Cease extradition of Mother's young son to USA. 'The Fight of Her Life' Julia O'Dwyer, Richard O'Dwyer.r

(284 Posts)
Vesta2 Fri 20-Jan-12 12:59:12

Fellow Mum's please could you support this mother in her campaign to cease extradition of her young son to the USA. Please visit her blog juliasblog-the-fight-of-our-lives.blogspot.com/og. Thankyou

Tyson86 Fri 20-Jan-12 13:03:19

Personally if he has done a crime in the US, it is their job to put him to trial. It is illegal what he has done as far as I am aware and 23 is not young. I am 25 and would have to pay for my actions.

Vesta2 Fri 20-Jan-12 20:35:31

Tyson86, Her son has not been to the USA, he was born in and lives in the UK, his alleged offence is not a crime in the UK, if you visit her blog you'd be more informed for any comment that you'd care to make.

23 isn't 'young' and I've looked at the blog - it's very hard to read and understand what's happening. If she wants to use to attract support she needs to make it a lot clearer!

McPie Fri 20-Jan-12 20:41:27

Sorry but tried the link and page is not found.

McPie Fri 20-Jan-12 20:42:21

Ok sorry you have to click the link within the link.

SoupDragon Fri 20-Jan-12 20:45:54

He's 23, an adult. Hardly a "young son".

I agree - the blog is unclear.

Bluebirdpies Fri 20-Jan-12 20:47:44

I'm not clear on why they are seeking extradition. The blog is really unclear. Being harsh but should he not know better? He's 23.

McPie Fri 20-Jan-12 21:01:30

The blog really doesnt help matters as its not very clear, the links to media are mostly Government bashing with a small amount about the son. If he was the gateway to piracy that they say he was then surely punishment should be expected no matter if it was commited in another country as he provided links solely for the use of down loading un-paid for films/shows.

Ok Vesta, the blog is what I would call, erm shit! It made me bored so I watched the video at the bottom
He is 23.
He has commited a crime against the US copyright laws.
So it only makes it clear that the US should be the ones to choose his punishment, not the uk.
It is a simple message.
Don't commit a crime if you are going to get all sulky when you get caught.

BTW I am Tyson86!

ajandjjmum Fri 20-Jan-12 21:13:47

He did something that is not a crime in the UK - although it is in the USA. The USA want him extradited, so that they can charge him - although there would be nothing to charge him with in his own country, where he committed the 'crime'. His actions were not malicious and caused little harm - and he immediately withdrew his website when told that it was illegal in the USA.

I thought it was interesting that the Home Office said they wouldn't extradite the Duchess of York to Turkey, as she had committed no offence in this country. Surely the same rule should apply to this person also.

Didn't read blog, but really think the USA are being pathetic over this.

Vesta2 Fri 20-Jan-12 21:58:23

Tyson86, I see you accept that all of the internet and cyber space should belong to the laws of the USA. That's your prerogative.

McPie, the USA are attempting to extradite, accusing him of offences that they allege took place in the UK.

Northenlurker, Soupdragon, Bluebirdpies, as far as I'm aware under 25 is considered young in the eyes of the law, let alone by the rest of the population, the majority of whom are over 25.

I've looked at blog again, I'm afraid I can't see what's unclear.

ajandjjmum, Thankyou for making his situation clear, and yes Turkey want to extradite Sarah Ferguson for filming undercover in their country, which is a crime in their country, the UK is not giving permission for Turkey to extradite her as was she did is not a crime in the UK, this same approach must be evenly applied.

mysteryfairy Fri 20-Jan-12 22:09:10

I can't believe the comments here! We all do things that are legal in the UK but illegal in other countries. A woman driving a car or someone consuming alcohol would be committing an offence under the Saudi system. We don't expect to be extradited to face charges when we do these things!

All of this young man's actions took place in the UK where they were legal and when he was a teenager which I count as young. He faces a potentially lengthy sentence in the US, longer than someone might be given for a rape or serious assault in the UK. I can't believe anyone can see any of this as any sort of justice.

spenditwisely Fri 20-Jan-12 22:15:49

The only good that could ever come out of this is that he gets headhunted for a top job at MI6 - which is possibly why the US are wanting him all to themselves.

But it is worrying, I do feel for his mother.

Vesta2 Fri 20-Jan-12 22:15:54

mysteryfairy, sadly I'm not surprised by some of the comments, but am very heartened by yours. Thankyou : )

Vesta2 Fri 20-Jan-12 22:18:22

spenditwisely. Interesting angle, p'haps I'll send them an email and suggest it : )

SoupDragon Sat 21-Jan-12 08:30:39

Vesta, I suggest you don't send me PMs about my comments on this thread. If you have something to say, say it here.

Now bog off and leave me alone.

SoupDragon Sat 21-Jan-12 08:32:41

The blog is chaotic, unclear and incomprehensible. Utterly shit as a campaign front. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean that all the people who pointed it out to you are wrong.

SoupDragon Sat 21-Jan-12 08:33:09

BTW, have now hidden this thread.

Bluebirdpies Sat 21-Jan-12 08:46:13

Interesting. I also got a pm telling me I was wrong.

fivegomadindorset Sat 21-Jan-12 08:58:11

Messy blog and if you do the crime then you ahve to expect to face charges. Blame Mr Blair for the inadequacies in the extradition process.

spenditwisely Sat 21-Jan-12 09:14:41

If you believe what you are doing in the UK is legal, it's fairly safe to assume that it's legal in another developed country like the US. It is a little foolish to assume that it is, but it is understandable and we all make mistakes.

If this lad was peddling pornography or doing something that was illegal here, fair dues to the posters that want to show zero tolerance. This isn't a black and white issue and there is a family out there, devastated and let down by a government that are not supporting them.

If we, as mothers, can't tolerate the alleged crime, that's fine, but a bit of empathy with his family wouldn't go amiss.

spenditwisely Sat 21-Jan-12 09:19:03

And there's nothing wrong with this blog - it does what it says on the tin. Why are posters so blimmin demanding? It's not as though the mn website is the best designed either...


Here's a link that works.

okay, those who have had a PM, report to MNHQ if you are uncomfortable with the contents post em here

ChitChatInChaos Sat 21-Jan-12 09:31:05

He made quite a lot of money by encouraging people to illegally download movies. It's only 'doubtful' that it's not against the law in the UK, not something which is clearly legal - an entirely different proposition.

While I myself don't like the US extradition laws, I can't say I have all that much sympathy for someone who deliberately worked on the edges of what is 'legal'.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 21-Jan-12 09:45:28

The extradition rules between the UK and US are uneven and need addressing. Having said that, it's pathetic that a grown man (and 23 is an adult) gets Mummy to fight his battles for him. He was quite happy to take the profits from his website, knowing the risks. He should be big enough to fight the extradition himself.

oh, yes, what Cogito said, great post

I've got a PM too. Apparently under 25 is young. As somebody who had two children to be responsible for by the time she was 25 you will understand, OP, that I'm not buying that argument.

OP, as others have said, please don't PM folk, let's have your views aired in public, on here, thank you

Of course 23 is not a young mayan, my DH had a full time job and a mortgage to service at that age, 450 miles away from his home town <teeny tiny violin plays>

annh Sat 21-Jan-12 11:22:00

Given that the age of criminal responsibility in this country is 10, I'd say 25 is a long way from being young in the eyes of the law. I'd like to know where that opinion comes from. If the mother really wants to help his case, she needs to make the blog less emotive and more factual.

differentnameforthis Sat 21-Jan-12 11:27:46

23 is NOT young. When you said young I was thinking under 18!

SoupDragon I also have had an arsey pm! Am reporting!

blackoutthesun Sat 21-Jan-12 11:49:13

the uk and the us have a treaty

he made money from something which he shouldn't have done and at 23 years he is old enough to know better

PaintedToenails Sat 21-Jan-12 12:08:13

I agree with most of the posters. 23 is by no means too young to know better. Many people have responsible jobs, homes, mortgages and children by that age.
The US have been cracking down (or trying to) massively on online piracy in the last few years, it's well known and if he still ran a website that 'acted as a google search engine for links to piracy websites' then he must have known the risks and judged them worth taking. Makes no odds that his site didn't actually host any pirated material.

He strikes me as an arrogant individual who, now the shit's hit the fan, has to get Mummy to fight his corner. The US has every right to extradite him and the UK seems to agree. His mother's claim that the extradition order was only upheld by the court because the judge didn't have the technical knowledge to properly understand the case is hugely arrogant in it's self.

