UK Politician Speaks Out Against The Travesty Of Trying To Deport Richard O'Dwyer To Feed Hollywood's Anger

from the this-would-be-a-mistake dept

Given the renewed attention in the Richard O'Dwyer case, it's good to see UK MP Tom Watson speak out eloquently against the extradition. Watson hits on a bunch of good points, starting with the fact that O'Dwyer was "hung out to dry" by UK politicians who don't seem to even care about the details here. He notes that the response is clearly disproportionate and then gets to the heart of the matter:
"Somewhere behind this case lie the powerful vested interests of the content industry. If they succeed in exercising their lobbying might by forcing the extradition of an able student to face trial in America, it will further undermine public confidence in an important treaty designed to combat terrorism.

"But let's also be honest about what is going on at the heart of this case: a generation for whom the net is not a 'new' technology are being hung out by an older generation of lawmakers who do not understand the new reality of the connected digital planet.

"Mr O'Dwyer's situation can be sorted out with common sense at the top of the UK government and US administration. But how many more bright youngsters will have their lives turned upside down because we haven't reached a new copyright settlement that understands the internet is here to stay?"
Of course, it won't just undermine confidence in the extradition treaty, but also in copyright law. After all, O'Dwyer linked to content all over the web, rather than hosting it himself -- and a nearly identical site was already found legal in the UK (which certainly suggests a lack of "willful" infringement, which is necessary for a criminal copyright infringement charge in the US). Either way, it's good to see more high profile people -- especially those in government, realize that the attempt to extradite O'Dwyer is a travesty.


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    Duke (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Another victory for Hollywood

    ...a nearly identical site was already found legal in the UK
    While that case was one of many, the MPAA/FACT's losing streak seems to have come to an end today; TorrentFreak are reporting that another site owner was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud for running a linking site. Conspiracy to defraud is one of the most controversial offences in English law (among criminal law academics, at least) due to it being "excessively broad" and vague, and for criminalising an agreement to do something that could be perfectly legal otherwise.

    There doesn't seem to have been any attempt to get him for copyright infringement, as that has much higher requirements. It may be that he is able to appeal the decision, but I'm not sure on what grounds; "this law is just wrong" probably won't go down well with the courts.

    So, given this success, expect to see many more of these sorts of arrests, show trials and general bullying from the MPAA/FACT in the UK, unless or until a higher court finally gets around to sorting out this area of law (hopefully in O'Dwyer's extradition appeal next month).

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

      Re: Another victory for Hollywood

      I say let the content industry bully. All their actions are doing is creating resentment and alienating a sizable chunk of the population. We have already seen the out cry over SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA.

      In Europe the pirate party is growing by leaps and bounds, and the green party is signing on to their values. In the US we have several politicians actually fighting for digital freedom and many others scared of what the population will do next. The greater the resentment big content creates the faster this will grow.

       

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        Duke (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re: Another victory for Hollywood

        I say let the content industry bully. All their actions are doing is creating resentment and alienating a sizable chunk of the population.
        That's a nice sentiment, but doesn't really help Richard O'Dwyer, who is living with the constant threat of extradition, or the guy now facing prison time for running a website, or the thousands of people across the UK who are about to receive letters demanding money for allegedly file-sharing, or those in France or the US, about to lose their internet connections for the same, and so on. There comes a point where standing idly by in the hopes that some politicians will fix it all, is no longer enough.

         

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      gorehound (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

      Re: Another victory for Hollywood

      At this point I would be more than happy to see the Big Content Industry go down and in a big way.Same as our present day Government who has shown the World more than once how corrupt it truly is.
      I wish more people in our Nation understood what the present day Government is pulling behind their backs.To many Americans are just mass consumers who will never understand.
      I for one would love to see a huge March on Washington complete with buckets of tar & feathers.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    Hopefully the UK stands their ground and says no this is our citizen and he hasn't done wrong by our laws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Of course, it won't just undermine confidence in the extradition treaty, but also in copyright law. After all, O'Dwyer linked to content all over the web, rather than hosting it himself -- and a nearly identical site was already found legal in the UK (which certainly suggests a lack of "willful" infringement, which is necessary for a criminal copyright infringement charge in the US). Either way, it's good to see more high profile people -- especially those in government, realize that the attempt to extradite O'Dwyer is a travesty.

