time. Even if she walks on those charges, immigration could toss her in jail as a flight risk until the court case comes up.

Also, the US government is within its rights to offer "deals" in an effort to entice suspects to enter the country. This could end badly ...

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42117569)

He isn't the one traveling:

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

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

Re:I'm not familiar with the case (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#42118439)

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

Just pick a different set of senators...

Insanity (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#42116315)

This is how we know that our copyright system is completely out of control. Extradition over links?

Re:Insanity (-1, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42116559)

I'm fairly certain he was hosting the content himself. If I spent all my money to make an expensive show and then someone ripped it off and started streaming it for free and stealing my viewers and making money off my work that they paid nothing for, I'd fucking kill them. The fact that Hollywood companies are rich, greedy assholes is irrelevant. Stealing content is stealing content and making money on someone else's work is wrong. If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash and violating the GPL, everyone on slashdot would be going apeshit over it. There is no difference.

Re:Insanity (5, Insightful)

kh31d4r (2591021) | about 2 years ago | (#42116651)

I'm fairly certain he was hosting the content himself. If I spent all my money to make an expensive show and then someone ripped it off and started streaming it for free and stealing my viewers and making money off my work that they paid nothing for, I'd fucking kill them. The fact that Hollywood companies are rich, greedy assholes is irrelevant. Stealing content is stealing content and making money on someone else's work is wrong. If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash and violating the GPL, everyone on slashdot would be going apeshit over it. There is no difference.

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

Re:Insanity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116709)

Sigh all you want, but stealing has different meanings. The fact is the parent post is spot on.

Re:Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116711)

Maybe he's coming here to give it back.

Re:Insanity (-1, Troll)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#42116915)

They had exclusive rights to determine copying and distribution of the material. They no longer had that. Thus stealing by your definition.

Re:Insanity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117157)

They still have the right, since the government certainly didn't stop enforcing it. That right was infringed upon, which is different from stealing.

Re:Insanity (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#42117181)

You can't steal rights, you can just infringe upon them.

Re:Insanity (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117829)

I disagree.

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

i.e. it's stealing.

Re:Insanity (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#42118485)

I disagree. [blah blah blah blah] i.e. it's tealing

It doesn't matter if you disagree, you cowardly moron. Words have meaning.

Re:Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117189)

If he took the rights then surely he should be fine, after all the media companies no longer have the rights to determine copying and distribution.

Re:Insanity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117347)

Nothing in the GPL prevents anyone from trying to sell Libre Office for cash.

Re:Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117795)

... stealing my viewers ...

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

Yeah, I think that's the point. Those Viewers (not the show, Parent clearly stated he was stealing viewers, ie monitized eyeballs for advertisements) are lost, they are not watching the show on any broadcast stream that the show gets paid for. Maybe the show will get them back for another episode, maybe for reruns, but advertisers paid for that first run and people weren't watching it because they could get it later with no ads. Viewers were stolen from that airing, advertisers paid for less than they thought, and it could cost a show in the future, up to and including cancellation, out of work writers and actors, and child-stars abandoned because they've been pigeon-holed by a wildly popular but commercially unsuccessful show. Won't someone think of the children? ;)

I agree that extradition is excessive for copyright infringement, but I won't argue in favor of someone that tried to build a business using entirely other peoples effort and no thought to their compensation.

Re:Insanity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118225)

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

Exactly. This is why romance can't possibly work the way it does in movies, because after some guy steals the female lead's heart, she'd be left with a messy gaping chest wound and blood everywhere! I tried explaining this to the cops (VERY slowly, you know how cops are) when they came by to investigate why I had my high school crush's still-beating heart attached to my experiments, but those goddamned jackbooted thugs couldn't seem to get it through their thick skulls how romantic a gesture this was!

See? I can be a pedantic troll for my own convenience and rationalizations, too!