And don't pull the whole 'he didn't know this was a crime in the US' shite. Ignorance is no defence.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 12:24:13

i cant actually find the blog in that link - so cant quite understand whats going on.

i dont agree with the us extradition laws and also feel they need to be looked at - and in the case of gary mckinnon and his mum i have much sympathy given that he has aspergers, but im not sure what the story on this fella is and i cant find the blog.

spenditwisely Sat 21-Jan-12 12:28:11
ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 12:51:17

the link is working but i cannot make head nor tail of what is actually going on? what is this young mans story?

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 15:35:01

northerlurker, soupdragon, bluebirdpies, tyson86,boysarelikedogs please feel free to report PM's, you all know they say exactly the same as what is in the reply's here, especially as they were but copied and pasted, you also know they are not insulting, offensive or contain swearing.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 15:41:07

It is the story of a mother's fight to stop her 23 year old son being extradited to the USA for allegedly posting links on a website to films, (just normal films). The alleged offense is not illegal in the UK. In the USA the offense carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 15:46:16

i gathered but i cannot read the facts or their story - the website needs to be much clearer on exactly what has happened.

Why are the US trying to extradite him then? has he been pirating stuff? still dont get it....

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 15:49:04

I am assuming you are aware that ex Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson is also wanted for extradition to Turkey for the undercover filming of children in their country, which is an offense in Turkey, one might also think that Sarah Ferguson was in a position to know better, however sources close to the Homeoffice say she will not be extradited as the alleged offense is not illegal in the UK, I personally have no desire to see Sarah Ferguson extradited to Turket where the offense carries a sentence of 22 years, and I also feel that the home office must apply the same process to the case of Richard O'Dwyer.
I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this, if indeed you have any.

reelingintheyears Sat 21-Jan-12 15:53:03

Sarah Ferguson did something in Turkey that is not illegal in the UK and she's not being extradited even though Turkey have requested it.

Why do the US get to be the worlds Policemen.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 15:53:28

He is not a minor. Age is taken into consideration in law, and under 25 is considered young.

reelingintheyears Sat 21-Jan-12 15:55:16

Sorry,didn't see your post vesta.

I also have no desire to see Sarah Ferguson sent to Turkey but the same rules should surely apply to Richard O'Dwyer.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 15:58:50

agree the rules should be the rules, not one for someone of high profile and one for a nobody.

what exactly did he do?

animula Sat 21-Jan-12 15:59:25

I think the inequality of the extradition treaty between the US and the UK is something we should be petitioning our MPs about, generally, not just in this instance.

Isn't Avaaz organising dissemination of a campaign about that? Maybe a link to that might be a good idea?

(Vesta2 - the PM-ing thing is just going to distract from what is a very serious issue. It doesn't go down well on mn - for good reasons.)

horsetowater Sat 21-Jan-12 16:02:47
Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 16:05:16

soupdragon. Thankyou for hiding this thread from your view and for not sharing anymore of your views here. It is a blessing.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 16:08:19

chitchatinchaos am assuming you are aware that ex Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson is also wanted for extradition to Turkey for the undercover filming of children in their country, which is an offense in Turkey, one might also think that Sarah Ferguson was in a position to know better, however sources close to the Homeoffice say she will not be extradited as the alleged offense is not illegal in the UK, I personally have no desire to see Sarah Ferguson extradited to Turket where the offense carries a sentence of 22 years, and I also feel that the home office must apply the same process to the case of Richard O'Dwyer.
I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this, if indeed you have any.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 16:13:05

thank you for that horse

i have a DS of 20 who has AS, and im just going to pop upstairs and ensure that he has seen this.

i think they the US are simply making an example of him. sledgehammer to crack a nut, and he himself did not actually appear to do anything other than direct users to other file share sites, which isnt a crime here, but is in the US? How many laws of another country do we break with no consequences?

seems harsh to me and i felt for him mum in that BBC report.

abendbrot Sat 21-Jan-12 16:25:17

Vesta it might be better to start a new thread with proper links etc. This one seems to have got off to a bad start.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 16:28:29

abendbrot I am new to this, how do I do that?

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 16:30:43

pick your topic and just hit the link at the top which says start a new thread in this topic.

Chat topics disappear after so many days.

might be better to start one elsewhere - maybe 'in the news' and try not to pm anyone or get defensive. it doesnt help your cause.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 16:34:18

Thankyou for both advice and instructions, I will try that.

spenditwisely Sat 21-Jan-12 16:40:01

When you post a link, click the 'convert links' button - and make sure the link is accurate. Try to put as many links in the OP as possible (well not millions but 3 or 4) and explain clearly about the issue in the original post. smile

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 16:46:14

i would link that BBC news report aswell - it expains what has happened better than the blog link.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 17:25:29

spenditwisely Thanks again, have tried starting new discussion in 'news' but posted links wrong, am trying to remove this so can re- restart.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 17:27:53

vicarinatutu Thankyou, am trying to remove previous discussions so can restart with new working links including to bbc, thanks again.

ChitChatInChaos Sat 21-Jan-12 18:12:24

My thoughts on that? What Sarah Ferguson did over there is not only not illegal here, but is very much LEGAL. Hence the differentiation to me. If what he did was not illegal here, it was only not so by the thinnest of whiskers IMO.

When you dance at the edge of legality, these things happen. The first case of a successful prosecution of Rape in Marriage was considered wrong by some because at the time of the offence the law held that Rape in Marriage did not exist, because consent to sex was given at the time of marriage. So according to your argument he should not have been convicted, yet he was dancing at the very edges of legality, and he and everyone knew that.

Poviding access for people to pirated software is DEFINITELY on the edges of legality.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 19:26:17

chitchatinchaos I see you accept that all of the internet and cyber space should belong to the laws of the USA. That's your prerogative.

ChitChatInChaos Sat 21-Jan-12 19:36:25

And I see that you just ignore any part of a post which you don't know how to deal with.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 20:04:27

chitchatinchaos, I got the impression you agree with the USA's extradition request, despite the alleged offense not being illegal here.
I further got the impression that even if the alleged offense was illegal here that you still agree with the USA's extradition request, rather than the offense being tried here, thus giving the USA control over the internet.
Did I misunderstand you?

ChitChatInChaos Sat 21-Jan-12 20:41:22

I said that I don't particularly agree with the US extradition laws, but that in THIS case I don't have all that much sympathy, and I have explained why.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 20:49:07

chitchatinchaos am I right in thinking then,that despite not agreeing with the extradition laws, you do however, think that this case should not be tried in the UK but instead in the USA due to your lack of sympathy?

ChitChatInChaos Sat 21-Jan-12 20:54:45

I suppose you could say that. Would it interest you to know that US internet companies are obliged to follow EU privacy laws as they are stricter than the US ones? These companies are allowed to be prosecuted in the EU if they breach our laws even if all of the servers etc are in the US.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 21:06:01

re EU law, thankyou, yes that is of huge interest, do you have any evidence? links? etc to support your statement.
re sympathy, this may or may not help, www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16556777

spenditwisely Sat 21-Jan-12 21:10:56

Vesta try and take the 'young' bit out of the thread title. He's a young man, yes, but 'young son' implies an under 5.

PaintedToenails Sat 21-Jan-12 21:14:47

I will admit I was painfully ignorant of the Sarah Ferguson/Illegal Taping malarkey.

But I've had a look and you are right. They same rules should be applied to both cases. Extradite them both.

She filmed in an orphanage, covert filming is illegal in Turkey, she committed the crime. Again, ignorance is no defence. I'll say it again. Extradite them both to stand trial in the respective countries.

And no, I have no sympathy for either of them.

ChitChatInChaos Sat 21-Jan-12 21:17:53

Start your search here, Vesta. Europa web page

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 21:43:51

spenditwisely - OK.

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 22:09:04

chitchatchaos oh, right. I was under the impression from your statement that you actually knew the laws and could provide specific links, evidence to support your statement.
So whilst I thankyou for your good effort I'm afraid it's no more than myself as a lay person or any other lay person might be able to do.
In the meantime if you do find any specific links to support your statement please feel free to post them on this discussion thread.

ChitChatInChaos Sat 21-Jan-12 22:11:12

Erm, no, why should I? If you're that interested, you follow through!

Vesta2 Sat 21-Jan-12 22:15:51

paintedtoenail thankyou for your contribution to this discussion thread, but please be aware this thread is to raise awareness of the campaign to cease the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer, and as you are obviously not in support,as is your prerogative, whilst you are free to post in this thread again if you feel so moved to do so, it is unlikely that I will reply to any further of your posts.

McPie Sat 21-Jan-12 22:43:34

When you post on a public forum you should expect to get people who see it both ways and no matter how many pm's you send to us who have disagreed with your OP you will not change our minds. He was in the wrong, end off. He is 23 and should be man enough to take his punishment and not hide behind his mother.

Vesta - you are doing your case no good and plenty of harm by your rather aggressive and combative attitude. Anyone who disagrees with you gets a sarcastic comment - eg:"xxxx I see you accept that all of the internet and cyber space should belong to the laws of the USA. That's your prerogative."

