back to article Brit CompSci student faces extradition to US over link site

A British computer science student is facing extradition to the US where he is accused of setting up a site which provided links to websites that infringed copyright owned by US companies. Richard O'Dwyer, 23, was in court in Westminster this week. He ran the TVShack website - one of seven shut down by US authorities last …

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  1. Blue eyed boy
    Go

    Put him on the same flight

    as Gary McKinnon.

  2. David 39

    Dear Mr Google

    I have recently noticed if I search my domain name, you have cached copies of my copyrighted material, and also are providing links to my site.

    I therefore request you copensate me $3trillion quid.

    Ta much.

    BEEEEER

    1. M Gale

      For linking to torrents?

      Seriously?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Google cache has been purged of naughtiness

      However, there are still snapshots on the Wayback Machine

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
      Facepalm

      same flight as McKinnon?

      Are you mad? With two super-terrorists in the same plane, you're just asking for trouble. Have you never seen Con-Air?

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Naughtyhorse
        FAIL

        i think youll find

        that the law you refer to is non-comutative.

        heres how it works;

        if plaintiff = merkin then

        extradited for nothing = true

        punishment = request of the accuser

        else

        writeln " are you fucking mental?? we are gods people, STFU"

        end if

    5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Devil

      @ David39

      What? You didn't set the no robots text so that Google and others wouldn't actually crawl your web pages?

      Didn't you know that because you didn't do this that you've implicitly agreed to the Chocolate factory from indexing your web site and posting all of your *copyright* material on the interwebs for everyone to see/steal. (After all, everyone knows that if its posted on the web, then its free for the taking....)

      Ok if you didn't get the sarcasm, then you need to grow up.

      I agree with the sentiment that trying to charge someone who just provided links to allegedly infringed material is a joke.

      Putting this act on the same level as McKinnon, even is jest is plain stupid.

      I would rather see the Brits take the US lawyers and corporate types who think extraditing the 'nerd' and charge them with something under British law, and extradite them to the UK.

      Oh wait. they'd probably place them under house arrest like Assange, which makes our notorious

      club fed' look like Alcatraz....

      No Seriously, please extradite these clowns. And please keep them. We have enough pointy haired idiots running our large corporations that they wouldn't be missed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fuck off America.

    Seriously, fuck off.

  4. hplasm Silver badge
    Megaphone

    It is time

    for this shit to stop.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    This is utter bullshit!

    He had no material, just links and the MPAA, who are at the base of this shite, simply want to throw their weight around to prove how tought hey are on copyright theft and the causes of copyright theft. Pick on some kid and maybe you can frighten all the others to think twice.

    I am all for ensuring copyright is protected, when it's actually being infringed upon. How about they go after Rapidshare, MegaUpload, SonicServe. etc , all these places are riddled with copyright material and they have the funds to pay for their crimes, not some kid messing about with some HTML links in a webpage.

    Sod it just nail Google, Bing and Yahoo, they crawl and index the stuff on forums that host links to the file sharers.

    1. g e

      Seconded

      RIGHT OFF

    2. Joe User
      Devil

      Re: Fuck off America.

      Put the blame where it belongs: on the corporations and the judges & politicians they bribed to pass & enforce these "laws".

      1. henrydddd
        Unhappy

        AMerica

        At this time, the conservatives run America. They exist only for the big corporations and the super rich. This type of active will only get worse until America wakes up and gives the boot to the conservatives.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Alert

      Hey! I resemble that remark!

      As a Yank on this board, my only reply to this is:

      Yeah! Fuck off America!

      (And I mean it, too. We, as a country , have got to get the fuck over ourselves, dammit! We are not the be all and end all of the world. The sooner we learn this the sooner we can get along with getting along.)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Amen

      Copyright is supposed to have an important role in protecting the work of those who create. This sort of power-grab by the greedy fuckers at the MPAA who just want control of everything, helped along by their well-paid-off lackeys in government makes a monkey's arse of that.

      This is one of those situations where the UK.gov needs to tell the US.gov to go fuck itself, swiftly followed by the US.gov telling the MPAA and friends to go fuck themselves before making legal changes to ensure that copyright actually does what it was intended to.

      Fat chance that any of that'll happen though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MPAA/RIAA and their ilk

        If those companies (I don't consider them as organisations as they have the ethics and mentalities of ruthless businesses only out to make money for themselves and not the creators they profess to protect) actually did represent the creators they're supposed to protect, they'd change their business model in line with how the general population of the world have come to ustilise the audio/video of the creators, the argument that they're still sticking to a pre-internet business model hold water like nothing else.

        One that note, why is it that the BBC do not have some online uber-archive of tv shows/radio shows where people can simply "dip-in" and watch/listen to anything the BBC has produced since day one? (bar the material that has been completely lost) too often when I want to watch something I paid for through the tv license that was aired a even couple of months ago, let alone years/decades ago I have to turn to alternate sources for said material, that's just wrong.

        1. egbert
          Boffin

          ...because they can't

          "One that note, why is it that the BBC do not have some online uber-archive of tv shows/radio shows where people can simply "dip-in" [...] I want to watch something I paid for through the tv license"

          Simple. Copyright.

