Once again the US appear to be trying to extradite a British citizen to face charges for something that is not a crime in the UK.
Richard O’Dwyer, from New Station Road, Chesterfield, is a student at Sheffield Hallam University and is alleged to have had a website that had links to other websites that contained downloads of pirated films and TV shows.
He was arrested three weeks ago and locked up in Wandsworth Prison until his £3,000 bail was arranged.
Julia O’Dwyer, the lad’s mum is quoted on the Sheffield Star newspaper website as saying,“Richard clearly has a talent for web design but was foolish in not understanding the implications of copyright…”
“This domain name has been seized by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Special Agent in Charge New York Office in accordance with a seizure warrant obtained by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981 and 2323 by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
It is unlawful to reproduce or distribute copyrighted material, such as movies, music, software or games, without authorization. Individuals who willfully reproduce or distribute copyrighted material, without authorization, risk criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. §2319. First-time offenders convicted of criminal felony copyright laws will face up to five years in federal prison, restitution, forfeiture and a fine.”
If Richard had done something wrong, he should be charged and tried in the UK
As Richard did not reproduce or distribute copyrighted material, he merely linked to other sites that did, it would appear that he has committed no crime. In fact, in a similar case in 2007, Cheltenham computer engineer David Rock was arrested for running a website that offered links to sites containing pirated films and TV shows – the case was dismissed.