    Always defending the pirates, eh, Pirate Mike? The fact that his first domain name was seized put him on notice that he was infringing. The fact that he set up shop under a new domain name after having this notice makes willfulness easy to prove. Keep dreaming, pirate boy. Your friend is going down. If you actually cared about property rights (still laughing at your recent piece where you claim to speak for "true" property values), then you'd be glad this punk is getting his comeuppance. Fact is, copyright is the law. Deal with it.

     

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

      Re:

      If that's what you call property rights, then no, I don't care for it.

      If that's what you call the law, then no, I don't care for it.

      And neither do millions of others.

      Calling it property doesn't make it sacred. Calling it law doesn't make it right.

       

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        Atkray (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Ignore him "Property rights" is their new phrase for July and he has been trying it out all week.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, I know. Respecting other people's rights isn't your thing. You're one of Pirate Mike's chosen. You're part of the Techdirtbag Army.

           

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            surfer (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            flyswatted with 12 VPN IPs

            can we get a round of /aww for bob

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Who cares about a right that makes you pay every time you say the name of music out loud?

             

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            JMT (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 8:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Respecting other people's rights isn't your thing."

            You say that as if copyright is equal in importance and value to other rights, but it simply isn't. It's well down the pecking order, and that, combined with the ongoing abuse of copyright laws by rightsholders, is why it is respected so little.

            Sorry, your copyrights just aren't that important.

             

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            G Thompson (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 11:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sadly you don't respect anybody's rights other than those that are for the good of YOU.

            I, and others here, respect your right to shut the fuck up whilst I/we beat you about the head with your own stupidity.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Techdirtbag Army

            That actually has kind of a neat ring to it.

             

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      Irving, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

      Re:

      AC, you have far, far too much respect for "the law".

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

        Re: Re:

        And you, like so many of Pirate Mike's little army of deviants, have so little respect for other people's rights.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you believe Mike is the general of an army of pirates you are in for a surprise and the end of the rainbow glasses you are using.

           

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            That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Aww, but I was looking forward to getting my regulation issue eyepatch, stuffed parrot, and skull and crossbones mousepad...

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As you seem to have so little respect for civil liberty......so what the fuck does that make you

           

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      PopeyeLePoteaux, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

      Re:

      Funny how you keep talking utter BS abour the "law" and "property", but you did not bother to adress my questions in the other article about equating an IDEA (non material thing) to any material thing and claiming property right, you are a very DUMB troll/shill.

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

      Re:

      I deal with copyright the same way people in the 20s dealt with Prohibition. Just because its the "LAW" doesn't automatically make it Divine Mandate that everyone must follow.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

        Re: Re:

        I deal with copyright the same way people in the 20s dealt with Prohibition. Just because its the "LAW" doesn't automatically make it Divine Mandate that everyone must follow.

        I bet you do! Morally-deficient, piratical folks like yourself are Pirate Mike's bread & butter. Congrats! I mean, why respect other people's rights? Other people should work hard and spend money to create wonderful works so you can just take them for free. Why pay someone, right? They can just sell other stuff like t-shirts. 'Cause everyone who works in music and movies can just sell t-shirts. Why should you pay for the product that they actually make, you know, the product that you have to have so badly that you're willing to violate other people's rights? Yeah, you're the picture-perfect Masnickian pirate. Good on ya! I bet Pirate Mike is so proud of you.

         

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          PopeyeLePoteaux, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you really that dumb? I hate to repeat the same as many people have been saying a lot, but you shills doesn't seem to understand some basic facts; infringement =/= theft because no property is LOST, if you cannot understand that you are just demonstrating how dumb you are.

          And again you are missing the point, how weird huh? You start from the mistaken presumption thatIntelectual property can be subject to the same economic laws as material objects.

          Ideas are non material "objects" that do not get destroyed when consumed like material objects and whose "production" does not require direct consumption of material inputs as what economists call "services", do.

          Only what is legally and materially OWNED can be stolen. To own something you need a legal right claiming PROPERTY. Property can be meaningfully defined if the owner can enforce the right to EXCLUDE others from consumption/use. Thats why copyright infringement CANNOT be equated to theft.