          The BBC does not own the rights to everything in the programmes it makes. There are many issues.

          First there is music. Often the background or theme music is not written specially but is commerical music for which a fee is paid for specific purposes such as a single broadcast. Allowing the programme to be repeated or freely accessible means that the fee has to be renegociated. An example of this is that the intro for Pink Floyd's "Shine on you crazy diamond" was used to great comic effect in the original radio broadcasts of the HHGTTG. When the beeb issued the entire series on CD they decided they could not afford the fees for it to be allowed to reuse the music and so that joke has been cut. Shame.

          Then there are the actors. Actors have to be paid fees for repeat showings. Sometimes the stars of the show retain control over repeats. Famously, Martin Shaw allegedly did not allow "The Professionals" to be repeated for a very long time. I recently read an interview with Rodney Bewes in which he bemoaned the fact that the Likely Lads were not being repeated for similar reasons.

          There are even issues with still images and photos. If any program is repeated it has to be examined for possible copyright issues. Often the original copyright holders cannot be traced and this is one of the reason behind the wishes of the BBC and others that there should be provision for overriding the copyright on "orphaned works".

          Sorting this all out is, of course, expensive so that is costs money even if no actual fees need to be paid.

    5. Mark 65
      WTF?

      Re:This is utter bullshit!

      "He had no material"

      More importantly, he is not based in the US, his site was not hosted in the US and he did not host any infringing material thus:

      1. What crime did he commit?

      2. Where was this crime deemed to have been committed, and why?

      3. How the fuck did you come to the conclusion US law applied and extradition was the answer?

    6. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      ^ QFT.

      Or, to be more precise, in this case, those copyright bastards in the first place, and the US legal system second for actually trying to prosecute this action.

      I mean... even if he had copyright material hosted, he did not do it in America.

      FFS....

      Come along now all you Brits, rally round and tell them to fuck off, seriously....

    7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah!

      Your country sucks! It's not like OUR country would let its politicians dash a digital bill through at the last minute without understanding the smallest part of it just because corporations line their pockets with cash!

      Oh, wait. Well, at least some of ours have posh titles like Lord and Sir. Yes, they still bend over to your Mr, but that's not the point.

  6. M Gale
    Mushroom

    UK.gov needs to grow a pair.

    This treaty is already stupidly lop-sided. It should be torn up and US.gov told that it can go suck its own cock for a while until it's willing to come back and renegotiate. Even the American spin machine can't successfully paint the entire UK as a rogue state, so what are they going to do about it?

    Hopefully a few more cases like this becoming public and that's just what will happen.

  7. Tom 15

    Hmm

    Am I the only one that doesn't really understand extradition law? How can you possibly commit a crime in America without having even been there? It'd be like me setting up my own country, passing a law saying no one can insult me and then demanding extradition of individuals who flame me on forums. He should be tried under UK law...

    1. Barry O'Connell
      Facepalm

      I couldn't agree more

      Seriously, this American extra-terratorial reach is a joke. Our politicians seem to be complicit these days too.

    2. Captain DaFt
      FAIL

      Has anyone here actually READ the treaty?

      Or studied the law behind it?

      Y'know, every time US extradition comes up, people start frothing about how the US has an unfair advantage, and how it's got the UK over a barrel. Nobody ever mentions the other 23 countries that have the exact same wording in their extradition treaties with the UK.

      See: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/08/the-us-uk-extradition-treaty-in-the-interest-of-both-nations

      Some pertinent quotes:

      "Britain’s 2003 Extradition Act and by the British action under that act in 2004 in designating the U.S.—along with 23 other countries as of February 2009—as a state that is not required to supply prima facie evidence for extradition requests. Instead, the U.S. must only meet the less demanding test of providing “informa­tion which would justify the issue of a warrant.” Other states so designated include democracies such as Australia and Israel, states where the rule of law is fragile such as Azerbaijan, and non-democra­cies such as the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Nothing prohibits Britain from designating more states on the same basis

      The 2003 treaty adopts this new standard, cre­ated by British law, as its basic standard for U.S. requests for extradition from Britain while also allowing either state to require additional informa­tion from the other should the second state find this necessary “to enable a decision to be taken on the request for extradition.”[8] In short, the U.S. has been placed, first by British law and then by treaty, on the same basis as the 23 other states designated by Britain."

      So basically, it's not that the US are being assholes, it's the UK that's willing to ship all and sundry off to wherever on the host country's say-so, even if it's a third world hellhole!

      Oh, two more points, First:

      "It is now easier to extradite British subjects, both on more serious charges like those facing McKinnon and on the frivolous charges that often result in the issu­ance of an EAW, but thanks to Labour’s acceptance of the jurisdiction of European courts, it is now harder to extradite accused terrorists, as illustrated by the continued delay in the extradition to the U.S. of radical Egyptian cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, cur­rently in a British prison on various terrorism-related charges."