Re:Insanity (2, Informative)

prefect42 (141309) | about 2 years ago | (#42116683)

He was definitely morally guilty as he's a chancer who thought he could make a bundle of cash by skirting the law. He made money with advertising by hosting links to pirated content, where he provided facilities for the people with the pirated content to provide and update the links, and took a more custodial role than a simple hands off search engine. He shouldn't be extradited, but he should be charged in the uk, and fined sufficiently that he hasn't made a profit out of this venture (which netted him hundreds of thousands of pounds I believe).

I don't believe he directly hosted any content.

Re:Insanity (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42116781)

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

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

Re:Insanity (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#42116955)

Except he hasn't done anything wrong under UK law. The police and music industry already tried that in the OiNK case and lost their case

One guy being found not guilty of a crime doesn't make the crime legal.

Re:Insanity (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42117147)

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

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

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

Re:Insanity (2)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#42117207)

But not committing a crime makes you legal. If setting up a server linking to content others provide is not copyright infringment in UK, then it isn't.

Re:Insanity (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#42117019)

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

Not all laws are rooted in morality. Copyright, for example, is not a moral imperative; it was created to promote a particular industry's financial interests, and it has always been about promoting industry interests.

He made money with advertising by hosting links to pirated content, where he provided facilities for the people with the pirated content to provide and update the links, and took a more custodial role than a simple hands off search engine

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

He shouldn't be extradited, but he should be charged in the uk, and fined sufficiently that he hasn't made a profit out of this venture

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

Re:Insanity (3, Informative)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42117859)

Copyright, for example, is not a moral imperative; it was created to promote a particular industry's financial interests, and it has always been about promoting industry interests.

No, in the UK at least it was created to provide artists like Dickens with a way of earning money from their creations. Obviously, places like the US ignored our copyright laws, which makes the current RIAA/MAFIAA hysteria somewhat ironic, as the US economy was basically built on infringement of intellectual property laws.

Re:Insanity (0)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42117799)

You forgot to read the slashdot memo. He's a fucking freedom fighter like Kim Dotcunt.

Re:Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117949)

I wish there were more people that could tell the difference between law and morality. How do people even make it to adulthood without discovering their own conscience and instead allowing their government to tell them the difference between right and wrong.

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

If you really think this, I pity you.

Re:Insanity (1)

prefect42 (141309) | about 2 years ago | (#42118153)

No, you've lost me. He linked to content which was illegal (and nobody I believe is arguing that point) and made a pile of money from advertising (~£150k) by providing people easy access to this illegal content. Sorry, but if people want to make movies and charge money for it, you've a simple moral choice. Pay the money to watch a film you end up thinking is shit, or you don't.

Do you really think you have a moral right to access all content produced without charge? I'm not siding with the MPAA in claiming this guy cost them billions of dollars, but he *did* make money based on someone else's work. Presumably he made considerably less than the market value of what he was providing access to.

The market needs to decide that this content isn't worth what the studio charges for it, and react by not watching it.

Re:Insanity (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42116723)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re:Insanity (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#42116999)

The words "and violating the GPL" mean something, in this case most likely not including the source or removing copyright notices or whatever else results in not being covered by the GPL.

Re:Insanity (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42117065)

Yes, they mean that he doesn't understand that selling GPL'd software doesn't in fact violate the GPL.

Re:Insanity (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#42117163)

Yes, they mean that he doesn't understand that selling GPL'd software doesn't in fact violate the GPL.

No, in this context since he stated both selling LibreOffice and violating the GPL, it means selling the binaries without distributing the source. If he said violating the GPL by selling Libre Office, you would be correct. As it is, you are wrong, sorry. It doesn't even matter if he knew selling GPL'd software was violating the GPL or not, the way he phrased it.

Re:Insanity (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42117289)

That's a very generous reading of "and violating" seeing as that doesn't even make any sense.

If he'd said something like "If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash in a manner that was in violation of the GPL" you'd be right, as it stands you're merely applying your own interpretation of his nonsensical statement and asserting it as the only correct interpretation.