          Now, "piracy" is mainly caused by the lack of legal options, as many people have said; "WE DONT WANT STUFF FOR FREE, WE JUST WANT THE SUFF", meaning; if the content cartels dont update their business models, infringement will increase, as Valve exec pointed out some time ago; "Pirates Are Just Underserved Customers", the content cartels just want to keep their obsolete models by pushing for draconian and utterly stupid legislation that in the end is destined to fail.

          Gotta love how trolls always attack the character but refuse to adress the actual arguments.

          Fact, internet is here to stay, deal with it. ;)

           

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          BeeAitch (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 5:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ahh, so you're one of those moral puritans who would support Prohibition if it became law again, even though all of history has proven it was a massive mistake.

          You know, because LAW and all...

          Gotcha.

           

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      Richard (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

      Re:

      The fact that his first domain name was seized put him on notice that he was infringing.

      Infringing a foriegn law.

      If you ran a website with a Saudi domain name and the Saudi government seized it you would quite happily say to yourself "Saudi Law doesn't apply in the US so I can restart with a US domain and be OK"

      The fact is he has committed no crime under UK law (otherwise he surely would have been prosecuted here- a lot cheaper and quicker than extradition).

      What has happened here is that the US content industry has used the badly worded extradition treaty between US and UK to pull a legal trick.

      The treaty says that extradition should be more or less automatic provided the act was illegal in both countries. Now criminal copyright infringement exists as an offence in both countries - but it isn't the same offence. (different criteria and different penalties). The UK court has gone wrong by not checking that his behaviour is an offence under UK law.

      Of course if it was then he would have been prosecuted here.

      The extradition is a nonsense. Extradition is for fugitives who cannot be prosecuted in the UK because they have committed no offence here but can be prosecuted elsewhere because they have. It is ridiculous to use it for act committed in the UK.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

        Re: Re:

        Infringing a foriegn law.

        If you ran a website with a Saudi domain name and the Saudi government seized it you would quite happily say to yourself "Saudi Law doesn't apply in the US so I can restart with a US domain and be OK"


        I certainly wouldn't whine later when Saudi Arabia went after me criminally. And I certainly wouldn't get away with Pirate Mike's hilarious "it wasn't willful!" defense. LOL! If Saudi Arabia seized my domain name and told me it was because I was violating Saudi Arabia criminal law, obviously I would then be on notice that I'm breaking the law there.

        The fact is he has committed no crime under UK law (otherwise he surely would have been prosecuted here- a lot cheaper and quicker than extradition).

        You say it's not against the law there, but the judge there, you know, someone that actually knows the law, disagreed: http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/us-v-odwyer-ruling.pdf

        I'll take the judge's word over yours. I hope you understand.

        What has happened here is that the US content industry has used the badly worded extradition treaty between US and UK to pull a legal trick.

        Wah. A pirate got busted. Grow up. A lot of whining, and not enough just admitting that a punk pirate got caught. Sorry, guys, but your pirate friends are breaking real laws and there's real consequences. How many tens of thousands of dollars did O'Dwyer make again?

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I certainly wouldn't whine later when Saudi Arabia went after me criminally"

          Moron. So...if, on your Saudi Arabian domain name website, you posted an article praising homosexual romance or for criticising Islam, you then wouldn't complain when the Saudi government came after you criminally...only to put you to death?
          Because, since you obviously don't know, Saudi Arabia has the death penalty for homosexuality and criticism of Islam.

           

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          JMT (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I certainly wouldn't whine later when Saudi Arabia went after me criminally."

          Bollocks, you'd be squealing to the government like a stuck pig. And most people here would agree that you should not be held to another country's laws.

           

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          Richard (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 2:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You say it's not against the law there, but the judge there, you know, someone that actually knows the law, disagreed:

          The evidence that its not against the law is simple. What earthly reason is there for extraditing if he can be prosecuted in the UK?

           

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          Richard (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 2:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'll take the judge's word over yours. I hope you understand.

          I'll take the actions of the prosecutors in not bringing charges under UK law over anybody's words.

          I hope you understand that.