      In other words, a British citizen, under British law, is easier to extradite than a proven terrorist! (Chalk another one up for the Labour party!)

      and second, I'll quote this part again:

      "Nothing prohibits Britain from designating more states on the same basis"

      there's nothing in British law to prevent Parliament from extending these same lopsided conditions to even more countries currently negotiating or re-negotiating their extradition treaties with the UK.

      To sum up, it was your own government under Labour that sold your asses down the river, the US was just one of many (with possibly many more to come) to benefit from it!

      Obviously this calls for the fail icon, both for the British Government's contempt for its own citizens, and for the people blaming the wrong side of the mess!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Captain DaFt

        The main issue is that the treaty is being ABUSED (in capitals as you seem to overlook that point) for trivial offences that wouldn't even merit investigation in the UK. I cannot recall any other country using this treaty for minor crimes nor civil action. As I understand it hyperlinking isn't a crime in the US and neither are providers responsible for content uploaded by users to their site otherwise Google and Youtube would be in serious trouble but I don't see US authorities going after them. This is because they can't, in fact providers are protected against the actions of their users.

        As for Mckinnon, if he committed any crime it was in 2001-2002 so really this treaty should not apply.

      3. Martijn Bakker
        Headmaster

        @Captain DaFt

        If I recall (from reading extradition laws in the McKinnon and Assange cases, I'm too lazy to read that stuff again), the extradition laws have a number of quite reasonable requirements. This is the reason why Assange needs to be extradited to Sweden for the US to be able to request extradition to their side.

        Requirements (among others):

        1. The offence for which extradition of a subject is requested should be a crime in both nations

        2. The crime must have occured within the jurisdiction of the requesting state, the subject of the extradition request must be a subject of the requesting state or the requesting state must otherwise be the best able to handle prosecution of the offence in question

        As to 1: IP offences are usually covered by civil law, not criminal law. Unfortunately, both the US and UK have made both copyright infringement and assisting in copyright infringementent a criminal offence. This is, as you point out, a case of goverments choosing interests of major corporations over the rights of their citizens (although the parallel with actual theft does lend some strength to a counter argument).

        However, as to 2., it seems unlikely that a British judge would rule that an American court would be better equipped to handle a prosecution against a British subject who stands accused of having committed a crime under British law on British soil. Agreeing to this extradition request would basically amount to agreeing that all of the internet falls under US jurisdiction. It seems unlikely that a judge posessed of any amount of either sanity or integrity would agree to that.

        Then again.. I don't know the British legal system all that well.

        1. Vic

          Oh, fuck.

          > It seems unlikely that a judge posessed of any amount of either sanity or

          > integrity would agree to that.

          We're screwed.

          Vic.

  8. Rhobit
    Stop

    Copyright infringement

    As far as I was aware is a civil offence in this country.

    If the site is created and hosted within the UK, then surely, jurisdictionally no criminal offence has been comitted on US soil, and (at worst) only a civil offence has been created on UK soil.

    How in the hell does that end up in extradition?

  9. OrientalHero
    Pirate

    hyperlinks to dodgy stuff are themselves illegal?

    Hmmm.... I was wondering the subject so I checked online. Check this chilling effects brief FAQ about hyper links.

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/linking/faq.cgi

    It would seem that it depends on the context of whether you were contributing to the dissemination of illegal stuff.

    Whether he made money off of it may or may not be relevant as it may have been an ad banner that meant every page on his website similarly "generated revenue". The question is whether he is culpable of profiting from the end product (the dodgy stuff he was linking to). An entry in the footnotes of an article about copyright piracy I expect would not be culpable, whereas a prominent webite "frontage" would be a whole lot more culpable to me!

    1. g e

      Yeah maybe

      BUT STILL IN THE COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE ONLY

    2. g e
      Trollface

      Cos

      Since the USA took the opportunity to fuck us with a 'special relationship' as wages when we *hired* them for WWII they've been sticking it to us financially ever since.

      Hence it's probably 'extradite or lose this investment in the UK' which is the usual tune they play.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Cos

        Sorry to be repetitious, but I do want everyone to be clear that we didn't "hire" the Americans in WW2, and they didn't help us out of the goodness of their hearts either. The facts are these:

        1. The USA remained resolutely neutral for the first 27 months of the war, while Germany conquered Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, and all of the USSR up to the Moscow tramlines. It remained steadfastly neutral through Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz. If, as depicted in Len Deighton's brilliant novel "SS-GB", the Nazis had conquered Britain in 1940, the USA would not have lifted a finger to help.

        2. The USA never declared war on Germany or Japan until AFTER they had declared war on it. (In other words, the American declaration of war on Germany was a PR stunt, designed so later they could say "when we declared war on Germany...") As we know, Japan declared war shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. A week later, Hitler personally declared war on the USA - and that is how it wound up as our ally. Britain declared war on Germany because it invaded Poland. But the USA waited until Germany declared war on it, when it no longer had any choice.

        Ironically enough, ever since its failure to tackle Hitler (a very dangerous enemy), the USA has been throwing its weight around, attacking weaker countries that have no chance of defending themselves successfully - usually without a declaration of war, as in the cases of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

        1. Richard 15

          Not exactly.

