US Trying To Extradite UK TVShack Admin Over Questionable Copyright Charges?

from the copyright-gone-mad dept

In the latest example of US copyright interests gone mad, there are reports that there's an attempt to extradite the admin of TVShack from the UK to the US to face criminal copyright infringement charges. This is ridiculous on all sorts of levels. First, was one of the very first domains seized a year ago. TVShack did not host any content and was merely a linking site, which raised questions (as with other seizures) about whether or not it actually violated US copyright law. Also, TVShack has gone through a few different versions and (potentially) owners/admins. However, one of the admins, Richard O'Dwyer, a computer science student, was recently arrested. It's not clear if anyone even knows which instance of TVShack he's accused of running.

Where this becomes really troubling is that other, very similar sites have been found legal in the UK multiple times. Running a site that users use to put up links and which doesn't host any actual content, is not seen as illegal in the UK. So it seems particularly ridiculous that there's some sort of attempt to extradite the guy to the US to face charges here. As some have pointed out it appears to be "an attempt to make US federal laws applicable in the UK."

Unfortunately, the details of the extradition request are a bit muddled in all of the UK papers reporting on it. Lots of them are comparing the situation to the famous Gary McKinnon situation, but I think this is clearly different. This just seems blatantly vindictive for no good reason.

Filed Under: copyright, extradition, links, tvshack, uk, us

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jun 2011 @ 7:27am

    Re: Jurisdiction

    It'll be interesting to see if Average Joe/FUD Buster/whatever he's calling himself now says about this. He was so insistent that the US was not attempting to apply its laws internationally by seizing domains because technically those domains were managed by a US company even though the site and all its business was operated and conducted overseas.

    Now here we have a clearcut case of the US attempting to impose criminal liability on a man for doing something perfectly legal in his own country, but which nevertheless is counter to US law. The very act of attempting to extradite and charge him means that the US believes its laws apply to every person on earth.

    Which is total bullshit.

    And how long before other countries start trying to do the same to American citizens? Can Iran extradite a US citizen for "disrespecting Islam" or a woman for appearing on the internet "immodestly" sans burqa? Can China make the case that Americans who exercise free speech on the internet are violating Chinese law and therefore should be turned over for trial?

    If not, why not? If we can do it, why can't they?

    You're a savvy federal agent. Surely you understand how jurisdiction works. I've explained it to you before. As you know, you can break US law and be extradited to the US if certain conditions are met.

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