And unfortunately, though you have started the thread with the aim of publicising the campaign against the extradition of Mr O'Dwyer, this is a free website, and people are able to post whatever they want on it, provided that they do not break the rules of the site - so in essence, you can start a thread, but you cannot control how it progresses. That is freedom of expression.

To add my point to the thread - if the aim of the extradition laws is to facilitate the prosecution and imprisonment of terrorists, then I have no problem with that. Nor do I have a problem with any country seeking the extradition of a UK citizen who has commited a crime whilst in that country (though I do see how the UK cannot extradite the Duchess of York to Turkey - and I applaud her aim in filming the dire conditions at the childrens home). However, this case does not fall within either of these catagories, and is definitely in a grey area, as far as I am concerned. If he provided links to sites where pirated material was available, then he should be prosecuted for that - film/tv/music piracy is a really serious issue, in my opinion, and those who support piracy should face the consequences. But it is not clear to me whether Mr O'Dwyer linked to any pirated material, or simply provided links to websites where people can watch/listen to material that is freely and legally available - in which case he should not be extradited, as he would not have committed any crime that I can see.

There is an argument for saying that websites like his are parasitic - making money from people in an invisible way - like insurance price comparison websites, which cost nothing to use, but which make their profits by charging the insurance companies commission when a sale is made via the site - and these commission costs will be handed onto the customers, rest assured. In the same way, Mr O'Dwyer wasn't providing something unique, or giving people a portal to resources that were not available to them directly, if they searched for them - and the revenue he raised was from advertising, and as we all know, advertising is built into the price of what we buy, so indirectly we are paying for sites like this, but invisibly. Is that a good thing - I am not sure.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 22:52:24

i am not convinced that this young man would have even known what laws he was breaking though, and when watching that BBC news report i had every sympathy with his distraught mum.

i was horrified when i saw the reports on Gary Mckinnon being extradited, and that is one case i researched quite extensively as my own DS has aspergers.

in this case i do feel for his mother and i dont blame her for trying to fight this.

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 21-Jan-12 22:54:48

agree though that a defensive/combative posting style will lose you any sympathy for the campaign. people lose interest when being told what to think.

vesta - chill a bit.

PaintedToenails Sat 21-Jan-12 23:41:35

Thank you for your permission to continue posting if I see fit hmm

You didn't have to answer any of my posts at all, I was merely voicing an opinion in a public forum. Clearly you expected similar outrage from all who read about it and have become quite defensive when people disagreed. Agree with Vicar...you've probably not done your cause many favours.


Triggles Sun 22-Jan-12 09:21:24

I think what bothers me about this situation is that if he is clever enough to set up the website and revenue stream from the advertising, then he is most likely able to understand and abide by the laws involved, whether they be US or UK laws. At his age (and obvious level of computer expertise), he should be able to understand that internet sites that tie in to US sites or products could also be held to the level of US law.

Regardless of whether or not his venture was legal in the UK (and from what I've read, he was in a very grey area in that regard), most people his age in the UK are aware of film piracy and that it's illegal. Therefore, he had to have known that he was enabling and aiding people in obtaining illegal products, much like fencing stolen property IMO.

If he is old enough to set up the business, knowing that he was skirting the law, assisting people in accessing illegally obtained films, and then profiting from it, then he is old enough to face the consequences of his actions. They make it sound a bit like he was having a lark here, but honestly, he profited over a period of time, to the tune of £130K+. That is NOT a lark. That is a carefully planned business that he set up for profit, and I suspect he knew full well that these copies of the films were illegal, demonstrated by his careful set up of "I didn't actually provide the films, I only provided links to them, like google" approach. It sounds a bit like he deliberately put himself in that position to exploit a loophole in the UK law. Unfortunately, he failed to research US law, and ignorance of that law is really no defence (if indeed he was ignorant of it).

I find that I don't have much sympathy for him, especially after THIS comment from his attorneys:

"His lawyer Ben Cooper said if extradited, Mr O'Dwyer would face pre-trial imprisonment as a foreign national with no ties to the country.
"Mr O'Dwyer is a young man yet to complete his degree and his social environment would be removed from him.
"That is going to impact on his reaction to finding himself surrounded by the sort of people who will inhabit a federal detention centre in New York.
"He would be a fish out of water in such an environment. One cannot underestimate the risks that would pose to him."

Well, what rubbish. He shouldn't be extradited and sent to jail because it would remove him from his social environment?!?! hmm Poor thing. I guess he should have thought about that before he set up the website.

SaraBellumHertz Sun 22-Jan-12 09:28:58

OP you do seem to have got off to a rather bad start which is unfortunate as the issue you raise is an interesting one.

Something is either legal or illegal. This talk of behaviour being close to illegality is a nonsense, we are fortunate in this country that laws are clear and we are protected by that clarity. It is an individuals right to understand whether the actions they take are prohibited in law or otherwise. It appears in this case that in the UK they were not and therefore it does seem quite wrong that he can be extradited to the US when all of the actions were taken here.

SaraBellumHertz Sun 22-Jan-12 09:35:15

triggles I disagree with your last comment re removal from social environment.

There is in my opinion a very compelling argument for allowing someone to serve a custodial sentence in a location which enables contact with family and friends. If incarcerated overseas not only will he have little opportunity to receive visits but other contact such as telephone calls etc may well be restricted due to time zone and cost.

Triggles Sun 22-Jan-12 09:45:57


Feel free to disagree. You could use that argument for ANYONE that doesn't want to go to jail. It simply doesn't wash with me. <shrug> Again, IMO he should have been a bit more thorough in his research before setting up his "for profit" website then. As it was technically a business, he was responsible for researching this type of thing. Or are you saying that it's okay for someone to set up a business that has international scope without bothering to research international law? US copyright laws are pretty clear as well, and I hardly think it would have taken him much time at all to find information on it.

MrsHeffley Sun 22-Jan-12 10:50:18

Blimey Painted re Sarah Ferguson there probably isn't a single child suffering in those Turkish hell holes who would complain re being filmed. We had a right to know particularly since Turkey want to be part of the EU.

The BBC presenter who went with her spoke very eloquently about this.

So should we be extraditing the brave BBC personnel filming in places like Syria also Iran when it was illegal etc?People rely on the BBC to report and show human rights abuses.

Triggles Sun 22-Jan-12 11:02:41

yes, I think there is a vast difference between filming to bring attention to inhumane treatment and human rights abuses, and someone who sets up a site to profit from illegally pirated films.

SaraBellumHertz Sun 22-Jan-12 12:23:42

triggles you could use the argument with anyone and whilst it may not wash with you it does wash with the justice system in the UK and is the reason why most prisoners are not routinely long term incarcerated in prisons at the opposite end of the country to their support network

Prisons should serve the purpose of restricting ones liberty not making people so depressed they hang themselves with their bed sheets a la US style.

What is the international law of which you speak? Most people may be aware of strict US copyright laws but how are they breached if you are not in US? I am aware of the law where I live outside of the UK, but those laws are not breached if I am not in the country to which they apply.

I think the google analogy is a good one. I live in a county where homosexuality is illegal, but if I use local google I can access all sorts of sites which relate to the same. I am struggling to see the difference with his site which simply directed users to download sites confused <<< genuinely

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 12:41:22

triggles but Turkey argues that the children's privacy has been violated which is a crime in their country, hence their extradition request, in the case of Richard O'Dwyer the alleged posting of links is not a crime in the UK, but is in the USA, this poses the question of the new territory of cyber- space who owns and controls it? Historically, territories have been claimed by the placing of a flag, the USA's extradition request is that same flag placing and would signal their supremacy over cyber-space,

No comment about my post, Vesta - and how your confrontational approach is putting people off - not what you want to achieve, surely?

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:18:01

i find this interesting that there is a thread in AIBU
here about illegal downloads and the consensus is that is is a non issue.

double standards ahoy.

most people it seems really dont care about piracy. So whey then are people so willing to a young student sent hundreds and hundreds of miles away, to be tried in an alien environment, without the support of family and friends.

very callous considering that when its you watching a pirate film no on seems to care.
when its someone making some money from it its a very different story - but how the bloody hell do people think these things get made? someone profits.

im so puzzled by the absolute double standards. Would you shop your mate for watching a pirate copy of something?
if not, why not?
if not, why agree that this lad should be treated this way?

gerty5 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:22:49

and the new copyright laws don't stop there, if you put a video up on youtube of birthday party or whatever if there is a song playing in the background of justin bieber or whatever that will be breaking the law

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:26:13

so should we round everyone up then for prosecution? why is it ok to buy 10 pirate copy DVDs off dirty daves market stall for a tenner but when this lad does something to fund his education everyone appears to think it serves him right and make the issue about his age and his mother fighting his battle for him?

i hate that.

its either ok, or its not ok. and if its not ok why does society view buying knock off films as a non crime when clearly it is? i refer you to my link above to a thread on this site in AIBU about pirate dvds, and i struggle to see how this is any different.

why is this young man being treated so harshly in that case?

gerty5 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:28:30

seems to me America wants to rule the world. Why can't he be tried here?