But if you're one of those people who likes to feel they're the grand dictator of what was meant by an ambiguity then I'll let you have it, if that's the sort of thing you need to get yourself through life.

Re:Insanity (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#42117563)

It's hardly a generous reading. "He ran and jumped" - most people don't assume that there's any claim that running is the same as jumping. Yes "and" can has more than one meaning in English.

So it's an ambigious statement. But you are taking one interpretation and asserting that the poster is obviously an idiot and so you will ignore their comments rather than taking a just as valid interpretation in which the claim makes sense.

Yes it very well may be that the poster thinks that selling GPLed software violated the GPL. But it may also just be that they think there'd be more of an uproar on slashdot for the case of someone selling binary copies of openoffice without complying with the GPL than there would be for someone putting binary copies of openoffice up for free download without complying with the GPL.

Re:Insanity (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42117855)

You'll have to excuse me if when I saw him start with falsehoods such as:

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

Followed by rhetoric, like:

"stealing my viewers", "I'd fucking kill them." and "Stealing content is stealing content"

You'll have to excuse me if I read it as an uninformed, bile fuelled rant, and continued to read it that way throughout seeing as it was actually like that all the way through.

Maybe you're right though, maybe he suddenly gained an ounce of intelligence, and a slight clue about the topic he was discussing just at the moment he mentioned the GPL, as unlikely as that would seem given the rest of the post.

Occam's Razor (1)

fuzznutz (789413) | about 2 years ago | (#42118111)

It is undisputed that the first part of the statement is clearly non-objectionable because selling of GPL software is entirely permitted. Therefore at least half of the O.P.'s assertions are non-sequitor. Why, would anyone object to selling GPL software unless they were unaware of the working mechanisms of the GPL? That part of the statement is pointless and redundant since the O.P. meant to declare grievance (i.e. "ripped off") from the point of view of a copyright holder. Therefore it is LESS of a stretch to interpret that he linked these two statements, rather than meant for them to stand each on their own. The G.P.'s interpretation is by far most likely the correct one.

Re:Insanity (3, Insightful)

jesseck (942036) | about 2 years ago | (#42116753)

A few problems with your post:

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

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

Re:Insanity (3, Informative)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 years ago | (#42116787)

>I'm fairly certain he was hosting the content himself
He wasn't. It's in the fucking article. He didn't even submit the links himself ! He merely provided a forum where users could submit links.

>If I spent all my money to make an expensive show and then someone ripped it off and started streaming it for free and stealing my viewers and making money off my work that they paid nothing for, I'd fucking kill them.
Really ? You're aware that most people don't pay to watch your TV shows on TV right ? Advertisers pay. If somebody misses an episode and downloads it, how the hell did the studio lose any money ? The show was still aired, still showed ads and the advertisers still paid the network - who ALREADY paid you for the show !
You may have half a point when it comes to movies but for TV-shows your argument falls flat on it's arse. At best you could argue that maybe some of the people watching it online would have bought your DVD release later - but guess what, only hardcore fans of shows buy DVD releases to begin with (usually to re-watch) so that's a fairly small percentage of the income anyway.

>Stealing content is stealing content and making money on someone else's work is wrong.
You cannot "steal" content, copyright law is not property law. You can violate the monopoly granted to somebody under it. There's a huge difference.

> If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash and violating the GPL
Those two things don't go together - you can sell Libre Office for cash, people DO that all the time, and you can do so without violating the GPL. Of course we'd be up in arms if you violated the GPL but none of us would call it "stealing" and RMS (the guy who WROTE the GPL) is on record as saying that if software didn't HAVE copyright there wouldn't be any NEED for the GPL. The GPL does NOT support copyright. It deliberately subverts it, the fact that it uses the same copyright law to subvert it is just cleverness, not an endorsement.

