Once again, it appears that the US prosecution of Kim Dotcom and the other Megaupload folks suggests that US federal prosecutors have been acting like they have a slam dunk case, whereas every time anyone digs into the details, all of the important infrastructure is missing. The latest is that the US seemed to assume that as long as they kept going on and on about the "mega conspiracy" and the "money laundering" involved (even if that "laundering" appeared to be normal payments to service providers), that New Zealand would rubber stamp the extradition request without reviewing any of the evidence.
No such luck.
The New Zealand judge is raising significant questions about the US's case while also ordering the US government to provide copies of the evidence it is using to Dotcom's lawyers -- something the US insisted was not necessary. What's clear is that the US really thought that New Zealand would just roll over and hand over Dotcom because they sprinkled the indictment with scary phrases like money laundering and conspiracy. But, as the judge notes, the US seems to be taking a somewhat extraordinary interpretation of copyright infringement -- using civil copyright infringement as the basis for a criminal copyright charge... and then pumping up that criminal copyright charge into conspiracy and money laundering charges. And that's important, because New Zealand won't extradite someone if the case is really just about copyright infringement.
The distinction between civil and criminal copyright infringement is an important one -- and confusion over this point is one that the US government has been relying on in seizing various domain names for the past couple of years. It's good to see that the judge here was not at all confused by this, and seemed to get to the heart of the matter pretty quickly.
As I have already observed this is a case that is more complex than many. There is a complex factual matrix and the justiciable issues are complicated by the fact that the United States is attempting to utilise concepts from the civil copyright context as a basis for application of criminal copyright liability which necessitates a consideration of principles such as the dual use of technology or what they be described as significant non infringing uses.
The existence of criminal copyright charges is a keystone to providing the unlawful conduct element of the racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud charges...
Separately, the judge was not at all persuaded that it would be too difficult to do discovery for the extradition phase of this case, because the evidence is all in electronic form. Yes, the US argued that going through a discovery process to share evidence with Dotcom and his lawyers would be too difficult. But the judge is having none of that:
During the course of arguments the issue was raised as to the difficulty of effecting disclosure given that so much material is in electronic format. During the course of argument I reminded counsel of recent amendments to the High Court Rules relating to electronic disclosure and what is a widespread and growing practice of the use of computer equipment and specialised search techniques to swiftly recover relevant material, to eliminate irrelevant or repetitive material and to utilise a number of search techniques including keynote searching, concept searching, clustering technology, predictive coding or document prioritising technology, email threading and near duplicate identification. It may not be necessary under the circumstances to engage, at this stage of the process, in native file review but there are procedures available and that are utilised within the civil arena that will enable the prompt disclosure of relevant information.
Perhaps I'm mis-translating my New Zealand, but I sense a certain hint of sarcasm in that statement. The US government is really claiming that finding the relevant documents for disclosure is too difficult because it's in electronic format? Really? Thankfully, it appears that the judge in New Zealand isn't as technologically clueless as US prosecutors expected him to be.
Well, this is unfortunate, though Facebook does have a history of somewhat arbitrarily deciding what you can and can't talk about. A few years ago, we noted that it had blocked any link to The Pirate Bay -- even if it had nothing to do with infringing material. A year later, we discovered an even more unfortunate situation, in that it wouldn't allow any mention of Power.com -- a company it was in a legal dispute with. However, it keeps getting worse. We've written multiple times about Richard O'Dwyer's fight to prevent being extradited to the US for running a site, TVshack.net, which links to TV shows -- some of which were infringing. As we noted, there are all sorts of important questions being discussed around this case, both about copyright law and the US's influence over UK courts.
Apparently, Facebook doesn't want you discussing any of that.
The Guardian's James Ball wrote an interesting article about how some UK politicians are fighting to stop the extradition. It's a good article. But, you won't find out about it on Facebook apparently. The story details how Tim Farron, president of the LibDems, in the UK has called the extradition approval "ludicrous" and has asked the government to reconsider.