          While there was no formal declaration of war, there were actions the US was taking.

          Consider, the reason why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor is because the US , In 1938, placed an embargo on exporting aircraft, fuel, and other items that allowed them to make war on China, to Japan. The government also froze all Japanese assets in the United States.

          The declaration of war followed Japan's and Germany's declaration of war against the US; Germany being obligated to do so after Japan declared war.

          There was certainly a period following ww1 that the US had a policy of not getting involved in other countries wars. Kind of Ironic now, eh? Now Europe wants the US out, but if they had really stayed out a lot more people would be speaking German right now.

          Leaving that aside, there were behind the scenes actions to bring aid to "free Europe" and a general mobilization of the resource of the US. This included various forms of propaganda to get the people of the US to favor intervention and well as the "lend lease" program of early 1941 where the US was to be the "arsenal of democracy" whereby the US would send money and arms to help keep free Europe free, while sparing the US from actually having to send military personnel to clean up the mess caused by punishing Treaty of Versailles which the Germans used as an excuse to again open hostilities.

    3. ScottJ
      WTF?

      Not only that, but...

      More importantly, how do "US Authorities" shut down a site that isn't hosted in the US? That ought not be possible.

      1. XMAN
        Pirate

        Poisoning the root DNS servers

        The yanks have been going nuts hijacking domains. They basically poison the root DNS servers (apparently the sole property of the united states of assholes to do whatever they want with) so the domain is effectively knocked offline worldwide.

        As someone else quite rightly said, the yanks need to fuck right off. They're pretty much doing a hitler and slowly taking over the world, by force. But everyones just sitting back and watching it happen.

        Those that rose up and thought against hitler were called heroes. Those that rise up and fight against America are called terrorists. Interesting.

        They want to extradite a fucking kid for linking to copyright material? get the fuck out of here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Godwin's Law?

          So soon as well.

          1. Martin 71 Silver badge
            Stop

            Godwin doesn't apply

            when the comparison is valid. Having SEEN what the conservatives in the US are like, I'm quite happy to say the comparison is perfectly, disturbingly, valid.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @ Martin 71

              "Godwin doesn't apply when the comparison is valid"

              Maybe time to re-read Godwin's Law, it's always valid (unless you are on a WWII forum)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @XMAN

          "Those that rose up and thought against hitler were called heroes".

          Hitler and the Nazis called them terrorists, though. Think on.

        3. Your Retarded
          FAIL

          @ XMAN

          I strongly suggest you consider the important distinction between THINKING and FIGHTING.

    4. R 11
      Alert

      Criminal Law

      The law most certainly provides for criminal penalties in copyright cases. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright,_Designs_and_Patents_Act_1988#Criminal_offences

      You can face a jail term of 10 years and an unlimited fine for some copyright offences.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Not in this case...

        As far as I can see, non of the points mentioned in the article you link too apply in this particular case, and therefore he has no criminal case to answer.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Civil and criminal

      It's not necessarily civil. Infringement becomes criminal if it's "in the course of a business" or "to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright".

      However, it's not clear that there has been any infringement by the accused.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's hope our government can bring some common sense to bear

    Rearrange if necessary, not a cat in hells' chance.

    However, it does look like this is the sort of case that should be made widely public to make the average British citizen aware of the how this treaty is being abused and emphasize why such abuse is possible. I wonder if Blair has lost the brown tint to his nose yet after having it shoved up Bush's arse for so long.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since the site was not hosted in the US

    He should either be tried under British law (if such law exists) or not have a case to answer.

  12. Graham Lerant
    Black Helicopters

    At least the Yanks didn't shoot him.

    At least they didn't fly in, shoot his Mamma in the leg and shoot him in the head before dumping him in the ocean.

    How many people here seriously believe that Americans believe in the rule of law?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Flame

      Americans (the people) still believe in the rule of law

      America, Inc. (the institution), not so much (except, of course, when it suits their fancy).

  13. David Barr
    Unhappy

    A LibDem/Conservative Coalition

    Should be the perfect government to turn around and say "Fuck off, y'all" to America. Wish I had faith in the government to do the right thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ooopsy.

      'Wish I had faith in government.'

      There, fixed it for ya

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @David Barr

      Where are you when we need you, Hugh Grant?

      1. Martijn Bakker
        Happy

        Wish I had faith in the government to do the right thing.

        Not much chance.

        But when your faith in man and the government fails, I urge you to have faith in the stronger forces of stupidity and incompetence.

        At least you can count on government do the wrong things inefficiently en ineffectively. Sometimes that's almost as good.

  14. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    What will it take?

    For this country to actually stand up for itself? It seems our politicians cower in the corner when ANY other country says 'Boo!'

  15. Matthew Gardner

    Bloody Stupid

    Maybe time the UK starts banning things that also break copyright e.g. consoles, PVR's etc if you put a CD in most devices they will download the track listings even though know you have no right to do so.

    Whats the difference to that and a linking site both require user to do something and both do nothing wrong till user acts but both can be used to do something illegal.