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:31:38

gerty5 That's exactly what Richard O'Dwyers mother, Julia, is petitioning for.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:34:22

if anyone on this thread has ever laid eyes on a pirate dvd, burned a CD from a mates copy, or even taped the top 40 as a kid then you should practice what you preach imo. Go turn yourselves in now - after all, this lad is getting what he deserves isnt he according to the majority on here.

its very hypocritical to advocate this boys extradition for something that most people do, dont bat an eyelid when doing it and most dont even regard it as a crime.

gerty5 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:40:47

it's very worrying, all those 'good' teenagers file sharing music, cd' burning and stuff,

Vicar - I didn't say it served him right. I said that, if he'd simply linked to sites where copyright-free material could be viewed, then that was not a problem, but it would be different if he had linked to pirated material. I also said that I think music and film piracy is a serious issue, so I don't think I can be accused of hypocrisy.

I also said that I believed that the extradition laws were to facilitate either the prosecution of terrorists or of people who have committed a crime in the country seeking their extradition and that, as it falls in neither of those catagories, the extradition of this man falls in a grey area, as far as I am concerned.

I have to agree, though, with those posters who have said that, at 23, Richard O'Dwyer is a man, and calling him her 'young son' gives the impression that the US is seeking to extradite someone much younger.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 13:53:55

where, did i mention your posting name SDT ?

i keep looking, i cant see where i did??

im referring to the "feel" of the thread, the impression i get is that most people have no sympathy for him on this thread and i wonder out of those people with no sympathy for his cause, how many have watched a pirate copy of a film, or burned a friend a CD, or file shared or whose kids have file shared....

i did not mention you - My post was not aimed at anyone poster/person.

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 14:06:30

The big companies who are pushing for the USA's new internet laws SOPA and PIPA should take heed of Amanda Hocking, self published kindle e-book author, who in 2 years went from penniless to millionaire as there's no middle men inbetween her and her buyers. www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/12/amanda-hocking-self-publishing,
though perhaps that's even more reason why they want to control the net. Access to Hocking's work, or even mums.net would no longer be free.

SquidgyBiscuits Sun 22-Jan-12 14:09:44

He can't be tried here as there is no case to answer here.

US have jurisdiction as it was a site registered in the US.

There is a very valuable part of US law that allows cases with any connection to the US to be heard in the US. So workers at Coca Cola bottling plants in India who have been denied their human rights to join unions etc have been able to have their cases heard in the US where it is taken more seriously and there are more severe sanctions, as Coke is a US company.

I don't think naivity is a reasonable defense in this case, given the level of expertise required to firstly set up such a site, secondly make is successful and thirdly profit to such an extend from it.

AltShiftDelete Sun 22-Jan-12 14:31:16

IMO, i'd rather tell the US to bog off. He committed no crime in the UK. I've lived in plenty of countries where the laws are different and abide by them when i live there not when i don't.

Time our govt flexed it's muscles occasionally rather then bending over. BTW, the US don't even understand their internet laws - watch any politician discussing SOPA admitting that it's all a mystery to them as they're 'not a nerd'.

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 14:33:43

doesn't 'allow' sugest it's more that somebody has requested that the US hear a case as their own country is being unsupportive/
Isn't Richard O'Dwyer's case more like Sarah Ferguson's where so far the Home Office has said they wont extradite, and I personally agree, as the offense is not an offense in the UK?

HungryHelga Sun 22-Jan-12 14:39:24

This boy is from just up the road from me. Apparently he has made a tidy six figure sum from the website, so his mother trying to portray him as some little boy lost is pretty ridiculous. Plenty of kids download films but most of them don't make hundreds of thousands of pounds from piracy.

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 14:41:59

doubt they'll be downloading now.

wannaBe Sun 22-Jan-12 15:16:51

There is a vast difference between downloading a couple of songs/copying a mate's cd for personal use and distributing someone else's (or links to) material in order to make money.

I imagine we have probably all copied a cd in our time, perhaps even visited a file sharing website. But I don't imagine many of us would feel as comfortable going to the local market and buying a load of pirated CD's from a stall, and that is the difference.

He made his living from pirated material. If you are going to operate an international business then you find out what the laws are in the countries where you are going to operate - it is that simple.

As for Sarah Ferguson, again there is a vast difference between doing something for personal gain (i.e. in Richard o'Dwyer's case) and doing something which is ultimately to the benefit of one innocent group and to create awareness in another. I imagine Turkey's requests for extradition have more to do with not wanting Turkey to be seen in a bad light for the treatment of their orphans than the violation of childrens' privacy...

SaraBellumHertz Sun 22-Jan-12 15:20:14

squidgy was his company registered in the US or the sites that he linked too?

Triggles Sun 22-Jan-12 15:20:31

I also think it's a bit ridiculous to bang on and on saying that most people buy pirated copies of films. We don't. I can't think of anyone I know that does, actually.

And as far as pirated films and music not being a crime... well, when I worked for the local constabulary over the years, I vaguely recall that it was a crime. hmm I'm reasonably certain it still is. hmm

I think that throwing this out where people can discuss it, then jumping all over those who don't agree with you, is a bit childish. And the whole Turkey incident is a completely different scenario, as has been pointed out numerous times by a number of different posters.

As far as him being in jail somewhere else, well, too bad. You can't simply say "oh well they can't try you and jail you in THEIR country, it's too far away, pet" sob sob... That would set a precedent for people to routinely break the law when out of the country, then return back to England and not have to pay for their crime. Would you be just as happy for someone to come over here and commit a crime, then leave the country and get away with it?

Bottom line... he's an adult... he violated their laws (very likely knowingly) and profited from it (over £130K worth!). He had this set up as a "legitimate business" on a website in order to make a profit through advertising, so he is responsible for making sure he is within the laws of whatever country he is working through, which in this case also happened to be the US. I'd be interested to know whether or not he claimed this business profit and was all above board about it. I suppose I don't blame the mum for trying to protect him, but if she seems a bit naive. He's old enough and obviously educated/skilled enough in computer knowledge to know better.

HungryHelga Sun 22-Jan-12 16:27:58

He'll do a few years in an open prison with other "white collar" crooks. He isn't going to be going to sing sing and be jailed with murderers and rapists.

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 17:01:10

I don't think the respective morals of each case count in the law. If you have copied a CD for someone that's copyright infringement and as such it's illegal. Wouldn't you then expect a fair trial in the UK?

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 20:03:47

whoah there triggles - i am not advocating piracy - i am a police officer - it is a crime.

what i do not like is that it is one rule for one, and another for when we feel like it., or when the moral majority decide which laws it is ok to break, and which are not.

piracy is a crime - all piracy - including burning copy CDs and file sharing.
what i am asking is why should this be seen differently in this young mans case?

i do not agree with it because the botton line is that he broke the law of another country - in some countries, as someone pointed out upthread, drinking alcohol is illegal, would you be expected to be extradited to face trial for that when you did not commit a crime in your home country?

I personally think extraditing him for this is extreme.

Triggles Sun 22-Jan-12 20:24:58

Extreme? He made £130K+ on this. I hardly think this was penny ante. That's a fair bit of cash! Again, I'm curious if he reported this as taxable income. It was a business, and as such, he is the CEO.. responsible for any laws he may have broken. I think this is something that some are overlooking. This is not a child that downloaded something small on the web. This is an adult that made a huge profit on the back of something that is illegal, and who most likely knew it.

Perhaps if you feel that some are getting off easier, then you should be pushing for them to be treated more seriously, rather than hoping this person gets off. And yes, if he did something illegal in another country, then he should be expected to take responsibility for it. This was not a "drinking alcohol is illegal" thing. This was a copyright law, which should have been relatively easy for him to research, and should have been part of his basic business plan when putting together his website and business organisation.

It seems that he is playing on the fact that he is young to try and squeeze out of it, by acting like he innocently did this. But the fact remains, he was an adult, he made a for-profit business, and he should have been responsible enough to do his research before his site even went live. IMO I think he was probably banking on the idea that if he was one step removed from the links and in the UK, he would be able to safely sidestep both the US & UK law, and he miscalculated. Obviously speculation, but that's my opinion.

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 20:36:46

But, it is not a crime here. At what point do you allow the rules and regulations of one country to impose itself on another country?
What about alcohol?
What about homosexuality?
Girls being educated?
Having more than one child?
All of these are illegal in various countries around the world, if they requested extradition of UK citizens for doing any of these things whilst in the UK would you support that?