However, as James Losey discovered, Facebook won't let you post about it -- calling the article "spammy or unsafe." Specifically, it appears that (as with TPB) Facebook is blocking any and all mention of TVShack.net. However, Facebook's spam implementation is so stupidly programmed that it can't figure out that this is a story about TVShack.net in the well-respected Guardian newspaper, and not a direct link to TVShack.net. And, of course, merely linking to TVShack.net isn't against the law, so it's bizarre, obnoxious and stupid for Facebook to be blocking all such links in the first place. Finally, since the US government seized TVshack.net nearly two years ago, I don't think the site is really that unsafe any more, unless you don't trust the government to keep its server clean (which, actually, might be reasonable).
Either way, shame on Facebook for hamfisted "filtering" which blocks important and legitimate discussions. Update: Facebook has fixed this particular issue, and now lets people post that story, but it's unclear what the overall rules are.
In January, a judge said that the UK could extradite student Richard O'Dwyer to the US to face criminal copyright infringement charges for the "crime" of linking to streaming videos hosted elsewhere -- something that had already been found legal in the UK multiple times. This is pretty important, because for it to be criminal infringement, it has to be willful, and if sites that were nearly identical to O'Dwyer's TVShack.net were found legal in his home country, where he lived and where he operated the site, it's difficult to see how there's anything willful at all.
Furthermore, since he's only linking there isn't direct infringement, only the possibility of secondary infringement. Now, there are aiding and abetting laws, but it would have to be aiding and abetting of criminal copyright infringement and that would require the users of TVShack to be guilty of criminal infringement -- meaning that they were profiting from willful infringement. And that doesn't seem likely either. There are so many holes in the case it's difficult to understand why ICE and DHS are ruining the life of a UK student with no clear legal basis.
Either way, as the UK government continues to kowtow to the US entertainment industry, the Secretary of State has taken the court's initial okay and approved the extradition. This is really damning for the UK government. Given the growing concerns about the overreach of the entertainment industry to take away basic freedoms, sending Richard O'Dwyer across the Atlantic on bogus charges just so the MPAA can stick his head on a pike somewhere isn't going to go over very well.
James Firth has an interesting post, talking about some of the more ridiculous consequences of current US law enforcement interpretation of copyright law. Looking at the case of Richard O'Dwyer, the computer science student that the US is getting closer to extraditing to the US to face criminal copyright infringement charges for merely linking to infringing works (something that had already been found legal in the UK multiple times), Firth takes it to its logical ends. He points out that George Orwell's works, Animal Farm and 1984 have gone into the public domain in South Africa, Canada or Australia. And thus, there are completely legal free copies of such works online. But they're only legal in those countries. In the US and the UK, both remain under the yoke of copyright thanks to copyright extensions.
This leads to a simple fear. If he merely pointed people to the location of these completely legal versions of the work, he would now be just as "guilty" as Richard O'Dwyer under the interpretation of the US Justice Department. After all, he is using a .com domain (American property, according to the stretched interpretation of the DOJ) to link to works that technically infringe in both the UK -- where he is -- and the US, where the DOJ has suddenly become the US entertainment industry's private police force.
This is creating a truly chilling effect on speech around the globe. The public domain is the public domain for a purpose, and it's somewhat insane to think that US actions are now chilling the mere discussion of where public domain works in other countries can be obtained completely legally in those countries.
Want to understand just how insane things may get under SOPA/PIPA? Just take a look at what's already happening under today's laws. Back in 2010, one of the first websites that Homeland Security's ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) group seized was TVShack.net. TVShack was a site that collected links to TV shows. Certainly, many of those shows were likely to be infringing -- but TVShack did not host the content at all, it merely linked to it. Richard O'Dwyer, the guy who ran the site, was a student building an interesting project over in the UK. However, the US Department of Justice decided that he was not only a hardened criminal, but one who needed to be tried on US soil. Thus, it began extradition procedures. Even worse, nearly identical sites in the UK had already been found legal multiple times -- with the court noting that having links to some infringing content was certainly not criminal copyright infringement. That makes things even more ridiculous, because extradition is only supposed to be allowed for activities that are criminal in both the US and the UK.
