Jimmy Wales Campaigns To Stop The Despicable Attempt To Extradite & Try Richard O 'Dwyer
from the speak-up dept
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is speaking out against the attempt to extradite Richard O’Dwyer from the UK to the US. As we’ve been detailing over the past year, O’Dwyer ran a site called TVShack.net, that was a search engine for TV shows. It pointed people to the results, some of which were authorized — and some of which were infringing. But, of course, a search engine should not reasonably be blamed for the results in points to. In fact, the admin of an extremely similar site in the UK, TV-Links, had faced criminal charges in the UK, but was found not guilty, because just linking to infringing content is not a crime. And yet… the US has pushed really hard to extradite O’Dwyer, and tragically, the UK has approved this charade.
Wales recently met with O’Dwyer and learned the details of the story, and was quite reasonably horrified:
Given the thin case against him, it is an outrage that he is being extradited to the US to face felony charges. No US citizen has ever been brought to the UK for alleged criminal activity on US soil. There is a disparity here that ought to raise concerns at the highest levels of government in both the US and UK.
From the beginning of the internet, we have seen a struggle between the interests of the “content industry” and the general public. Due to heavy lobbying and much money lavished on politicians, until very recently the content industry has won every battle. Internet users handed the industry its first major defeat earlier this year with the epic Sopa-Pipa protests over planned copyright laws that culminated in a widespread internet blackout and 10 million people contacting the US Congress to voice their opposition.
O’Dwyer is the human face of that battle, and if he’s extradited and convicted, he will bear the human cost.
Wales has set up an online petition addressed to the UK government seeking to stop the extradition of O’Dwyer. Who knows if it will actually have any impact, but getting more people to speak out about this ridiculous overreach by ICE and the Justice Department would be a good thing.