    I bet if UK said ok you can extraidt but we will have to start looking into hardware sold here that breaks copyright and till resolved we will have to stop all imports.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @matthew gardner

      >>"Whats the difference to that and a linking site both require user to do something and both do nothing wrong till user acts but both can be used to do something illegal."

      Well, for a start, PVRs are generally timeshifting stuff where a choice has been made to broadcast it, with the consent of the copyright owners, who were paid for the broadcast rights.

      If I rip a CD I've bought, all that's really doing is saving me the future hassle of swapping CDs in and out of my PC in order to play the music, and the copyright owners got paid by me.

      Certainly, linking to the unlawfully hosted content is different to providing it, but particularly if the linker is making meaningful money out of it, they're still effectively being a parasite in a process which basically gives the rights owner nothing.

      That's certainly a meaningful difference as far as I can see.

      The point about copyright law is that quite a few things are effectively ignored/allowed *as long as people don't take the piss*, but some people insist on taking the piss and then try and pretend what they're doing is no different to what people who aren't taking the piss are doing.

      1. Vic

        @AC 20:03

        > If I rip a CD I've bought

        ... Then you're breaking UK law. You are a copyright infringer.

        Although the Hargreaves Report recommended the legalisation of format-shifting, it currently remains an offence under CDPA88.

        > That's certainly a meaningful difference as far as I can see.

        It's not especially meaningful. If the infringer is making a business out of infringement, then it becomes a criminal matter under section 107 - but that doesn't legitimise your infringement, it merely makes the penalties a little different.

        > quite a few things are effectively ignored

        This is true of many laws.

        However, you should not confuse a law being ignored with that action becoming lawful.

        Vic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Vic

          >>"you should not confuse a law being ignored with that action becoming lawful."

          Indeed not, but the point is whether the different actions are really equivalent.

          The person I was replying to seemed to pretend not to understand the difference between ripping CDs (an action which is effectively accepted as a legitimate action by pretty much everyone, even the rights-holders, given the clear toleration of CD ripping being built into operating system software sold with computers) and publishing content without permission or profiting on the back of that publishing (which fairly clearly isn't accepted as tolerable by the rights holders, or seen to be tolerated by them).

          Of course, that's a quite different issue from whether what this guy did actually merits extradition.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Jurisdiction

    In other news, Saudi Arabia demands the extradition of several million pork-eaters, booze drinkers and immodestly dressed women (hence the icon).

    If some body is not an American citizen and does things outside the US, how can it fall under US jurisdiction? If he broke British law, the British courts should try him.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Contra mundam

      We're not really in a position to complain about American attempts to extend their laws worldwide when Mr Justice Eady is willing, at the drop of a hat, to bind the entire world not to say something about somebody, though they are not allowed to know what is is they are not allowed to say or who it is they are not allowed to say it about. At least the Americans say why they want people extradited.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Thanks mum!

    "To me he's just a geeky boy"

  18. Mectron

    Dangerous

    THe MPAA/RIAA the most dangerous openly criminal terrorist organisation in the world....

    Any goverment collaborating with them should be removed for high treason

  19. Steve X

    he's an idiot anyway

    According to the story I saw on this today, his first site with a .net domain was closed on the orders of the law because of copyright issues, so he opened it again with a .cc domain. Prat.

    Leaving aside the one-sided extradition law, which is indeed ridiculous, this guy certainly can't claim he didn't know it was wrong. He certainly merits a trial, although it should be in the UK.

  20. David Simpson 1
    Facepalm

    Treaty or not it's still far from legal.

    The fact that America wants him extradited is just silly but did his mum think a site linking to streamed video of copyrighted brand new TV shows was legal ? Really ? He could still get a jail term in this country for it, if he isn't smart enough to cover his tracks then his mum might want to pay a bit more attention to what he uses his computer for.

    P.S Torrents were not involved this was direct streams of the shows a la YouTube.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: "a site linking to"

      You want to think Really Hard about what those words mean before you proclaim that it is obviously illegal and warrants a jail term. To help you with your research...

      Google not only links to all sorts of stuff, it actively crawls the net looking for stuff to link to. It also *hosts* a vast collection containing copyrighted material with no effective barriers to uploading it and take-downs considered only on a case-by-case basis. (A bit like a burglar emptying your house but offering to give back individual items as long as you can give them an itemised list.)

      Just about any university Chemistry course will not just "link to" information on how to make a bomb, but let you practice the necessary techniques in the lab in the hope that you become really good at it.

      You probably don't want to know what happens in medical courses. Suffice to say that some of their lectures are "closed" to those not on the actual course.

      Information is not a crime.

  21. asiaseen

    Copyright is

    and should remain a CIVIL matter and certainly not an extraditable "offence". For the record, I speak as a copyright owner.

    1. Vic

      Copyright is not

      ...necessarily a civil matter.

      The Copyrigths Designs and Patents Act 1988 has sections covered under criminal law (e.g. section 107).

      This is entirely appropriate, IMO: criminality occurs not when you pass a friend a few bits you shouldn't, but when you try to make a business out of stuff you know to be infringing.

      But to reiterate the eloquent point made earlier in the thread - America, fuck off.

      Vic.