But, seriously, think about how insane this is. With all the problems in the world, the US was spending time trying to extradite a UK student to the US, because he set up a site that had links to some infringing material. Is this really the best use of US law enforcement's time?
District Judge Purdy said in his 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.
"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."
He added: "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."
O'Dwyer can and almost certainly will appeal this decision. But this is just ridiculous. And this is under existing laws. Just think what happens under SOPA/PIPA -- which are even more targeted at foreign sites. Do we really want the US government going around the world, dragging kids from their homes and taking them back to the US to throw them in jail... because they set up a web page with some links on it?
Wow! We keep pointing out how bills like Senator Amy Klobuchar's S.978 anti-streaming bill and Senator Patrick Leahy's PROTECT IP Act will be abused by US law enforcement, and we keep being told that those bills aren't "intended" to be used the way they could be. I think part of the problem is that people don't realize how the Justice Department and US Attorneys will sometimes stretch and twist the law just to go after someone.
Last month, we wrote about the absolutely ridiculous case by the US against former Cisco engineer Peter Adekeye. The details have to be read to be believed, but most of it only came to light because a Canadian judge absolutely blasted both Cisco and the US Attorneys for what clearly appeared to be an unnecessarily vindictive criminal prosecution against Adekeye because he filed an antitrust lawsuit against Cisco, after Cisco tried to block third party companies (such as one of Adekeye's) from accessing necessary patches to service certain Cisco equipment.
The whole story was horrifying, but we thought it ended in May when the judge let Adekeye go and gave the Justice Department a pretty big slap for its actions. But... no. Slashdot points us to the news that the Justice Department has just unveiled a new indictment against Adekeye over the same issue: basically someone at Cisco gave Adekeye a login to download patches, and he did exactly that. This is not, in any way, a matter that should involve the Justice Department. The judge in Canada made that clear. The story about Adekeye shows the Justice Department acting for bad reasons -- either incompetence, corruption or malice (pick any two!). And you would think that someone there might think twice before pushing ahead with bogus prosecution against Adekeye (who's finally back in Switzerland after being stuck in Canada for a year), but that's not how the US works.
And this is why we get very afraid when Congress looks to pass broad new legislation that may impact criminal statutes and the kinds of things that US Attorneys can charge people over. I'd like to believe that US Attorneys are good people trying to stop and punish crimes, but we've seen too many cases where it appears that their actions are incredibly questionable. I'm still hopeful that it's just a few bad seeds among the ranks of US Attorneys, but if we keep seeing stories like this...
Whenever we talk about the very serious risks and likely abuses of new laws favored by the entertainment industry -- such as PROTECT IP and the felony streaming bill, S.978, supporters of those bills insist that we're crazy for suggesting that the laws will be abused or that there will be any unintended consequences. We're told, over and over and over again that these laws are designed for and targeted only at the "worst of the worst." They're targeted at "rogue" actors, who must be stopped.
And yet, we've seen all too often how US officials have abused other such laws to attack and protect certain US companies from competition. A whole bunch of you have been sending over this incredibly frightening example of the Justice Department conspiring with Cisco to effectively try to destroy a former exec's life for daring to file an antitrust claim against Cisco, due to Cisco's desire to block competitors from servicing some of its products. Unfortunately, I actually found the version of the story at the Ars Technica link above a bit confusing (and it buries many of the key points). A much better way to understand just what Cisco and some federal prosecutors appear to have done is to read the ruling, embedded below, from a Canadian judge, who explains the whole thing clearly and bashes Cisco and the US Justice Department for its incredible overreach, for no reason other than to try to destroy the life of Peter Adekeye.
