The website of a student, accused of infringing film copyright, was merely operating in the same way as the search engine Google, a court heard today.
Richard O'Dwyer, a 23-year-old Sheffield Hallam University undergraduate, faces extradition to the United States over his site TV Shack.
But his lawyer argued today that the website just pointed users to other sites where they could download films and TV shows.
At the hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court today, Ben Cooper, for the student, said: "His website linked to other websites in the same way Google and Yahoo operate. You were not able to view a film from TV Shack directly.
"TV Shack did not charge a subscription in the same way Google and Yahoo don't. It generated income from advertising, just as Google does."
John Jones, for the US government, told the court: "TV Shack had the top films listed on the home page so it wasn't merely a search engine."
The case was adjourned to November 22 for a further hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court and O'Dwyer, of Shoreham Street, Sheffield, was remanded on conditional bail.
O'Dwyer attended court in jeans and a hooded top and was supported by his mother Julia O'Dwyer, from Chesterfield.
She said afterwards that extradition was out of proportion to the alleged crime.
"Richard tries not to dwell on it. He's back at university now and he's got all his mates around him.
"But we'd like a chance for an appropriate forum for this case. If people are committing a crime in England, they should be tried in this country. Is extradition proportional to the alleged crime? I don't think it is."