    2. Your Retarded
      IT Angle

      Copyright owner

      Shirley, that title applies to every one of us here?

  22. Jacobs Handle
    Unhappy

    As an American...

    This is a crock of shit and a waste of my tax money. The US gov has no business messing with this guy.

    Also, I'm surprised LulzSec haven't attacked MPAA/RIAA yet. I'm past tired of hearing about the little shitheads but I wouldn't really mind seeing them give MPAA a little grief... or a lot of grief...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    www.youtube.com

    Oops, that's a link to a site that has loads of copyrighted material on it. Maybe the editor's of El Reg will get extradited if they post this.

  24. Asgard
    Big Brother

    WTF! they are not our masters!

    Frankly who the fuck do they think they are, they are not our masters!

    These astoundingly arrogant US authorities are arrogantly ignoring the concept of a sovereign state and the UK is its own sovereign state!

    This extradition bullshit has gone way too far. It was brought in to stop terrorism FFS! and now they are abusing that law into a way to seek to use it for just copyright infringement!. I mean WTF! ... In fact its not even copyright infringement, its giving links to other sites which infringe copyright!

    So what next, what happens if we link to any US government corruption news article in the media on the Internet, that has copyright US world police state text in that news. So what happens the next time The Reg reports on some dodgy US corporate move which turns out to have US government connections with quoted government information and then we email that link to our friends. According to this extradition demand, it means we could also all be on a plane with the staff of The Register and every other news organization!. The US government better start building some more planes, otherwise they are going to have to ship us all out there in container ships for our summary punishment!

    The UK is a sovereign state and we will defend that state, even if that means we have to throw out any spineless UK leader or UK government who fails to completely defend our country. So the UK government better fucking act this time, (no more delays, no more talks, act now), because the necks of every UK politician (in every party) are now on the line. They all have to speak up and be shown to act now (and I want to see who has the spine to stand against the US and speak up!). This has gone far enough.

  25. kain preacher Silver badge

    Stop breathe and think

    Stop breathe and think. Before you start cussing out Americans. There has to be some thing we are missing or some one lied. Cause what he did vis not a crime in unless he was making money off it.

  26. Dr. Ellen
    Big Brother

    Turnabout?

    So if I were to post something about Falun Gong - terribly illegal in the Peoples' Democratic Republic of China - the US would happily extradite me to there? Extraditing Nigerian spammers, I could understand. But copyright infringement? Saying bad things about Mohammed? All these bozos should realize they are setting a very dangerous precedent!

  27. Jared Vanderbilt

    Even if we convict him of murder he'll get probation.

    Our federal pens are filled to capacity with sex offenders.

  28. PeterGriffin
    Devil

    .net domains under American governance

    @ScottJ - I would guess that since the domain was a .net the US Government was able to instruct VeriSign to alter the Domain registration. Certainly at roughly the time the domain was seized it moved from CyberBunker in Holland to 1and1 in the US.

    I have only just noticed that part of the Seized image refers to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. How nice that the United States Government proactively protects the "copyrights" of commercial entities...

  29. john devoy

    well duh

    Of course the extradition law is being abused, any law created these days will be abused by someone within a few months, despite reasurances that it will never happen.

    Governments must love the recent wave of terrorism, its created an atmosphere where they can rush through any dumb catch all law they can think of.

  30. AlexPresland
    FAIL

    Muppets!

    The UK muppets who agreed to inconsistent extradition laws should be shot. If the US constitution blocks the extradition of US citizens to the UK then our UK to US extradition treaty should be equal. Then the **** (nice american people) can't complain. Grrr...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Milking a cash cow

    If O'Dwyer hadn't shown blatant disregard for the initial take-down of his .net domain only to set up a .cc domain doing the same thing then maybe, just maybe, he might have got away with it.

    Now, however, he has pissed off some pretty important people who have important friends and whether we like it or not, they have the weight of the law behind them.

    Would have been better if he had just accepted the initial closure, pocketed the cash from the in-site adverts and found something else to do.

    Silly Boy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Important people.

      There's no doubt that some pretty important people have weight behind them but it is not clear that it is the weight of the law.

  32. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    the pointing finger

    was broken, and having been broken, pointed no more.

    1. Graham Lockley

      T'internet is broken

      >the pointing finger was broken, and having been broken, pointed no more.

      Nor all Americas piety and wit shall call it it back to point at half a word of it

  33. Martin Usher
    WTF?

    Please don't encourage them

    The US taxpayer, like their British counterpart, is being squeezed so the last thing we want is for some bunch of civil service hacks swanning off to the UK to track down a major computer criminal to bring him to US justice. This is a non-offense, civil at best, and can be dealt with by asking the person nicely to cease and desist.

    Law in the US is enforced by overlapping jurisdictions (fiefdoms) so like McKinnon's case its really about some ambitious minor civil servant or lawyer looking for a bit of a carreer boost and maybe a junket or two. There's no real oversight at their level, they have to get slapped down (expensively) by the court system, so they tend to run amuk if you let them. Just say "NO", please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      ermm...

      Re:

      "This is a non-offense, civil at best, and can be dealt with by asking the person nicely to cease and desist."

