TVShack Admin Can Be Extradited To US, Judge Rules

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Despite protestations that merely linking to copyright material isn't an offense in the UK, a judge has today ruled that the UK-based ex-administrator of the TVShack video linking website can be extradited to the US to face copyright infringement charges. Richard O'Dwyer, 23, has never set foot in United States but now faces being used as a 'guinea pig' for US copyright law.

In November last year, as part of his continuing struggle to avoid extradition to the United States, Richard O’Dwyer, the former administrator of the now defunct UK-based video links site TVShack, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The case was eventually adjourned, with accusations from Richard’s lawyer Ben Cooper that US authorities were unfairly trying to gain the upper hand through unreasonable delays. Nevertheless, all parties were back in court today to hear the judge’s ruling.

“There are said to be direct consequences of criminal activity by Richard O’Dwyer in the USA albeit by him never leaving the north of England,” District Judge Quentin Purdy said in his ruling. “Such a state of affairs does not demand a trial here if the competent UK authorities decline to act and does, in my judgment, permit one in the USA.”

richard“I reject all challenges advanced to this request. No bars or other challenge being raised or found, I send the case to the Secretary of State,” he concluded.

Richard’s most vocal supporter, his mother Julia, voiced her despair and continued with her criticism of the UK’s extradition treaty with the US.

“If [the US authorities] want to prosecute something they will. There’s no safeguards here for British citizens,” she said.

The Judge did not have the “technical brains to know about the whole thing,” she noted, adding: “That guy just lives and breathes extradition.”

Ben Cooper described Richard as an extradition and copyright law “guinea pig”, adding that he would launch an appeal.


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