Adekeye, born in Nigeria, but a UK citizen, had apparently been a quite successful Cisco exec in both the UK and the US for many years. In 2005, he left Cisco and started a couple of companies himself, including one, Multiven, that offered to help provide maintenance services for various Cisco equipment. Apparently, Cisco tried to force customers into purchasing maintenance contracts only from them by denying third parties, such as Multiven, access to various bug reports and fixes. Because of this, Multiven sued Cisco, claiming antitrust violations. Cisco then countersued, including suing Adekeye directly, claiming that Adekeye had accessed Cisco's internal network illegally over 90 times. Adekeye does not appear to deny accessing Cisco's internal systems, but notes that he was given the login information from a Cisco employee, which he believed meant he was now authorized to use the system. It sounds like he used this access to get some of the info that Cisco had been denying Multiven. As part of its "hardball" litigation strategy, Cisco also sought to get the federal government to file criminal charges against Adekeye based on the exact same issue.
Separate from all of this, Adekeye had been dealing with attempts to get a work visa to be in the US for Multiven. The court ruling documents the incredibly ridiculous bureaucratic nightmare that Adekeye went through over the period of a few years in an attempt to seek proper visas to work in the US. At no time does it appear that Adekeye violated the various visas he did have. In fact, it sounds as though Adekeye bent over backwards (and then some) to always comply with US immigration and visa rules, even when it resulted in absolutely ridiculous circumstances, such as when he wasn't allowed back into the US, even though he'd been granted his H-1B visa. That story is crazy, but tangential to the point here -- though I suggest reading the ruling to get a sense of the ridiculousness of US immigration and visa policy.
In part because he was unable to get back into the US, Adekeye moved to Switzerland where a new Multiven office was opened, and continued his efforts to get his immigration status cleared up. As part of the ongoing legal dispute, Cisco wanted to depose Adekeye. Adekeye applied for permission to enter the US to do that... but was denied, and he was told if he went anyway, it could harm his chances of getting his visa status fixed. And Cisco used this to their advantage:
Notwithstanding this entirely reasonable explanation for his inability to attend a U.S. deposition, Cisco had the unmitigated gall to commence contempt proceedings for the applicant's "failure" to attend a U.S. deposition. It was, of course, unsuccessful, but it speaks volumes for Cisco's duplicity.
Eventually, all of the parties agreed to handle the deposition in Vancouver. It was outside the US, but close to Cisco's offices here in Silicon Valley. There was a separate (again tangential) issue involving the belief (which may not have been accurate, apparently) that a US deposition could happen in Canada without having to alert Canadian officials. It was at this deposition hearing in Vancouver on May 19th of last year that things got crazy. Cisco, knowing full well where Adekeye was and why he was in Vancouver -- and that he had tried and failed to get to the US -- apparently told the US Attorneys, who they'd been pushing to file criminal charges, about Adekeye's presence in Vancouver. The Justice Department then filed its criminal charges -- once again totally abusing the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA) to make Adekeye's actions sound much worse than they actually were, and had a warrant issued for Adekeye's arrest.
They then sought rather extraordinary efforts from the Canadian government to arrest Adekeye immediately. Part of that, according to the Canadian judge who issued this ruling, appeared to involve a US Attorney leaving out key information, making blatantly false insinuations about other facts, and in some cases, what appears to just be lying:
The affidavit made no mention of the fact that United States immigration authorities had refused the applicant entry to the United States. No mention was made that the applicant had no criminal record. No mention was made that the United States Federal Court had ordered a deposition in Vancouver, presided over by a "special master" at which six or more United States lawyers would be present. No mention was made that the criminal complaint "mirrored" a counterclaim brought by Cisco in the main action in which the applicant was seeking large damages in an antitrust suit.
Sinister inferences were suggested, leading to an inference that the applicant would be a flight risk. The affidavit stated that the applicant "is a Nigerian citizen who claims to have citizenship from the United Kingdom", and that he possibly had British citizenship, and that he was in Canada on a Nigerian passport. The latter reference invited an inference he might flee to Nigeria, a country from which extradition was highly unlikely. In fact, U.S. authorities well knew and had a duty to disclose to the issuing judge that the applicant was a citizen of the United Kingdom and possessed a British passport, on which passport he had entered Canada. They also knew and had a duty to disclose that he had been a resident of England, but was currently residing with his wife and child in Switzerland, and that he had travelled from Switzerland to Canada for purposes of the deposition.
