A 23-YEAR-OLD BRITISH COMPUTER STUDENT faces possible extradition to the US for linking to copyrighted content on his website.
The student, Richard O'Dwyer, was accused of copyright infringement after setting up the website TV Shack, which had links to thousands of films and TV shows, but did not directly host them.
The website was seized by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. O'Dywer was arrested on 23 May, taken to Wandsworth prison and then released on a £3,000 bail paid by his aunt.
Now he faces extradition to the US, where he could get up to five years in prison if found guilty of infringing copyrighted material, according to the Metro newspaper.
He has vowed to fight the extradition attempt and his mother has pleaded with the UK government to "bring some common sense" to the entire affair and deny the extradition demand, which she called disproportionate, unnecessary and deeply truamatic.
She said that her son was foolish in not understanding the implications of copyright and said he was talented in web design, a skill he likely gained during his computer sciences studies at Sheffield Hallam University. Not properly understanding the law is unlikely an excuse that will wash with the courts, however.
O'Dywer's lawer is Ben Cooper, who is also defending alleged military hacker Gary McKinnon, who equally faces extradition to the US. This is a much less serious charge than McKinnon's and Cooper has prepared a number of defence arguments, including the fact that O'Dwyer never hosted the copyright content himself and that the server was not based in the US and therefore he should not be extradited there.
O'Dwyer is due in court again on 12 September. µ