           

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          Richard (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 2:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wah. A pirate got busted. Grow up. A lot of whining, and not enough just admitting that a punk pirate got caught. Sorry, guys, but your pirate friends are breaking real laws and there's real consequences.
          Irrelevant. In this context I don't care about that. I only care about which set of laws he was "busted" under. (Actually he hasn't been convicted of anything yet so you are guilty of premature jubilation). People should be able to obey the law of their own country within their own country and not have to worry about some other country's laws.

          How many tens of thousands of dollars did O'Dwyer make again?

          H'mm - he's a student - living a student lifestyle. I don't see any evidence of great wealth - regardless of the fictional numbers perpetrated by the copyright lobby.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

      Re:

      Fact is, [segregation] is the law. Deal with it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, 'cause recognizing someone's property right in a work that costs time and money to create is the same thing as segregation. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but pretty much every nation on earth has copyright laws. Keep dreaming, pirate. Keep following your pirate leader, Comrade Masnick.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Perhaps you haven't noticed, but pretty much every nation on earth [had segregation] laws.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm still waiting for you to make a point.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That without piracy, you wouldn't be here. You actually need piracy.

              That's so fucked up dude.

               

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          Duke (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          How about slavery? Someone's property right in a slave that costs time and money to acquire, train and educate. At some point or other most nations had laws allowing slavery. That better for you?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            and do realize, that the US and only a handful of other countries have outlawed slavery , good try

             

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              That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So wait, are you trying to say that in the countries that slavery is legal it's just fine and dandy due to being legal?

              I'm really hoping I'm misreading this comment...

               

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              Duke (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 3:05am

              Actually, that, if true (which it isn't - slavery is illegal in every country in the world, if nothing else, by Article 4 of the UDHR) would support my argument.

              So, first we have your starting post, which you end by stating:
              Fact is, copyright is the law. Deal with it.
              I may be misinterpreting you, but you seem to be suggesting that opposing, criticising or calling for the reform of copyright and copyright enforcement is bad because it "is the law".

              Then we have the response:
              Fact is, [segregation] is the law. Deal with it.
              This point here being that just because something is in the law, doesn't mean it is right. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, segregation is a fairly bad example - not least because there are various different types, and in some places it was never legal (apparently, in the UK, the last segregation that was legal was segregating English and Irish people in the 14th century).

              So, you pointed out some of the reasons why this was a bad example here:
              Yeah, 'cause recognizing someone's property right in a work that costs time and money to create is the same thing as segregation. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but pretty much every nation on earth has copyright laws.
              There seem to be two points here; one that copyright is better than segregation because it involves giving people a property right, which is needed due to the time and money invested (which isn't quite true for copyright in many places, as it covers everything from major feature films to doodles). The second being that every nation on earth has copyright laws (which is mostly true, thanks to WIPO and the UN forcing the Berne Convention on everyone).

              So, my response was to point out a better analogy: Slavery. Slavery involves giving people a property right (over their slaves), and recognises the time and money that goes into capturing and training a slave. Similarly, at some point or another, seems to have been legal in most countries (although there's some debate as to whether or not it was ever technically legal in the UK).

              Thus, your arguments supporting the current copyright regime (and opposing criticism etc. of it) are arguably flawed as precisely the same arguments could have been used to oppose the abolition of slavery.

              That said, slavery, while illegal everywhere in the world, is rampant, with more people being held in slavery than ever before. Perhaps we should legalise it again - creating a new property right, to reward slavers for their hard work? I imagine you could find a BASCAP-style study to say that it will generate $bns in new revenue, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and save us from recession.

              [Ah, nothing like troll-feeding to start the day...]

               

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          Rikuo (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Since when were consumers supposed to care about how much time and money went into creating a work?
          Since never, that's when.

           

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      JMT (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 8:17pm

      Re:

      "If you actually cared about property rights ... then you'd be glad this punk is getting his comeuppance."

      So you genuinely think being ripped away from his family and country, possibly for years, is a proportional punishment for providing links? Jeez you're a sick bastard. Would you feel so vindictive if it was someone a friend or family member of yours?

       

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        Niall (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 6:07am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, because some shadow mega-corp's imaginary 'property' rights are so much more important that someone's rights to life, liberty, and living at home with family.