      But they did ask him to cease and desist when they took down his original .net domain name last year. He then choose to re-establish the site using a .cc domain name doing exactly the same thing.

      Drunken Lout: shouting and swearing

      Police Officer: "Stop that Sonny Jim or you're coming with me"

      Drunken Lout: "OK, sorry Officer"

      Drunken Lout crosses road.

      Drunken Lout: shouting and swearing

      Police Office: "You're nicked!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So

        They should sue him in UK court. I don't have a problem with him being even sent to jail IF he has committed a crime and has been convicted, but extradition? WTF?

  34. Barrie Shepherd
    Headmaster

    What Next

    What's next? El'Reg being extradited because it linked to a story about someone linking to a link?

    It's the Wikileaks argument again - you told the world, that something we did not want the world to know about was out there, you are therefore guilty of a serious crime.

    I think all the UK free press should post a list of the naughty links on their front page to show the level of civil disgust. The crime is no different to saying "Joe's bookshop in High Street has a sign telling yo where you can buy a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover from" and if taken to the lengths the US seem to be inclined to go could directly impact on UK Editors.

  35. moiety

    IT'S WAR !

    (message body)

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thought crime

    We've done "poking about on websites" crime, are moving on to "linking crime", how long till thinking naughty thoughts follows. America should really piss off and get a sense of proportion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @moiety

      "IT'S WAR !"

      Now, now, calm down dear. You don't actually mean that, unless you want to wake up and find yourself underneath a few hundred tons of smashed masonry with fires burning all round and bits of dead people here and there.

      The Yanks can exterminate us just as easily as you can kill a bug by squashing it under your thumb.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    "this American extra-terratorial reach is a joke"

    Indeed it is, but so is that of the EU (eg European Arrest Warrant, EU laws about the shapes/sizes of bananas, etc) and our (lack of) government are just as spineless with them.

  38. Polhotpot
    Childcatcher

    To all commenters on this thread

    If you feel this law needs scrapping (like I do), please take a few minutes to write to your mp at faxyourmp.com.

    Labour passed this, at the height of their fervour for removing our civil liberties.

    The coalition has shown some will so far to reverse Labour's fascist state with the scrapping of ID cards. Perhaps if we put a little more pressure on them, they'll be encouraged to stand up to the US bullies.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    UK or US at fault?

    I fail to see why a lot of people here are getting annoyed at the US.

    It's the UK extradition laws that allow this. You guys need to seriously go talk to your politicians.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have you noticed

      Have you noticed that everyone is pissed off with both?

      1. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Re. Have you noticed...

        Yeah. Haven't seen so many 'upvotes' since Moder....Oh, stoppit, Andus.

        But seriously, isn't anyone in power* reading this? Our Elected Servants? The level of agreement on the forum is unprecedented. US, deciding - openly and arrogantly - that it's the self-appointed World Police is laughable in a cheap TV series (CSI, Extradition To Alcatraz** etc...), but...Gobsmacked.

        *Yep, I know there isn't anyone in power. Reminds me of student Jack Christie's "LOOK AT THE FUCKING PUPPET" cartoon. Clagg (whatever) must be nervous with a nice Makeroon (whatever) up his jaxy..

        ** Made that up, but I bet someone'll do it in my lifetime.

        (PS Is the Icon exclusively for me? Or is it just the fact I'm homeless, unemployed and enjoy Tennants..?)

  40. Peter 39

    DNS root servers

    There are thirteen and the U.S. controls about half of them now. Not all are physically located in the U.S.

    What you're really talking about are servers for places like .com and .net -- these are indeed under U.S. control

  41. Old-but-wise
    Thumb Up

    Thank goodness for copyright

    Perhaps extradition is a tad harsh but he should be taught a lesson at least. Without copyright we'd have had no dvelopment of a professional arts industry on the scale we have today. Maybe we need a new IP revenue model but until we do I say prosecute the heck out of copyright infringers of all persuasions! No-one steals this stuff or (as in this case, allegedly) facilitates the theft unknowingly. Call me crazy!

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Dear Old-but-stupid...

      I'm not calling you crazy, I'm calling you stupid.

      Taught what lesson?

      What was he doing that was wrong? I'd like you to tell me.

      However...

      I agree copyright is required to some degree, but ultimately when you look at what is happening in America with regards to IP, the right of way just appears to go to the ones with the biggest guns, and it is enforced unrealistically and very partially.

      Please tell these copyright arseholes (And America) to justly fuck off.

      Rally the whole EU round if you have to (I am serious, I would stand by you Brits, whatever referendum needed).

      This rubbish needs to stop. I have to be honest with you I have not been so incensed with these lot of aresholes since that Sony business.

    2. JC 2
      Stop

      @ Thank goodness for copyright

      If you want to argue "facilitates the theft", where does it end? The computer manufacturer? The ISP? The owner of the home he was conducting the activities in?

      If I see someone doing something illegal and I point it out (equivalent to text description and a link to copyrighted material) so other people know, I have only shared information about where something illegal has happened, I have not told you to commit a crime. If I say, "there is a prostitute on that street corner" and prostitution is illegal in the area, it is still your choice whether to engage in any activity.