>There is no difference
No, there isn't - but most of us GPL supporters believe there SHOULD be. What the GPL covers, we believe would be better of without copyright, or at least short-term copyright with a requirement for source-disclosure. Changing the law against such powerful foes is difficult. The GPL is a stop-gap intended to destroy their business model - when there is enough free software, nobody will be able to sell non-free software - and the outcome is the same as if the law didn't allow it (but without legal coercion - we achieve freedom using simple market forces).

But since you can't tell the difference between felony theft and civil copyright-infringement I don't expect you to understand a word I wrote, I'm merely correcting your false facts for the sake of other readers.

Re:Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116809)

Give the hyperbolic talk a rest. You wouldn't do anything except cry about it. Furthermore, No one stole anything. He posted links of content provided by someone else. The original shows are still there so no one is deprived of their property as happens in actual "theft."

And the fact that Hollywood companies are greedy idiots is highly relevant as no one cares if they potentially lose money as those execs are just potentially losing out on money to pay their mistresses and drug dealers.

And the insane part of this case is that if he had actually physically stolen dvd's of the tv shows and movies from a store he'd be facing less time.

Re:Insanity (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#42116833)

links are not content, fool.

Re:Insanity (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#42116947)

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

You are fairly incorrect then; he hosted links.

If I spent all my money to make an expensive show and then someone ripped it off and started streaming it for free and stealing my viewers and making money off my work that they paid nothing for, I'd fucking kill them

Then you are a psychopath.

The fact that Hollywood companies are rich, greedy assholes is irrelevant

Except when they use their wealth to buy off politicians and create a situation where the US government tries to use an extradition treaty over a website with links to other websites that supposedly infringed on copyrights (whether or not a particular use of a copyrighted work is actually copyright infringement needs to be decided in court; only judges can decide if the fair use doctrine applies, even if the entire work was copied, and even if it seems "obvious" that it was no fair use).

Stealing content

Nothing was stolen. Hollywood had as much access to and benefit from their movies and TV shows before TVShack as they did afterwards.

making money on someone else's work is wrong

Oh, is it now? Let's get the assholes who are doing it then:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org]

If someone ripped off Libre Office and started selling copies for cash

That person would be entirely within their rights, as the GPL allows the sale or commercial use of covered works. In fact, there is a multi-billion dollar software company that routinely sells LibreOffice:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat,_Inc [wikipedia.org] .

There is no difference.

Sure there is: the GPL allows people to sell copies covered works without having to ask permission, so nobody will face extradition over doing so. Hollywood thinks that every time you copy a movie, you are committing copyright infringement, regardless of whether or not that has been settled in court, and has been trying to hijack the government to keep their business in the black (while simultaneously claiming they are losing money). That is the difference. This is not about the legality of hosting links to possibly illegal videos, it is about the hijacking of a major world power's government.

Re:Insanity roxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118707)

He did not host any content, he only had a website that had links to content on other servers and sold advertising. Isn't that what google, bing, etc. are doing? How can that be against the law? How can he be responsible for the content? So if he is responsible in some way, then they should go after google also, because I'm sure you could do a simple search and get links to infringing content.

So if his links make him liable in anyway, the natural extension would be that any links to undesirable content also makes you responsible. So if you link to a some site that happened to have somewhere on it what was considered "hate speech" by some group you are liable. This will quickly destroy all the little bloggers and unofficial sources for information of any kind.

Re:Insanity (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#42117411)

If I spent all my money to make an expensive show and then someone ripped it off and started streaming it for free and stealing my viewers and making money off my work that they paid nothing for, I'd fucking kill them.

Wouldn't just killing them be enough? Raping them first would be evil.

Actually, no, mere killing would be evil too.

By the way, unless your show were to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" (i.e., the advancement of knowledge and technique), it shouldn't be copyrightable at all to begin with. Too bad current US copyright law downplayed the original constitutional requirement for originality, so that every show that rips off other shows can be copyrighted too. Would yours be such a ripoff?

ahhh! (4, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42116321)

It's a trap! Don't do it!