        If the US is so desperate for immigrants to boost the income of its private jails that it has to import them specially, why not start with some of our illegal immigrants first? >:)

         

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      Niall (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 6:03am

      Re:

      Since he wasn't breaking the law in the UK, and he lives in the UK, why should he care what the law is in the US? Once again, if we all have to live by every other country's laws, then we will suffer the worst totalitarian mess ever.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 6:04am

      Re:

      Laws can be changed, and an oppressed population will only put up with tyranny for so long. Government only rules by the consent of the people. You are just upset because you know your days are numbered. Truly you are a fool, and a bad person to boot. You should be ashamed of yourself. GOVERNMENT ONLY RULES BY THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE; PEOPLE PLEASE WAKE UP AND LOOK AT WHAT THE LEADERS WE ELECTED ARE DOING.

       

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    [citation needed or GTFO], Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Outrageous. That's what this is.

    Despite the unfairness of applying US laws in a non-US country, it appears the MPAA and the "Federation Against Copyright Theft" have been able to claim another victory along the same lines:

    The owner of TV streaming links site SurfTheChannel has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Newcastle Crown Court today for “facilitating” copyright infringement. The landmark case follows a sting operation by the MPAA, who partnered with the Federation Against Copyright Theft to obtain evidence against site operator Anton Vickerman. He will be sentenced next month and faces up to 10 years in jail.


    I still don't understand how the US is able to apply their laws to places outside US soil. The US has enough problems with its own country to deal with another country's business...

    (And I'd appreciate a factually-backed answer without the usage of any derogatory terms such as "pirate," "criminal," "freetards" and any "TXT TLK.")

     

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      PRMan, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

      It seems the "conspiracy to defraud" is an English law, not an American one.

       

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        PRMan, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

        For instance, here's another case where people were illegally putting parking boots on cars (complete with non-reflective parking signs) and then getting people to pay to avoid having their cars towed:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/21/wheelclampers-jailed-conspiracy-to-defraud

         

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          Mike42 (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

          So it would appear that "conspiracy to defraud" is the UK "you're an asshole" law. Nice.

           

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            Chargone (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

            i dunno, if it's mean to do what the name Sounds like it's meant to do, then having such a law sounds like a good idea.

            it also sounds like the UK law to that effect is rubbish.

            'conspiracy to defraud' would require several people organized to take actions which would result in fraudulent payments to them (that came out worded worse than i hoped) so... i guess it's not fraud if the other guy catches on Before you manage to actually defraud him? or perhaps if you're knowingly part of such an action despite not being the one who Actually took the fraudulent actions (failure to report at minimum?)

            so... yeah. sounds like something designed to bust people when someone catches them 'in the act' before their plan resolves...

            but yeah, i'm not a lawyer and it does sound like, whatever it's Supposed to do, it is broken if it applies in this situation.

             

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              Duke (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

              "Conspiracy to defraud" requires an "agreement between 2 or more people to dishonestly deprive" someone of something they have, might have, or might have had, or to injury a proprietary right.

              It's an evil, vague, broad law. It also can cover situations where you agree to do something when doing that thing would be perfectly legal. Various people (including the UK Law Commission) have recommended abolishing it, but while the government accepted it was bad when rewriting UK Fraud law, they decided to leave it there "just in case".

               

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            The eejit (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 1:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

            Not wuite, although it certainly seems that way sometimes. It's a law designed to get people who were involved in attempts at fraud (for example, failed and tracable phishing attacks or events such as those shown on The Real Hustle).

            It doesn't make sense to convict o'Dwyer, based on the fact that there were no attempts to claim that he had the rights to the linked shows.

             

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

      Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

      I do not understand how the MPAA and FACT can hand over evidence to the police or court and have that be part of the chain of evidence.

       

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        Duke (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

        Actually they were given access to the evidence in the first place, took some of it away for analysis, and then were given all the evidence once the English prosecutors decided not to press charges.

        The couple involved sued the police and FACT to get their stuff (documents and computer equipment) back, but while a lower court sided with them, the Court of Appeal said it was perfectly fine for them to have all the evidence in case they wanted to bring a private prosecution. Now, some 2-3 years later, they finally have. Evidence laws seem to be rather different in the UK.

