As this blog reported in July 2012, a student in the United Kingdom was facing extradition to the U.S. on charges of illegal copyright piracy.
The student, Richard O’Dwyer, a 24-year-old college student from Great Britain, was facing possible extradition on criminal charges of copyright infringement. The possible punishment: 10 years in a U.S. federal penitentiary.
In 2008, O’Dwyer first set up a website, TVShack.net, which allowed users to search for and link to other sites, including ones that the federal authorities argue showed pirated movies and television shows.
The US government shut down TVShack.net in summer 2010. But Mr. O’Dwyer was apparently unbowed. TVShack.net had been growing in popularity, and it made about $230,000 from advertising over the course of two years, federal prosecutors claim.
“America? They have nothing to do with me,” Mr. O’Dwyer had declared, according to his mother. He then subsequently reopened his site as TVShack.cc, which he reckoned was beyond the reach of the United States. He was wrong.
A few months later came a knock on the door from the British police. A judge ruled that Mr. O’Dwyer would not be prosecuted in Britain. Instead, the US Department of Justice would seek to extradite him.
Prosecutors also claimed that O'Dwyer was well aware that the material was copyrighted. They cited an announcement on TVShack that urged users to be patient with download times because they were “saving quite a lot of money (especially when putting several visits to the theater or seasons together).”
Subsequently, the BBC has reported the student has struck a deal to avoid extradition. A High Court judge was informed that Mr O'Dwyer was expected to travel to the U.S. in the next 14 days to complete a plea agreement, pay an undisclosed sum in compensation and give undertakings not to infringe any copyright laws again. If he does, he may face immediate extradition.