Richard O'Dwyer, Student Accused Of Copyright, Can Be Extradited To The US

Richard Odwyer

First Posted: 13/01/12 15:06 Updated: 13/01/12 18:12

A student vows to fight his extradition to the United States to face copyright infringement allegations.

Richard O'Dwyer is accused of operating a website that offered free downloading and streaming of thousands of copyright films and television programmes without permission from copyright holders.

District Judge Quentin Purdy ruled on Friday at Westminster Magistrates' Court the 23-year-old will have to travel to America to face the accusations.

The Sheffield Hallam University undergraduate earned money through hosting advertisements on the TVShack website, allegedly receiving more than 230,000 US dollars (around £147,000) in advertising revenue since January 2008, according to the US authorities.

His lawyer, Ben Cooper, argued that the site did not store any copyright material but merely pointed users to other sites where they could download films and TV shows.

He said the website linked to other sites in the same way as Google and Yahoo operate, and people were not able to view a film from TVShack directly.

Mr Cooper added that his client would be the first British citizen to be extradited for such an offence and he would effectively become a "guinea pig" for copyright law in the US.

John Jones, for the US authorities, said the victims of the alleged offences included the film studios. He said that the website highlighted the savings that could be made in cinema tickets in the US.

Standing outside the court, O'Dwyer said he was "very disappointed" but he "had faith in the court they had made the right decision".

But O'Dwyer's mother Julie said she was "angry" and "disappointed" with the government for signing up to the extradition treaty. O'Dwyer does have the right to appeal to the High Court against the decision.

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