         

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:07pm

      Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

      I still don't understand how the US is able to apply their laws to places outside US soil.

      Copyright law is worldwide, Einstein. Has been for HUNDREDS of years. It is impossible to take you morons seriously when you purposely bury your head in the sand about that.

      I'd appreciate a factually-backed answer without the usage of any derogatory terms such as "pirate,"

      That's kind of impossible when dealing with someone that thinks long-established law should just be disappeared so a mega-corporation like Google can make gobs more illicit money exploiting artists.

      You people are true sociopaths.

       

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        Duke (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:34pm

        Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

        Copyright law is worldwide, Einstein. Has been for HUNDREDS of years. It is impossible to take you morons seriously when you purposely bury your head in the sand about that.
        Not quite true. While the Berne Convention came into force near the end of 1887, (only 125 years, not really "hundreds" of years ago), and was an attempt to get international copyrights recognised, the US didn't fully ratify it until 1989; barely 23 years ago.

        Law is never worldwide. Law is jurisdiction-specific. So if the US want to extradite someone from England or Wales, they need an England+Wales law to do it. The current relevant law says that the conduct must be a sufficiently serious crime (fairly complex definition) in England+Wales.

        While in the extradition hearing the judge relied on s107(2A) CDPA (which is a copyright law), that law has never been successfully applied in this circumstance, and never been challenged in a higher court - so the judge is using his best guess as to what it means. He may be wrong, which is why the case is being appealed.

        However, the case referenced in the original post didn't involve copyright law at all, the offence claimed was the odd "conspiracy to defraud"; so your issue with copyright being around for hundreds of years isn't relevant.

        As for "a mega-corporation like Google ... exploiting artists", if you're a regular TechDirt reader you will no doubt be familiar with the numerous examples of "media" companies such as film studios doing just that - exploiting artists. As it happens (beware, facts incoming), the parent companies of the 6 Hollywood studios making up the bulk of the MPAA/FACT have something like $550bn in assets, compared with Google's $73bn. Relatively, Google isn't all that "mega".

        That said, I don't find the term "pirate" at all derogatory. I'm quite proud of being a Pirate and do most of my work under that banner.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 3:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

          Actually, even if you were to consider 1887 as when copyright began, that's still less than 1.5 centuries.

          So copyright has definitely not been around for "hundreds of years, Einstein".

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 6:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

            Yeah, but copyright lasts more than 1.5 centuries so, you know . . .

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:51pm

        Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

        Troll, copyright was not unified until the 20th century where all those treaties where born stupid, before everybody had their own copyright rules.
        So you are full of shit again.

         

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

      Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

      For those like our AC here treating the UK like an American colony is just dandy. What bothers and amazes me here is that segments of the British power structure seem to find being an American colony just fine. Or, if you like, the undeclared 51st state.

      The American Congress has been trying to apply laws extraterritorially for years. It's only recently that they've actually seem to have succeeded. That's more to the credit (??) of the content industry who have become well organized globally and encourage this sort of silliness but it amounts to the same thing.

      That's what ACTA and TPP have been all about, too. Expanding US law and attitudes particularly where it applies to the content industry to the rest of the world.

      As the American Empire declines in every other way it's expanding in this one. I wish it made sense but that's the way it works.

       

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        Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

        For those like our AC here treating the UK like an American colony is just dandy.

        Ha ha! The tables have turned! The UK must now pay tribute to the content king, Chris Dodd! And don't even THINK about staging the Thames DVD Party, because they own the idea of protesting via tossing symbolic items into a harbor, lake, river, or tributary.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 4:44am

      Re: Outrageous. That's what this is.

      From the same article:

      “This was not a case brought using copyright law. The interest groups involved couldn’t present a case of copyright infringement and instead decided to press for the use of the common law offence of “conspiracy to defraud,” Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye told TorrentFreak.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Nice to see some sanity here.

     

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    izzitme101, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    well if any of you are in my area, dont bother with brandon lewis, he takes weeks to reply, and then its the party line, i dont like politicians that cannot think for themselves when they need to.