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 20:53:20

ok, where did i say i hope he 'gets off'?

and you are absolutely correct re copyright law - so where is that line? where do we stop turning a blind eye to piracy? because technically burning a cd is infringement of that same law.
Where do we draw the line with regard to extraditing UK citizens that have committed no crime in the uk, but have elsewhere?

im not being combative - im simply asking. where do you draw the line? is it the fact that he had the audacity to make money from it? the amount of money? is that the issue?
it shouldnt be.
the issue should be that he did not commit a crime in here, if you google "how do i get a pirate copy of warhorse it immediately directs me to sites where i can view this, infringing copyright law. (i have just tried it)
here, law breaking in action in a click of a mouse

Would you prosecute Google in the same way as this student - because what he did was the exact same thing.

This is so so wrong on so many levels and yes i do think extradition is extreme and wrong and its time to stop that when the US says jump, we say how high. This young man commited no crime here.

gomez Sun 22-Jan-12 20:53:30

Key difference is that there is an American victim of his crime - i.e Sony, Warner Brothers etc. Me getting pissed in my front room doesn't impact a Saudi national or corporation hence there is no parity of argument.

Also it is not clear whether this is legal or not in this country - there is not a statutory offence that is true but a civil case could proceed with some clever arguments and extension of current precedent.

He knew what the American position was and deliberately set-up to avoid, as he saw it, that law. It hasn't worked. He took a risk that hasnt worked out and now needs to face the consequences.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 20:55:58

so see my link above with regard to Google. They too should be prosecuted in the same way for directing people to sites with pirate material freely available.

gomez Sun 22-Jan-12 20:56:42

But of course a civil case wouldn't warrant extradition. Same argument applies to a criminal extension or interpretation of the law however.

I am thinking this would make a fab. piece of research.

gomez Sun 22-Jan-12 21:00:02

Google don't directly profit. Did he only profit from advertising? Not sure.

Also google are not responsible for the links as such. Did he return results from a database that he maintained for example? I don't know but am thinking of material differences in business model which could explain differences in legal position/interpretation.

thebestisyettocome Sun 22-Jan-12 21:02:35

Is he 23? If so, describing him as 'young' is pathetic. Piracy is a crime. People are being made redundant in the film, music and tv industries as we speak. He should face up to his wrongdoing.

wannaBe Sun 22-Jan-12 21:07:05

vesta you are missing the point.

The thing about internet crime is that it doesn't have the same kind of boundaries as face-to-face crime (if you can call it that).

If you are doing things in this country that are illegal in other countries such as having more than one child/drinking alcohol then you are not accountable in other countries because what you are doing is not bordering into those other countries.

However, the internet doesn't have such boundaries because, if you set up a website that can be accessed by countries where the laws are different to our own, then that website also needs to abide by the laws of that country. Because you are essentially doing business in that country, albeit you are physically in the UK.

Let me give you another example:

The age of consent is different in all countries. In some countries it is eighteen, in others it is as low as fourteen, and in the UK it is sixteen.

Now let's say a man from a country where the age of consent is fourteen logs on to a chat room and starts chatting to a young girl in the UK who herself is only fourteen. He talks to her, flirts with her, and eventually the conversation turns sexual. In this country, because she is under the age of consent, that would be considered grooming and the man would face arrest, prosecution and a stint on the sex offenders register. But in the country he is from the age of consent is only fourteen. So, because he isn't actually breaking the law in his own country, do you think it is appropriate that he be having sexually explicit conversations with a girl who in the UK is under the age of consent? Should we excuse his behavior on the basis he wasn't actually doing anything wrong where he is from? or should he have to think twice before chatting up a fourteen year old girl on the internet, knowing that actually he might be breaking the law in someone else's country if she is not where he is from?

I can tell you now that if you had a sexually explicit conversation with someone who is considered a minor in their own country, you would potentially have to answer to the laws of that country, regardless of what your own country's law on the matter is.

The internet has blurred those boundaries, and people need to be aware of that when they start thinking they can do what the hell they like without consequence - it just doesn't work like that.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:10:50

and you tube....one of the links was to you tube. they should get prosecuted too.

i wonder why Google and You tube wont be prosecuted.....?
could it be shock because they are multi million pound companies and the U.S is obviously only interested in going after the student from sheffield...

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:11:47

yes - he profited from advertising. his site had a list of sites - so in effect his page was like a google page.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:13:29

....and that was his legal argument - that his site did nothing more than direct people to other sites where pirated material could be accessed.

what about all the people who use these sites?
why are they not prosecuted?

wannaBe Sun 22-Jan-12 21:14:39

and fgs stop referring to him as a young man. He is an adult.

And the only point at which the law takes account of someone's age is when they are under eighteen.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:20:43

but he is a young man. ive not said young child or young son - ive said young man. my son is 20 and i regard him as a young man.

and age limits in law are not set at 18 for everything - it depends on which act Some acts regard adults as being 18, others do not.

wannaBe Sun 22-Jan-12 21:21:30

vicar there have been instances where people have been prosecuted for file sharing - the individuals that is.

The law is a bit blurred on this I think, but iirc the illegal part of piracy is the distribution. So - if I log on to kazzaa or limewire or any of the other file sharing websites I can download as many songs/films/pieces of tv programming as I like and I am not breaking the law. However, if I then open up my own computer so that other users of said sites can download from me then I am guilty of distribution and am breaking the law.

iirc there were people in the UK recently who were prosecuted for this - I can't remember the exact details but basically they had x thousands of songs from their personal collections and were allowing other users to download them from them, iyswim.

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:24:00

wannabe, do you not think that the fact that the boundaries of cyber-space are yet to be clearly defined is surely another reason why the O'Dwyer case should be tried in the UK, otherwise it sets a precedent for the USA to have extensive boundaries and control on a global level.

thebestisyettocome Sun 22-Jan-12 21:24:37

I think it's pretty obvious that involving yourself in piracy activities could lead to you to have committed offences in other jurisdictions. Trying to draw comparisions with varying ages of consent and educating women confused is pretty tenuous.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:26:09

thats not actually correct Wannabe, its called copyright law
see section 7 restricted acts

if you copy a work belonging to another without paying for it you have broken the law.

wannaBe Sun 22-Jan-12 21:28:40

but he can't be tried in the UK vesta because the crime he committed is not a crime in the UK. But because of the fact the internet does not have those same boundaries he was able to commit a crime in the US even though he wasn't on their soil at the time.

If you committed a crime while in another country no-one would surely argue that you should be tried in the UK would they? this is IMO no different.

Fwiw it's the same with Gary McKinnon - he hacked into the pentagon - he has therefore violated a US law and is accountable in the US.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:29:57

dont even get me started on Gary Mckinnon - i researched that one extensively due to DS having aspergers.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:31:16

hiding thread now before i get embroiled in a bun fight, i respect that everyone has the right to their own opinion, but do please research the facts.

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:42:52

sorry to see you go vicarina sad

Vesta2 Sun 22-Jan-12 21:52:58

wannabe, then that brings me back to the case of Sarah Ferguson, she committed an offense in Turkey and Turkey have requested extradition but according to Reuters http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/13/uk-turkey-ferguson-orphanage-idUKTRE80C0Q120120113 the Home Office are not complying on the grounds that what she did is not illegal in the UK. I agree with this and believe the same should be applied to Richard O'Dwyer.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Jan-12 22:10:28

im still here, but need to take a break from this thread - the Gary Mckinnon case upsets me and touches a nerve. I know how aspies think, or dont think as the case may be. He is a lamb to the slaughter.

so i will take a break from this thread now, because while i like buns, i dont like wasting them by chucking them at people. grin

good luck Vesta. smile

kelly2000 Mon 23-Jan-12 12:15:15


Short article about it. He certainly should be prosecuted, but his crime was in Europe (although the victims were in America), so there is a good arguement for his being tried here. However under private international law there are grounds for prosecuting people in the country of the victims, it depends on where the case has stronger links, not the defendent I believe.

If you think about it if he had helped commit a murde rin america by emailing people details of who to contact to commit the crime, then he would certainly be extradited to America, so one coudl argue the same could be applied to the fact he posted links to american material online that was available in america.

wannaBe Mon 23-Jan-12 14:22:23

I don't think the Sarah ferguson issue is that black and white tbh.

In principle, if you commit a crime in another country where the laws in that country are different to our own, then you are accountable in that country, e.g. don't bring alcohol into Saudi if you don't want to land up in jail.

But I'm not entirely sure that every crime warrants extradition, and in Sarah Ferguson's case, I think you have to look at the motives for the crime, i.e. she was highlighting the plight of children in Turkey's orphanages, and while filming them may have been illegal in Turkey, her motives were not for personal gain or benefit, her motives were directed towards the alleged victims of her "crime", who are themselves in fact victims of far greater wrongdoing, wrongdoing that might not have been exposed if the law here had been fully adhered to.