What happened then was somewhat astounding. In the middle of the deposition, RCMP officials walked into the room, interrupted the deposition in progress and arrested Adekeye in the middle of the proceedings. The beginning of this is on videotape. Adekeye, his lawyers, and the "special master" clearly have no idea what's going on, but what's notable is that, while people repeatedly ask for the recording to be turned off, Cisco's lawyers immediately say that the recording should be left on. It appears they knew exactly what was going on and wanted the humiliating arrest on the deposition tape. You can see the video below. As the judge in this ruling notes, the police's actions "could be compared to entering a courtroom and arresting a person during the course of his or her testimony. It is simply not done in a civilized jurisdiction that is bound by the rule of law."
Believe it or not, the situation then gets even worse and even more egregious. Adekeye was, in fact, arrested -- and the charges could have resulted in almost 500 years in jail, all for accessing a Cisco network with a password given to him by a Cisco employee. As you can see, he was removed from the deposition, much to the confusion of the special master appointed by the US court. After being arrested, he asked for bail, and Richard Cheng, an Assistant US Attorney for the Justice Department, sent a letter that was chock full of false and misleading information, which the judge in this case goes through step by step. It falsely implies that Adekeye did not really have British citizenship and that he did not really live in Switzerland. It stated that he used his Nigerian passport to enter the US under an E visa, which was not true. It claimed that the US had denied all of Adekeye's attempts to obtain a visa to visit the US since 2007, which as the ruling now notes "is simply not true." It also falsely stated that Adekeye had fled from law enforcement in the past. Again, the ruling noted "this statement was completely untrue."
And yet, federal officials continued to seek extradition. Even then, months after the arrest, the civil suit between Cisco and Multiven were settled, in a manner that everyone agrees was a "win" for Multiven, with Cisco changing its policy. So the key matter over which this highly questionable criminal charge was brought was settled. And yet, the feds continued to push forward. It was only in May of this year, a year after his arrest, that this new ruling came out and freed Adekeye to leave Canada and go back home.
Honestly, the whole story is really terrifying and makes me depressed to think that my government would do something like this. However, it should seriously call into question whether or not new laws like S.978 and the PROTECT IP Act should be allowed. It seems clear that the Justice Department has no problem using very questionable means to act as the private bullies of certain large companies. It should also call into question some of the recent efforts by other US Attorneys from the Justice Department, such as the efforts in coordination with Homeland Security/ICE to seize domains on questionable evidence, the attempt to extradite Richard O'Dwyer from the UK over very questionable charges and, of course, the recent charges against Aaron Swartz.
All of these cases have key factors in common. They involve what at best should be minor civil issues between private parties in court -- but in which, due to the presence of certain large industry interests, the Justice Department steps in and starts throwing its considerable weight around, including insane possible punishment, all because of dubious and often extremely misleading claims from these private interests. It's possible that the Justice Department officials here are simply incompetent (and honestly, that's an only slightly more comforting idea than the alternative) and unable to realize they're being manipulated by companies seeking to stamp out competition. But it's certainly demonstrating a really horrifying pattern of questionable behavior by the Justice Department and US Attorneys not to focus on real criminal behavior, but to abuse the criminal justice system to take vindictive action against potential competitors for big US industry players.
from the are-these-people-proud-of-themselves? dept
We've been covering the absolutely ridiculous attempt by the US government (mainly ICE and the Justice Department) to extradite former TVShack admin Richard O'Dwyer from the UK to the US to face criminal copyright charges. This is absolutely shameful for a variety of reasons, including the fact that sites quite similar to O'Dwyer's have been found to be perfectly legal in the UK, and the US appears to be using highly dubious claims in its reasoning for extradition. Even worse, the Justice Department and ICE are clamped up tight on this one, refusing to make any on-the-record comments about this attempt to take a kid, who doesn't appear to have done anything against the law, and drag him across the ocean against his will to put him on trial for criminal charges.
