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.