You'd have to be fool to go to the US (5, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#42116327)

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

Re:You'd have to be fool to go to the US (1, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42116371)

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

Re:You'd have to be fool to go to the US (1)

JWW (79176) | about 2 years ago | (#42116623)

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

Offtopic rant - "Another Random User" (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#42116333)

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

Re:Offtopic rant - "Another Random User" (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#42116367)

That's probably the user's Slashdot username.

Re:Offtopic rant - "Another Random User" (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116419)

It's a registered user, not an anonymous reader. another random user (2645241) [slashdot.org]

Re:Offtopic rant - "Another Random User" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116681)

I bet you feel stupid now.

A modicum of context (4, Informative)

BertieBaggio (944287) | about 2 years ago | (#42116341)

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.

This is a way of keeping him inactive (4, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#42116407)

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.

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#42116495)

Activism is generally not considered illegal in civilized countries.

Two types of activism. (2)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#42116573)

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.

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#42116665)

We are, however, talking about the US and the UK here, so that's not relevant to this case.

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42116669)

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

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (2)

minus9 (106327) | about 2 years ago | (#42116815)

Or as Mahatma Gandhi put it when asked "What do you think of Western civilisation?"
"I think it would be a very good idea."

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (1)

rich_hudds (1360617) | about 2 years ago | (#42117895)

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?

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42118159)

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.

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#42118377)

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.

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42116909)

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.

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

A popular notion that may not be true (2)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#42117755)

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 because it has more interests. The treaty may not be unfavorable at all.

Re:A popular notion that may not be true (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42118025)

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 in every case, because a number of the US requests are completely spurious. In those cases where the US requests are warranted - again, for example, murder, then the UK does tend to honour the request.

The UK does have other hurdles sometimes to deal with, such as European Court of Human Rights appeals and so forth, but fundamentally the issue isn't "how easy it is to extradite someone" but what crimes the extradition requests are actually for - it's this that has most British voters up in arms, and it's this that creates cries of it being one sided. For example, if an American preacher burns a Koran, and British soldiers die in Afghanistan as a result of the uproar that causes there, do you think the US would really extradite him here under the UK's incitement to religious hatred laws? That's effectively how Brits see this case - as America trying to apply it's laws here, that's also why people were angry about McKinnon, because the sentence he could've received was absurd compared to the more sane sentence he'd have received here for the crime.

Ultimately I think the real problem is that the treaty was written post-9/11 in haste for the purpose of terror extraditions, and, like most post-9/11 anti-terrorism laws, was poorly thought through and due to the vagueness of them due to being poorly written has been used well outside it's remit to attempt to extradite over things like file sharing. I, and I think most people here don't have a problem with an extradition treaty with the US per-se, providing it's limited to situations where say, someone in the UK murders someone in the US, then flies back to the UK and that sort of thing. What we take offence to is the sorts of things it's being used for, and the relatively inhumane penal system in the US (America jails far too many people, in jails that are often hopeless at ensuring rehabilitation and reducing reoffending).

No subjective picking of which laws to enforce (1)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#42118157)

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 not legal.

Re:No subjective picking of which laws to enforce (2)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42118393)

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 treaty was too vague but we were simply told (on both sides) by our governments "trust us" - of course, we didn't have a choice anyway because they went ahead regardless using the post-9/11 anti-terrorism fear mongering as the justification.

This is why it's a problem, and this is why it's not right that it's being used for every law even those that aren't crimes in both countries - because we were explicitly told that that's not what it was for, both US and UK citizens alike. Again, I only gave the suggestion I did based on my own moral judgement as an example for any future replacement treaty as to what might then be deemed acceptable - that doesn't mean everyone else, including our two governments will agree, but again, it's irrelevant to what we have now which is being used in a way we were told it wouldn't be and it's currently the US that is abusing it beyond it's original intention- more fool our government for believing the vagueness of it wouldn't be abused like this.