Committing a crime for personal financial gain is an entirely different matter, IMO.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 23-Jan-12 15:06:31
ThatVikRinA22 Mon 23-Jan-12 15:10:32

taken from the guardian peice - "Some experts on digital law question whether providing links to illegal downloads rather than directly hosting them would even constitute an offence in the UK. In February last year charges involving fraud and copyright against a similar site, TV-Links, were dismissed after a judge ruled that linking alone was not illegal"

surely this inconsistency needs to be addressed?

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 23-Jan-12 15:18:26
Hajdeby Mon 23-Jan-12 15:20:10

Just saw this thread and thought someones young child was being taken away. PMSL when I realised that he is the same age I was when I got married!

Anyway, his illegal activities netted him over £100K, sounds like he has been a very naughty boy to me!

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 23-Jan-12 15:23:57

i dont think anyone is saying that this lad shouldnt go on trail - just that he should not be extradited to the US and should be tried here.

There are bigger issues than just this one case - i linked a piece on the whole treaty in my last post (before this one) and it is very unfair.

thebestisyettocome Mon 23-Jan-12 21:40:34

I am not entirely convinced by the article Vicar linked. Apart from it being really badly written I think it fails to deal with the substantive points made in the original piece.

Nobody on this thread has convinced me that it's ok to prevent the music, television and film industries from being paid the royalties that are rightfully theirs. Piracy means real job losses for real people and I for one actually give a shit about that. Reduced revenues also have a knock on effect in terms of the output; record labels and television and film prodcution companies are less and less inclined to take risks. I think it would be a shame if the only things ever made for our consumption was populist bollocks music, tv and film that would provide enough income to counterbalance the losses incurred by piracy.

If we in the UK are too slow in policing piracy we can hardly blame the US authorities for that. I said earlier that given the nature of the internet, even I would realise that I was risking offending in other jursidications if I took part in these sorts of activities. Presumably this 'young' hmm boy knew that some of his substantial income was generated from the US at the time of his trading activity?

gerty5 Tue 24-Jan-12 00:38:42

if you go to any browser, say, google, and type in free film, pages and pages will come up of free downloads.
So google 'links' to pirate stuff. goolgle didn't pirate the films.
I like google, I like it's non-censoring of peoples choice, anyone is free to make a web-page, who hasn't got a facebook?
What's the difference between google and this lad?
I think other posters said he made money from the adverts, because I get the feeling posters mind more about the money, it's all very strange,
why does the USA want to extradite this lad but google continues?
I can hear posters saying its because he broke the law, but his offense, if there is one is that there were links, same as google, and whatever money he made was from adverts, same as google, I don't want google to go, and they earn billions, and I don't want this lad to go, it just doesn't make any sense.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 24-Jan-12 01:03:43

thats my point gerty - i did the same a few pages back - i googled and got directed to loads of pirate sites...
but google isnt a person and i think people dont like it when a person profits - its fine it its a multibillion pound company though....

if he is to be tried - it should be here. and so should everyone else who has ever broken copyright law.

Triggles Tue 24-Jan-12 07:37:04

I think part of the point is that he ISN'T like google. Google covers all different subjects, not just the pirated programming. You can pretty much google anything under the sun, so much of its traffic is regular everyday stuff.

This man, however, (I think referring to him as a boy is highly misleading) focused on the pirated films, as his search engine was only tv and film products.

So there is a fundamental difference in how the businesses worked. Google does not rely on helping people locate pirated films, whereas this man's business did. He focused his business on assisting people in obtaining illegal copies of films, which means it aids in denying revenue for the people that work not only in that industry, but in any industry it impacts, including production, distribution, and retail businesses.

I think it gives a bit of insight into his character simply by noting that of all the internet businesses he could have set up, he relied on illegal pirated films to make his money.

thebestisyettocome Tue 24-Jan-12 09:29:03

I am really unclear about your position on the rights and wrongs of watching or listening to things you haven't paid for Vicar. Are you saying it's ok?

LowRegNumber Tue 24-Jan-12 10:06:29

Google is a general link site, it links to everything with little or no control/selection. The site in question.was targeted specifically at one activity, the operator went out and deliberately found sites offering illegal downloads and linked to them. He profited from his actions.

Further he set his site up in the US. The site, legally, is a US site. Therefore it operates under US laws. The fact that he was not sat in the US at the time is immaterial, the site itself is American.

Unfortunately if you register a site in a country then you have to he sure of the rules. The US want to prosecute him as the crime took place in their country, the site (registered in the US) is where the crime took place not a back bedroom in croyden (or wherever the man was sitting).

Personally I think he has been very arrogent and is trying to yet out on a technicality. I do feel for his mother, I am sure she is past herself but a mothers tears do not change the crime committed.

wannaBe Tue 24-Jan-12 10:35:09

I think the explanation re google is a good one. Google hasn't set out to specifically profit from illegal activity. This individual has.

And tbh to keep referring to him as a lad or a boy is a pathetic attempt to paint him as some sort of child who knew no better. He is 23, he is an adult. At 23 my parents were married with two kids had their own house and had emigrated abroad, and many others have achieved similar. He is a man not an adult or a boy, although admittedly perhaps a bit of a manchild if he needs mummy to fight his battles from him. Bet mummy didn't see any of the profits of his crimes though ey. hmm

ecclesvet Tue 24-Jan-12 11:07:17

But Richard O'Dwyer did commit an offence in the UK. I don't know why you keep saying otherwise, OP.

It was found at his extradition hearing (PDF) that his actions were an offence under 107(2A) Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The judge said "I am satisfied the conduct alleged in the instant request meets the dual criminality test and would be an offence in this jurisdiction".

Triggles Tue 24-Jan-12 13:14:03

I'm wondering if the tax office saw any of the profits of his crimes. If they haven't, I'm sure that'll be the next news story. lol

rshipstuff Tue 24-Jan-12 14:30:43

Hmm, it seems to me that he knew what he was doing was illegal in the UK, and pretended he was a Swede called 'Oskar Hagglund':
He also used false registration details and address for the domain


The reason for Sweden is that it is associated with piracy in the form of Swedish website thepiratebay - TPB is still running and thriving, despite its massive piracy. Sweden also has Piratpartiet, the Pirate Party, which holds two seats in the European Parliament, and they've even registered a piracy 'religion'.

Now it's all very well to try and hide behind the laws of a country that you in fact have no association with, but rather churlish to then complain when you are charged.

Clearly this was a sophisticated commercial enterprise, and one that he knew full well was neither legitimate nor legal. No doubts: www.fluther.com/69998/advice-needed-havedo-you-use-tvshacknet-and-can-you-explain-to/

Further, when his domain, tvshack.net, was seized by the FBI, he set up another one, tvshack.cc. Hello????

And there was a mailinglist, tvshack.org.uk, where people could register for where to go after tvshack.cc got closed down....

It's not all fun and games, ignoring FBI shutdown notices.....

Here's WHY the FBI want to extradite and imprison him:


That was July 2010:

"Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the US economy. That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people,” said US attorney Preet Bharara, in justifying the action.

“If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.”

It couldn't be much clearer.

So what do you in response to this threat from the world's most powerful law enforcement body, which has an active extradition treaty in place with your country?

Why, you transfer the whole site to another domain within just a few days.

'Whether or not one agrees with the methods of the sites that were raided, it does start to call in to question the effectiveness of the raids conducted by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement from the US). If these raids only serve to be little more than a minor inconvenience to some of these sites, would this effort to stop these site be a waste? Really, it’s bad enough that there are a hundred sites itching to take the place of one site that was taken down, but when the sites don’t even really go down at all, doesn’t that add insult to injury for enforcement?

There’s already a copyright czar in the US. It suggests that the US government isn’t going to tolerate copyright infringement, but what’s the difference so far in terms of trying to stamp out piracy? Before the copyright czar, when sites were raided, most of the time, that was it and the sites fold. Here we see stories of takedowns becoming more of a brief inconvenience for site owners more than anything else.'

That was what did for him. That's why he deserves to be extradited.

He setup a website, pretending to be Swedish, that he knew was illegal.

Then, just to confirm that it was illegal, as if there had ever been any doubt, the FBI said 'your website is illegal, we are seizing the domain, and here's a warning - pirates will not be treated lightly'.

So he responds by sticking two fingers up and moving the website to a new domain with no change at all.

And now he's complaining that having been busted once, and ignored the very light warning, that four months down the line, they want to extradite him?????

Sorry, but no sympathy. None at all.

Obviously when seizing people's domains, something that allows them to get on with their lives, does nothing, you have to try a harsher approach.

Clearly if the FBI hadn't tried to extradite him the site would be continuing to operate.