     

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      Chargone (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:52pm

      Re:

      oh, most of them can Think for themselves... it's daring to Act contrary to the party line (and thus kill all hope of re-election) that's rare.

      also having intelligent thoughts actually worth doing anything about seems to be uncommon...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Until a big nation stands up to the US on any issue, they will continue to push their bullshit agenda where it is not wanted and anti US sentiment will continue to grow. Do the US government not realise just how hated they are becoming?

     

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      izzitme101, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 4:03pm

      Re:

      Do the US government not realise just how hated they have become over the last decade?

      There ya go, fixed it for ya :)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:19pm

    Wow, let's look at all of the weirdness here.

    First off, the guy isn't being deported. Deportation as a modern term refers only to removing foreign nationals from a country. He is being extradited by the US, not deported by the UK.

    Second, let's try to clear things up: His site on the surface appears "illegal enough" for charges to be laid, perhaps ever passing a grand jury. Don't you think that is enough? If the charges raise up to the level that permits extradition under treaty rules, shouldn't the UK do it?

    Third, the very nature of the internet is that this guy offered his services to everyone, including Americans. If he didn't want to be subject to US law, perhaps he shouldn't have offered his service there. There are plenty of things that he could have done to limit the exposure of his site to the US marketplace.

    You cannot simply draw a line and say "it's legal here" and then sell it somewhere else. Pot sales are legal in Amsterdam. Should that make it legal everywhere else no matter what?

     

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      Chargone (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:59pm

      Re:

      while you're entirely correct on the deportation/extradition issue...

      the rest of this post is just so much Stupid.

      others can say it better than i, (and have, Repeatedly) but your 'third' point is so insane once you actually stop and apply reality to it as to leave one questioning your mental capacity.

      it would place Everyone under the restrictions on the internet in china, Everyone under Shia(sp?) law... the list goes on. it's crazy and stupid.

      and MOST countries are small enough that their people realise how Moronic the US habit of locking things to not be visible outside their own country is. 'oh, sure, let's deny over 90% of the viable market for our product legitimate access to it, that'll reduce piracy!' is stupid logic. everyone else goes 'it's the internet. the point is to be able to access stuff.'

      I'm sure someone else will explain this better than i (again) but the level of... frustration... i experience when i run into this kind of stupidity over and over again... it is too high.

       

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      izzitme101, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 1:37am

      Re:

      Not at all, but if i buy pot in amsterdam while i am there, does that mean the US can extradite me because buying pot is illegal in the US?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 2:23am

      Re:

      He did not offer the service in the USA. He offered it where the servers are.

      If people in the USA send data-packets over the internet to the servers, that is their concern. If it is not legal to import particular response data into your country, do not do it.

       

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      Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      Third, the very nature of the internet is that this guy offered his services to everyone, including Americans. If he didn't want to be subject to US law, perhaps he shouldn't have offered his service there. There are plenty of things that he could have done to limit the exposure of his site to the US marketplace.
      Zimbabwe just made trolling on the internet illegal, and the punishment is death. Please report to Zimbabwe for summary execution at your earliest convenience.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

      Re:

      > First off, the guy isn't being deported. Deportation as a modern term refers only to removing foreign nationals from a country. He is being extradited by the US, not deported by the UK.

      In other words, "you're not giving him to us; we're taking him from you!" Yeah... that sounds so much better and more acceptable.

       

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    TDR, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 5:57pm

    To Feed Hollywood's Anger

    Joe Biden Palpatine: "Good! Let the hate flow through you, old Hollywood. I can feel your anger."

    Unfortunately, it seems Hollywood chose to listen to the Emperor instead of Obi-Wan. As Yoda would say:

    "Unfortunate, this is. But not unexpected. Unable to be contained, culture is. A lesson Hollywood has not learned. Do, or do not. There is no try. Adapt they must, if they wish to survive. Outdated and irrelevent, copyright has become. A tool of the dark side. Heed it not."

     

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    Spike (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    A Labour MP? Talk about covering your ass and trying to win support. It was the Labour party that enacted this stupid one-sided extradition treaty with the United States in the first place!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:59pm

      Re:

      much like obama not enforcing the immigration law, anything to win votes, he doesnt care he is destroying the us, thast what he wants as an englishman from kenya

       

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        Niall (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 6:14am

        Re: Re:

        Still hoping someone will show a birth certificate?

