Copyright Cant

Last week the UK approved the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer to the US.

The 23-year-old student and ex-administrator of the video linking website TVShack never visited United States. But, he now risks spending several years in jail there.

In a response to the decision, The Times readerYanka Gavin wrote an interesting letter that’s worth sharing.

Sir, The Government has authorised the extradition to the US of someone who has allegedly incited infringement of copyright (report, Mar 14). What a shame there was no copyright law when the Americans published the works of Sir Walter Scott Wordsworth, Dickens and others without remunerating the authors. Scott would not have died in poverty had he received royalties.

Now the British are expected to apologise for deeds committed by their ancestors, should we not expect a similar aplology by Americans on behalf Of its 19th century publishers? It would be fitting memorial for Dickens who fought so hard for copyright to become law in the US. It did no happen until more than 20 years after his death

Yanka Gavin
London SW11

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