"Among other things, extraditing him here would allow the court battle to rage and a decision be reached on what behavior is or is not legal."

I get that you want that, I really do, but using our citizens for it isn't the right thing to do. It's your country and your problem- it's something you can, and should sort out amongst yourselves. You don't need to extradite anyone from here to do it as that's simply an attempt to bring xenophobia in it so the US government can claim evil foreigners are stealing US jobs and so forth. Use a US citizen, there are plenty hosting similar sites and keep that out of it. It's also an attempt at fear mongering, which should have no place in legal process.

The internet erased borders (1)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#42118841)

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

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42118213)

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.

Re:This is a way of keeping him inactive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118227)

This is a crafty way of neutralizing an activist.

Only works if they're guilty. If they're innocent and care about their cause, they'll never take the deal.

Time to bust out my (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#42116431)

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

DO NOT TRUST! (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#42116455)

Seriously DO NOT TRUST THIS!

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

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

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

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

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

At least this madness is possibly over.

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

Re:DO NOT TRUST! (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 years ago | (#42116837)

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 ?)

Not between US and UK (1, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#42117601)

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.

Re:Not between US and UK (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#42118497)

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! (5, Interesting)

VAElynx (2001046) | about 2 years ago | (#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.)

Re:DO NOT TRUST! (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#42118061)

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?

Re:DO NOT TRUST! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118205)

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 that of the surrounding areas.

You could also probably successfully target large numbers of inner-city households of any major metro area. Suggestions: Washington D.C., St. Louis, and Detroit. Then we could introduce your Anglo-European ideals to the USA's particularly unique and acrimonious brand of racism! Whee! International "incidents" for everyone!

Re:DO NOT TRUST! (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42118243)

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.

Re:DO NOT TRUST! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118199)

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

because the american embassy in london is as much US soil as the land the washington monument stands upon.

as soon as he sets foot on ANY american soil, or reaches any US customs checkpoint, he is fucked... in the ass.... with a rusty crowbar.

Re:DO NOT TRUST! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118381)

Now, now, now... You are placing yourself in the way of Anakin's desire to have peace, freedom, and security in his new empire. I hope you're as good with a lightsaber as Obi-Wan or as good at making a fast escape as Yoda.

Fool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116553)

You'd be a fool to step foot in the usa like this....

Second you get here you're going to break some imaginary law and lose your deal. Goto jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Bet.

Taxpayer here... (5, Interesting)

fuzzybunny (112938) | about 2 years ago | (#42116629)

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

Re:Taxpayer here... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42116885)

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.

Who the hell is Jimbo? (answer within) (5, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42116657)

The "Jimbo" in the summary is Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia. I usually get shouted down for suggesting that summaries could do with a bit more context on occasion, but this is ridiculous.

Re:Who the hell is Jimbo? (answer within) (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 2 years ago | (#42116731)

Agrred

Re:Who the hell is Jimbo? (answer within) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117517)

Citation please.

"probably won't be thrown into a U.S. prison" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117667)

Guantanamo, after all, is not a U.S. prison. And people posting links to copyrighted content are arguably enemy combattants, fighting against the government by trying to destroy its funding from movie lobbyism. "arguably" meaning "it might be possible to find a lunatic making this argument", so let's lock this one up in 'namo until we find that lunatic for making this argument so that the military tribunal can commence. Could be a few years, but who would want to have 09/11 repeat?

Re:"probably won't be thrown into a U.S. prison" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118245)

Do you actually have Down Syndrome? I just want to be sure you don't before I point out what a retard you are.

mo3 do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117909)

NO FUCKING WAy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118045)

dON'T TRAVEL TO THE us, YOUR sAYING yOU cONSENT.

FUD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42118285)

"A chance of jail time" does not equal "thrown in prison for life." Slashdot needs to stop using such worthless biased articles.

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