I don't think it's too hard to understand really. No, he was not in the US, but he was profiting from mass piracy of US-owned and US-generated content. So yes, it is their concern. Most of the stuff being pirated was US-owned. You would expect the US to respond to that, just as you'd expect the UK to protect British interests.

Really sick of these sob stories.

rshipstuff Tue 24-Jan-12 14:32:09

Sorry, in my last post

'Now it's all very well to try and hide behind the laws of a country that you in fact have no association with, but rather churlish to then complain when you are charged.'

should read

'Now it's all very well to try and hide behind the laws of a country that you in fact have no association with, but rather churlish to then complain when you are charged under the laws of another.'

rshipstuff Tue 24-Jan-12 14:49:26

I lol'ed at biased BBC video (linked above) describing him as 'funding his education' with the cash, as if crime is somehow an imperative or excuse for going to university now.

This: www.richardodwyer.co.uk/work.html web design/development work that he did is what normal people would consider funding your education.

Developing a massive criminal enterprise is not.

kelly2000 Tue 24-Jan-12 15:50:59

so according to the bbc it is ok to shoplift to fund your education. Bit rich when the BBC charge students a license fee for just having a TV even if they never watch the BBC.

Triggles Tue 24-Jan-12 16:17:18

rshipstuff thank you for the links. Very informative. It simply reinforces my impression that he was dodgy, knew what he was doing was illegal, and deserves whatever he gets as far as jail time in the US. No sympathy here.

The fact that he immediately set up a new site as soon as the other one was seized, as well as misrepresenting himself by claiming to be someone else from Sweden, clearly shows that he was well aware that he was doing something illegal. I agree this had to be a very sophisticated set up, and he knew exactly what he was doing.

wannaBe Tue 24-Jan-12 16:27:11

ah, those links are very interesting.

Ah the power of these websites that link to other links ... wink

No sympathy here either.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 24-Jan-12 16:39:27

not read the other links but i will - am happy to be educated! but just on for 2 mins before getting ready for work etc

but need to answer this
"I am really unclear about your position on the rights and wrongs of watching or listening to things you haven't paid for Vicar. Are you saying it's ok?"

absolutely not.

my argument was against his extradition - not against him being tried.
i think the extradition treaty between the US and the UK is flawed.

i just need to answer that question....

thebestisyettocome Tue 24-Jan-12 17:43:20

I'm glad to hear that Vicar, especially as you hadn't addressed that issue at all during the currency of this thread smile

gerty5 Wed 25-Jan-12 02:39:37

I read rshipstuff and if all that you say he did is true well then he's been very silly, but, like Vicarina, he still should not be extradited, because even if the offense was somehow cyberly done in the USA then things must be equal and as Sarah Ferguson is not being extradited for an offense she committed in Turkey because the homeoffice say it's not a crime here then the home office must apply the same to Richard O'Dwyer, and tell the USA it is not an offence here, also having looked again at the extradition treaty I see it was tweaked after 9/11 for terrorists, but the USA is not using it for that and is actually exploiting it to suit themselves, on top of which the treaty is lopsided in that the UK has to provide various things to support their extradition requests and the USA does not, hardly fair is it? I can't help wondering if the UK is just plain old scared of the USA which also makes me wonder if so, why?

rshipstuff Wed 25-Jan-12 04:26:00

gerty5, we have had extradition treaties with the US since 1792.

This is nothing new, the procedure is actually tougher to extradite from the UK to the US than from there to here. It's not true that it's lopsided, in fact our courts have refused seven of their extradition requests, whereas they haven't refused any of ours at all.

It is in fact an offence here, they've considered that in court.

'The judge agreed with John Jones, barrister for the United States government, that “because he was intimately involved in deciding who was allowed to post links on the TVShack websites, which links would be posted”, Mr O’Dwyer’s alleged conduct was a criminal offence under British copyright law.

In its argument the defence had cited the 2010 case of TV-Links, a website that offered a similar directory of links to pirated material to TVShack. The judge found it was acting as a “mere conduit” and dismissed the criminal charges against the two men who operated TV-Links.

Judge Purdy however found Mr O’Dwyer had exercised too much control over TVShack to successfully claim the same defence. '

The 'mere conduit' defence is actually enshrined under EU law.

'Where an information society service is provided which consists of the transmission in a communication network of information provided by a recipient of the service or the provision of access to a communication network, the service provider (if he otherwise would) shall not be liable for damages or for any other pecuniary remedy or for any criminal sanction as a result of that transmission where the service provider—

(a)did not initiate the transmission;

(b)did not select the receiver of the transmission; and

(c)did not select or modify the information contained in the transmission. '

Obviously they've considered this in court and we don't have full access to what he did.

However, I looked at the site and it is apparent, at the very least, that many/most of the links were selected by O'Dwyer himself:

A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit (1989)
Submitted by staff 479 Views

Basically if you're compiling a site where people can submit links to pirate content, that looks to be legal (note: I am not a lawyer!), providing you are not involved in selecting/filtering them.

The mere conduit defence is I believe analagous to the postal service. If the Royal Mail carries a bomb by post, it's not liable, because it didn't know it was carrying it. Likewise, if you create a movie link website, and people of their own volition submit links to movies, that's not illegal. But if you spend large amounts of your time carefully identifying, and linking to, copyrighted movies and TV, appointing staff to do the same, then you're going to get in big trouble.

Basically the site only got popular because he manually compiled these links to copyrighted material. Illegal under UK and EU law, something that Sarah Ferguson filming orphans is not!

And, having been shut down by the US government, it's pretty damn stupid to move it to a new domain with 'Fuck tha Police' on the front page.

gerty5 Wed 25-Jan-12 06:22:18

but then the judge has seen a conduit as something else, basically as pirated stuff which a conduit is not, my car conduits me to the shops, and I quite knowingly use it for that, but my car id not a shop it's a car/conduit. I'm not sure the judge has enough technical know how to understand the difference when it come to computers.
Also, the extradition is lopsided because the USA asked for about 150 people to be extradited so by refusing 7 they still got 143, the UK on the other hand only asked for about 50, that's part of what I'm saying the USA is exploiting the change in the treaty requesting 3 times as much as the UK, and not only that the UK have complied, what on earth is going on?

gerty5 Wed 25-Jan-12 10:55:34

and I just looked up 'coalition our programme for government and on page 14 it says •
We will review the operation of the Extradition Act – and the US/UK extradition treaty – to make sure it is even-handed.
So even this current government query the treaty's balance.

gerty5 Wed 25-Jan-12 11:26:33

one more thing
9/7/09 Nick Clegg: ^'He must immediately renegotiate the massively unbalanced extradition treaty with the United States that offers British citizens fewer protections than our American counterparts enjoy.
Unless that happens, there will be more Gary McKinnons - more British citizens abandoned by a Government that doesn't know right from wrong'.^

rshipstuff Wed 25-Jan-12 11:57:38

gerty5, it's quite normal for the opposition to criticise laws before getting into power.

The current government DID review the operation of the Extradition Act, they conducted a full review, which lasted a year and covered all aspects of our oextradition arrangements.

You can read the results here www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/us-v-odwyer-ruling.pdf

The fact is the independent review concluded the arrangements with the US are not imbalanced at all.

It's not true that the US have requested 3 times more extraditions, although there was a spike in 2003, since then there have been 94 by the US and and 52 by the UK. I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable that they should request more people than the UK, they are about 4 times bigger than us.

As for the 'mere conduit' issue, the fact is that O'Dwyer lovingly compiled much of the massive database of copyrighted content and therefore has no 'mere conduit' defence. He knew his site contained illegal content, because he put it there!

rshipstuff Wed 25-Jan-12 11:58:28

er, sorry, wrong link above. The Extradition review is here: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police/operational-policing/extradition-review?view=Binary

The link above is the ruling that O'Dwyer could be extradited.

gerty5 Wed 25-Jan-12 12:23:36

You say his site contained illegal content, but his site contained links, allegedly.

And what was the headcount for the 'spike' in 2003?

And yes I know prospective Gov'ts make pre election promises, but that doesn't
detract from the fact that in Clegg's own opinion he thought that the treaty was/is 'massively unbalanced'.

rshipstuff Wed 25-Jan-12 12:52:27

gerty5, 36 requests were made in 2003, it's in the Home Office document I linked to above.

I can't really comment on Clegg's posturing, save to say that there has been a lot of jingoistic reporting on this issue. The fact was the review was conducted by:

David Perry QC
He prosecutes and defends and has extensive experience of extradition and mutual legal assistance cases. He also acts as a consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat and has advised overseas governments on the drafting and implementation of legislation. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice and the Criminal Law Review.