As the ICE agents left they shook his hand and said “Don’t worry Richard you won’t be going to America”. Actually “going to America” had never entered Richard’s head! The same day Richard closed down the website himself.
On attending with Richard to answer bail in May this year when we expected he would either be charged or questioned further, he was told by the Police that the criminal investigation in the UK had been dropped. He was then told that he was going to be rearrested as they now had a Warrant for his Extradition to the US!
I am most concerned about Richard being in jail in America with no access to his family or friends. Given the current economic climate along with the distance it would not be feasible for anyone to be able to visit him if he were in jail in the US. The idea of having to spend around £1500 or more in air fares and hotels etc. in order to visit my son for one hour in a US jail is ridiculous and prohibitive. This is in total breach of his Human Rights, rights which other non – British subjects are afforded in the UK even some who have allegedly committed serious crimes
From a personal perspective this trauma has totally taken over my life. I hold a responsible senior position as a Specialist Nurse for Terminally ill children. My job requires me to advise other professionals and parents regarding strong medications for children.
I need to concentrate on my job and to be able to function at a high level. Since this nightmare came into our family I have been unable to work due to being off sick due to the stress. My concentration and level of functioning have been greatly affected to the degree that I would not be safe to do my job.
And, really, who is this helping? At all? TVShack didn't host any of the content. It's still very much out there, and tons of others are linking to that very same content, much of which you can find with a simple Google search. So destroying this family doesn't stop or even slow down the infringement. It does raise serious questions about the US/UK extradition procedures, which seem to (contrary to the official claims) totally ignore the fact that similar sites have been found legal in the UK already.
When this case first came to light, I reached out to folks at both the Justice Department and Homeland Security to get comments, and both refused, pointing me only to press releases about domain seizures. Frankly, anyone involved in this case should be sickened and ashamed of themselves right now. This is not some criminal mastermind. This was a kid who built a simple website, which didn't host any infringing content, and is now being railroaded and destroyed by a system because a few folks in Hollywood say so. The fact that ICE now doesn't even try to hide the fact that it's doing this at the behest of a few entertainment industry giants, who don't want to adapt to the changing marketplace, just makes the whole thing even more disgusting.
This has nothing to do with protecting "rightsholders." Such rightsholders could go after those uploading content themselves if they wanted to. This seems to be a case where the existing administration is trying to destroy this family for no good reason at all, other than Hollywood told them to do it. Sickening.
"The jurisdiction we have over these sites right now really is the use of the domain name registry system in the United States. That's the key."
The only necessary "nexus to the US" is a .com or .net web address for which Verisign acts as the official registry operator, he said.
That's the key, but it's also ridiculous and stupidly self-damaging for the US. On a jurisdictional basis, there are a variety of different factors that people use to determine what the proper jurisdiction is, and relying solely on the registry, thus making all .com and .net (among other) domains US property, is simply ridiculous. Almost anyone thinking about it would realize that if a site is run by someone in the UK and hosted on servers in the UK, it's silly and counter-factual to claim that it's really US property.
Of course, the end result of this will be to drive more and more foreigners away from using US domain names. None of this will do anything to stop infringement, which Barnett seems to think is his job. But it will harm American companies (the ones he claims he's trying to help) by getting foreign internet users to stay away from them due to the liability that some hotshot in the Justice Department suddenly decides he or she wants to pull someone from their home and ship them to the US to face criminal charges on something that may have been completely legal where they're from.