      It is not reasonable to mass prosecute millions upon millions of people so an industry can benefit, nor fair to prosecute only select individuals if there is not due diligence to catch them all. Shall we declare law that it is illegal to ride a bicycle so automobile and shoe manufacturers can profit?

      I do feel those producing IP deemed worthy of income should be paid for it, but that in prosecuting people the law has to attempt to be checks and balances, solve a problem or provide restitution, neither of which it is accomplishing in a reasonably effective or fair manner and there is no evidence that prosecuting this (an) individual is having any significant effect on copyright infringement.

      The bottom line is that as technology made distribution orders of magnitude cheaper and easier, and the ever increasing volume of copyrighted works simultaneously devalued most of them. The industries claiming infringement have not done what any industry must in order to survive rapidly changing cultural norms affecting their business, adapt or go out of business... and yet, they are making a profit!(!!), but not just a profit, the US recording industry made record profits in 2008 (right after the US recession started, hardly a time to expect that, unless your idea that we need to prosecute people to preserve an art industry is incorrect).

      Outlawing something is only half the purpose of law, the other half being the reason, that the enforcement has to serve a useful purpose which at present it does not.

  42. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    I quote his Mum

    "We have a perfectly good justice system in the UK - why aren't we using it in cases such as this?"

    I do not believe any judiciary system is perfectly good, but I can say that *IF* your country lets those bastards in America get away with this, then it is further suspect, in fact, seriously flawed.

    Please *DO* *NOT* *LET* *THIS* *HAPPEN*!

    Down with this kind of thing.

  43. rc

    Slow your roll folks...

    Americans (the people as opposed to the .gov) don't want to extradite anyone for making a website. The problem is that money decides most of the elections over here and the content mafia has lots of it to throw around. I suspect they're actually getting bulk discounts on congressmen at this point. Buy five, get one free. We'll even throw in a bonus judge to swing any tedious court battles your way.

    Yes, it's our fault. We vote for these fascists that usurp our liberties and steal our money at the drop of a hat [or a sizable campaign contribution]. Most folks here don't want to be involved in politics. They just want to live their lives and have government stay the hell outta the way. Consequently there is a heavy emphasis on simple soundbites and the crotch vote. Didn't he look presidential while he was saying nothing so brilliantly? -puke! Never having been there, I don't know if things are similar on your side of the pond. For your sake I hope not.

    The only way left for me to win was to quit playing. Frankly the decision wasn't that difficult. The movies/tv and a lot of the music nowadays is such crap that it's a waste of time and bandwidth to even download it, let alone risk a fine or jail time over it.

    To the content mafia; You win. I won't steal your *cough* intellectual property. Nor will I pay for it ever again. No buying cd's or dvd's or going to movies anymore unless it's an indie label. I suspect you need my money a lot more than I need your media. Once enough others discover this and get fed up with you manipulating legal systems across the globe your day will end.

    This case has me reconsidering things a bit though. If I download some beeb tv, do I get an all expense paid trip to London and a tour of some cool old courthouses? Nah, better not...

  44. Head
    FAIL

    Hmm

    As has been said above: Fuck off america.

    Why aren't you demanding the extradition to the US of everyone who broke the law against your own citizens in other countries, i.e. in Dubai, where a yank woman may get raped and then sent to jail for unlawful sex???

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking of Google

    I can type in the name of any things i want followed by .torrent and google with happily give me a list of places to get it, yes they are just linking to the site that links the torrent but the point is the same.

    You cant host copywrite manterial

    You cant link to said copywrite material

    Google and every other search engine will give you a nice wee list, all be it indirectly

    More intrestingly, if you use the im feeling lucky option it will even open up the page which in my mind is google directly pointing users to links of copywrited material.

    Yes there is a difference but i believe this is just a case of picking on the little man much easier then taking on google etc

  46. Purlieu

    Possession of information is a crime

    and has been since terrorism laws were enacted, probably before that also.

    e.g. having a library book with explosives information, and perhaps also a map of inner London that you bought from WH Smith, this is now classes as "terrorism"

    FFS

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Sure, he demonstrated disregard for the cease & desist

    by moving it to a .cc domain. But moving it to a .cc domain ought to put it even LESS under USian jurisdiction.

  48. Sam Therapy
    Thumb Down

    Function Creep and the Jellyfish

    Could be the name of a "wacky" cop duo or some altpop band but no, it's the summation of the US law being (ab)used and the role played by the Brit government.

    One the one hand, we have greedy, rapacious bastards who will stop at nothing to persecute and punish as many easy targets as they can. On the other hand, we have a government with all the spine of the aforementioned aquatic creature.

    Bollocks to the lot of 'em (in lieu of a more intellectual response).

  49. Arnie
    FAIL

    Copywrong!

    Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. It's a link site ffs. Nothing to see here, move along.

    All your internetz belong to the MPAA

    Face it, the internet we have grown to love over the last 20 yrs is over. Welcome to 2.0 if it aint on our list you're a terroist.

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