Australia Extradites Head Of Software Copying Ring To US
from the and-so-it-goes dept
Raymond was the first of a few to send in the information about how Australia has extradited someone to the US for making unauthorized copies of software. The guy in question, Hew Griffiths, has never been to the US and didn’t profit at all from his activities — but may now be facing 10 years in jail in the US. Some Australian legal experts are understandably confused about this — especially since other folks involved in the same copying ring were tried in their home countries, and since the copying wasn’t for profit, it seems like the sentence is a bit harsh. As an Australian chief judge wrote in a recent article: “International copyright violations are a great problem. However, there is also the consideration that a country must protect its nationals from being removed from their homeland to a foreign country merely because the commercial interests of that foreign country are claimed to have been affected by the person’s behaviour in Australia and the foreign country can exercise influence over Australia.” There’s no doubt that this guy was involved in cracking plenty of software and making it available to others in the group — though you can argue about the real economic impact of his efforts (the numbers thrown out by the software industry are clearly bogus). The more important point is that this really is a question of commercial interests, and should be covered by civil courts, rather than criminal ones.