We already mentioned the attempt by the US to extradite Richard O'Dwyer, a UK student who ran TVShack.net and TVShack.cc, both of which were seized by ICE. Unfortunately, most of the press reports out of the UK lacked details, and I wasn't even entirely sure that an actual attempt at extradition had been made, or if there was just fear on the part of the O'Dwyer family. After some digging, however, it appears that this is absolutely the case. The Justice Department, out of the Southern District of NY -- the same DOJ offices that have been involved in the ICE seizures -- and ICE, via the US embassy in London, made the request to extradite O'Dwyer. I've now heard that from three separate sources. I also called the folks in the press office at the US Attorneys' office in SDNY to see if they were willing to respond to questions about the attempted extradition, and the answer is they don't want to talk about it at all. I believe the two quotes were "there is nothing in the public record we can comment on" and "there is no additional guidance we can give you," though they did offer to send me the press release they sent out when they helped seize the TVShack domains. Helpful.
Now, let's be entirely clear here. Dwyer has not violated UK law. Pretty much everyone agrees on this. In our initial post, we discussed a few similar cases in the UK that showed such site administrators were not liable. UK legal experts have been saying that what O'Dwyer did is legal in the UK as it matches up almost entirely with previous cases where people doing nearly identical things were found to have not violated the law.
So this is a massive jurisdictional and sovereign disaster waiting to happen. Basically, the US appears to be claiming that if you do anything on the internet, you're subject to US laws. That's crazy and is going to come back to haunt US law enforcement. Do they not realize that this is the same thing that other countries have tried to do to US citizens? The US even passed a law, the SPEECH Act, to make it clear that US citizens were not subject to the liability of other national laws, just because such things happen on the internet. To then turn around and pretend the opposite is true for everyone else is just massive hypocrisy.
Separate from all that, it's highly questionable if O'Dwyer is even violating US criminal copyright law, because there is no such thing as contributory criminal infringement (there is for civil copyright law, but it's nowhere to be found in criminal law).
Effectively, it appears that the US government wants to seize someone and drag them across the ocean to face federal charges for doing something that was (a) perfectly legal in his home country and (b) probably legal in the US. Do they not see how that might create some issues?
Honestly, this seems like the latest in a long series of massive screwups by ICE and the DOJ in the Southern District of NY, who appear to have rushed into the whole "copyright enforcement online" arena without bothering to understand the technical, legal and political issues involved. What they've done here is create an international incident, for which there will undoubtedly be ramifications. I've heard that while O'Dwyer is fighting the extradition, many suggest that it's effectively a done deal, that the UK government has agreed to the extradition without any scrutiny of the actual charges. I'm embarrassed that my country would make such a request in the first place, and shocked that the UK would merrily go along with it, sans scrutiny. It's gone beyond exporting our IP laws through treaties and diplomatic pressure to the absolutely ridiculous stance that the US government can (1) make up their version of copyright law and then (2) automatically apply those made up laws around the globe.
silverscarcat: To make a legendary hero interesting, take one of the more well known ones, flip their gender and fill in what you can't remember about their legend with disaster and you'll have an interesting story right there. XP BTW, why is it that Hercules is presented as a 10 foot tall giant anyway? Every rendition, well, besides live-action like Kevin Sorbo, has him as 10 feet tall that I've seen. Most people barely get up to his chest. dennis deems: he is? Christopher Best: I liked the Marvel Portrayal of Herc from about 4-5 years ago... I also don't know why I capitalized Portrayal there dennis deems: i've only ever seen him portrayed normal stature silverscarcat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLv8Wj_M10g - Case in point about Hercules being a giant. (voiced by Kevin Sorbo) Christopher Best: Too much coding... new MarvelPortrayal("Hercules").... dennis deems: LOL you should pass in an enum instead of a String. bad Christopher Best: Actually it's C++ so I shouldn't be calling new to begin with. :P Leigh Beadon: plus the MarvelPortrayal constructor doesn't take any arguments, it just randomly polls a public domain fiction api dennis deems: nice!! Christopher Best: lol well played Ah, interesting to see the Steve Jackson Games vs. the FBI case coming up in connection to this Silva story. That case pretty much led to the creation of the EFF I hate to think in terms of anything positive involving police beating someone to death, but one could only hope that these sort of cases lead to a similarly long-lasting legacy as creating an organization that fights against seizure of video evidence Jay: Gah, that bottom ad is annoying on my cellphone!