        By your stupid argument, my cousin's Kansas-born kids are 'not American' because he was born in Scotland...

         

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    Who needs to wait for the news to print?, Jun 27th, 2012 @ 10:37pm

    Just thought I would leave this slightly off topic news here....

    Slightly off topic but for anyone who is interested in the Dotcom debacle, Winkleman has just ruled the search warrants used to rasid the Dotcom mansion were illegal.

    Additionally the sending of copies of Dotcom's data overseas (to the US) was illegal.


    http://www.3news.co.nz/Judge-declares-Dotcom-search-warrants-illegal/tabid/423/article ID/259456/Default.aspx

     

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      G Thompson (profile), Jun 27th, 2012 @ 11:49pm

      Re: Just thought I would leave this slightly off topic news here....

      Well.. Bloody hell!


      A whole heap of LEO's in the NZ Police Force are probably all going.. "shit shit shit shit" (or other four letter words) about now

      Also it looks like based on my reading of the full ruling [found via http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/cases/dotcom-ors-v-attorney-general/at_download/fileDecision ] the transfer of the data outside of NZ to the USA was not just illegal it was specifically illegal which could (and I have high hopes here based on NZ judiciary volatile history with the US) create criminal charges against those involved in removing the data from NZ soil (ie: the US DoJ agents themselves). Oh joyousness!

      now.. lets see all the trolls and shills say something bad about this, or how it is "just a learning experience". Bwahahahahahahahaha

       

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      G Thompson (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 12:27am

      Re: Just thought I would leave this slightly off topic news here....

      New Zealand’s National Business Review has a more comprehensive take on this breaking story showing:

      The main points from Justice Winkelmann's judgment:
      * The search warrants used under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act were unlawful.
      * The FBI's removal of "clones", or copies, of computer data offshore was unlawful.
      * Any clones remaining in New Zealand must stay here.
      * The attorney-general must provide Mr Dotcom with any clones currently held by New Zealand police.
      [...]

      Justice Winkelmann also ordered the data that was seized from Mr Dotcom be analysed to determine what is and is not relevant to the charges he faces.

      She has ordered that:
      * An independent and "appropriately experienced" High Court lawyer conduct the review.
      * Copies of electronic data containing only relevant material be provided to US authorities.
      * All items deemed not relevant be returned to Mr Dotcom.
      * Any copies of relevant data which are provided to the US authorities must also be provided to Mr Dotcom.
      * The auditor-general request from the US authorities the "voluntary" return of the clones removed from New Zealand.


      It also seems that Rick Shera an IP specialist solicitor expects an appeal to the NZ Court of Appeal (wasn't aware that this could be appealed especially since Judge Helen Winkelmann is the Chief High Court Judge though seeing as it's only a one party judgement makes sense.. though still strange) before July 4th.

      Even then I myself cannot see much difference especially since the warrants are now confirmed to be general warrants. Using general warrants in first place by police was just blind stupidity, or kowtowing to US DoJ thuggery (or both). Didn't they think anyone would notice? It's one of the first things ever checked by defence solicitors or any solicitor for that matter.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 1:49am

    Interesting example of the state of the British press - I hadn't heard a single word about this before I saw it written here.

    Is it so wrong to wish for a british press and government that doesn't bend over for money?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2012 @ 2:02am

    'Somewhere behind this case lie the powerful vested interests of the content industry'

    this is exactly the reason why there is now in the UK, one of the worse Digital Economy Acts to be made law (after 1 month consultation. yeah, i reckon) in the so-called free, democratic world. the US entertainment industries that have pushed the hardest and will gain the most, have instigated this crock of shit. be prepared for it to spread, in one way or another, everywhere. ACTA may well be all but dead but with this bill, it isn't needed in the UK

     

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    Hector Salamanca (profile), Jun 28th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    I just searched for "illegal content" on Google. They are now guilty of conspiracy to defraud.

    Microsoft.... unless you send me $1,000,000 in small unmarked bills within 24 hours, I will do the same search on Bing, making you guilty as well. Pay up or else!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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