Anand Doobay
trustee of Fair Trials International, a council Member of the human rights organisation Justice and a former member of the Law Society of England and Wales’ Committees for International Human Rights and Criminal Law

plus Lord Justice Scott Baker

If you want to believe the newspapers above them, fine, but perhaps read the review I linked to above?

rshipstuff Wed 25-Jan-12 13:18:23

Also, on the 'links' issue.

Some people seem to be under the misguided impression that the UK is some sort of haven for piracy.

Fact is, it's not.

It has been determined in the past, in UK courts, that a site that merely links to pirate content CAN be illegal.

Have a look at the Newzbin case: www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2010/608.html

"The claimants are all well known makers and distributors of films. They say Newzbin is focused on piracy in that it locates and categorises unlawful copies of films and displays the titles of these copies in its indices; provides a facility for its users to search for particular unlawful copies and displays the results; and provides a simple one-click mechanism whereby users can acquire unlawful copies of their choice.

The defendant is the company that owns and operates Newzbin. It says that its website is simply a search engine like Google but directed to Usenet rather than the world wide web. It also says it is "content agnostic" and designed to index the entire content of Usenet. Where possible, it provides hyperlinks with the result that any supply of unlawful material is an act occurring exclusively between the hyperlink user and the relevant Usenet server operators and that the defendant plays no part in any such activity. "

At the bottom of the page, this statement appears:

"Newzbin indexes the contents of Usenet, however, it neither provides nor uploads any of the files that may be contained within it. Any descriptions are a result of the indexing and therefore do not relate to downloadable files."

A little later, under the heading "What Newzbin is", the page continues:

"As mentioned in the brief description, Newzbin indexes the binary side of Usenet. We are a search engine – just like Google! …."

The problem for Newzbin, the search engine was manually compiled by trusted users selected by Newzbin. Usenet links to movies, etc., consists of often more than a dozen parts. Without having all the parts, the individual bits would be useless.

Hence the editors, who carefully compiled the individual parts - hosted elsewhere - to provide users with a single link to click to download the illegal content.

There were other details, but suffice to say LINKS TO ILLEGAL CONTENT ARE ILLEGAL. If you deliberately link, from here, to a copyrighted movie, that's illegal.

That's UK law.

O'Dwyer could be prosecuted under UK law - except that the CPS evidently aren't interested. Since the crime, from which he profited to the tune of £15k/month, damaged mostly US rights holders, it's not unreasonable to extradite him there.

And btw, this was a MASSIVE site, see www.zeropaid.com/news/91805/top-5-tvshack-alternatives/ We are not talking a student sharing a few CDs with his mates, nope, this was a global site serving huge numbers of people with vast quantities of stolen content.

gerty5 Wed 25-Jan-12 13:44:09

so that's 130 requests for extradition from the USA 123 of which the UK agreed compared to 52 by the UK, ok so not quite 3 x's but certainly over 100% more.

As to any monies made that was from the ad's placed was it not?

Is there a record of linked to films?

rshipstuff Wed 25-Jan-12 14:20:39

Actually that's not true gerty5, the UK has DENIED seven requests. That doesn't mean all the rest of them have been extradited, far from it.

From 2004 to August 2011, 54 requests (not 52, sorry) were made to the US. In this period, 38 people were extradited by the US. The remainder are in progress, or have been withdrawn.

By contrast, the 130 requests to the UK in 2004 (not 2003, sorry)-2011 have resulted in only 73 being extradited.

Evidently there are far more checks to the process in the UK, presumably the remainder have been dragged out in the courts so long, Human Rights challenges, and so on.

Yes, the money came from advertising.

Here is an archive link to the movies.


As you can see, a really vast compilation, and mostly American-owned content.

gerty5 Thu 26-Jan-12 13:37:20

so, he drove a bus to the stall in the market where pirated goods were available,
he didn't charge anybody to get on or off his bus, he wasn't buying or selling any of the goods. Companies advertised on the side of his bus, H+M, coca- cola, whoever, and paid him for the advertising space.
Where's the copyright infringement?

thebestisyettocome Thu 26-Jan-12 14:40:28

If he was knowingly showing the people on the bus where the market was were pirated goods were available, then surely an offence is committed.

Sort of a joint enterprise argument?

gerty5 Thu 26-Jan-12 16:17:11

I quite agree, but not one that warrants extradition on copyright infringement, and that is why the petition is asking for a fair trial in the UK

rshipstuff Fri 27-Jan-12 00:39:59

gerty5, we here in the UK are not interested in trying him as those who suffered were basically all Hollywood film studios. That said, his website was one of the world's busiest websites and was clearly a serious thing. The US want to try him, and we are obliged, by our treaty, to allow him to be extradited.

Secondly, analogies about buses are not that helpful, although I believe if someone says to you 'where can I buy a gun to shoot David Cameron', and you proceed to drive them to an illegal arms dealer, then you've probably committed a crime yourself. Not sure, but anyway - best avoid analogies I think.

Under the UK law, if you 'make available' copyrighted material 'to the public', you have committed an offence. Nothing to do with buses or market stalls or advertising. He made the material available by linking to it.

Here's a more apt analogy. I bought some Peppa Pig DVDs. I copied them onto my computer, and then I put them on my website, at http://www.mywebsite.com/XJAOEJJA. I don't link to that page from anywhere, and I don't tell anyone the address.

Clearly nobody is going to be able to find my Peppa Pig DVD, or even know that it's there, because the XJAOEJJA address is completely unguessable. Nobody will stumble upon it. The material is there, it exists, but it has not been 'made available'.

On the other hand, if I post the link on the internet, telling people 'free peppa pig dowmnload', then by posting that link, I 'make it available'.

People will start downloading it. In O'Dwyer's case, he did that with tens of thousands of copyrighted movies, 'making available' those movies in one place, and where the movies were hosted on other websites where essentially nobody could find them without the link from sites like TvShack.

My CV is on the internet, can you find it? No, because there's no link to it. I could choose to 'make it available' though, by posting the link here.....

gerty5 Fri 27-Jan-12 02:36:10

We here in the UK are interested in trying O'Dwyer in the UK.

Do you mean certain members of the Gov't? the Justice Dept? the CPS? are not interested?

Analogies are very useful.

In your own peppa pig scenario you make a copy, are you saying that O'Dwyer
made copies?

rshipstuff Fri 27-Jan-12 09:45:47

He might have made the copies in some cases, I don't know. However the point is it's not who makes the copies, it's who makes it available. O'Dwyer's website made these movies available. That's the crime.

As for trying O'Dwyer in the UK, certainly his mum would like him tried here, but let's be honest she'd rather not have him tried at all. Let's not forget the context here:

1. TvShack was one of the world's largest piracy websites
2. The US went to quite a lot of trouble to close it down
3. O'Dwyer told them to fuck off and he opened it on a new domain within 1 day
4. The US then had to track him and knocked on his door, with the consent of British police
5. Only then did the website go down.

This was a US operation entirely, protecting largely US-owned movies, why should he be tried here?

It makes sense that the US go after this stuff. We don't have a major movie industry like they do, for our police to spend a lot of money closing these sites down and prosecuting the operators would be silly when the US is better suited for the job.

They are the injured party, they get the perpetrator. Apart from providing the normal degree of protection we'd afford anybody subject to extradition proceedings, there's nothing more for us to do.

thebestisyettocome Fri 27-Jan-12 20:13:49


What is the argument to support the idea he would NOT get a fair trial in the US? It seems increasingly common for us in the UK to view the US with very deep suspicion which is possibly due to the position of some states on execution and the concept of Guantanamo. But really (and this is a genuine question) is it really fair to say that the US justice system is less fair than ours?

gerty5 Tue 31-Jan-12 01:10:41

thebestisyettocome this link, paragraph 7 explains better than I can,(they're legal people)

re 1. TV SHACK may have been one of the worlds busiest sites. As to it's status re piracy or otherwise that has been alleged and denied.
re 2. Whether or not the US went to quite a lot of trouble to close it down is not their basis for an extradition request.
re 3.As above.
re 4 As above.
re.5 As above

the extradition request is on the basis of copyright infringement, going back to the bus analogy, driving a bus is not copying material.

this link, ipkitten.blogspot.com/2012/01/free-flight-to-us-its-dire-for-odwyer.html scroll down to comments/ forum , lots of arguments re the various technical legalities etc, with plenty of legal quotes and citations.

rshipstuff Tue 31-Jan-12 12:15:35

1. Well, the judge has considered it in a court of law and found that according to UK law it would be in breach of copyright.
2-5. No it's not, but O'Dwyer had his website closed down once, he had the chance to walk away, and he spurned it. They took all reasonable steps to shut down this damaging website, and O'Dwyer just kept on going. They had no choice but to go after him personally.

I read the IP Kat link, it's just a summary of the judge's thoughts, and not a particularly good one. The judge relies on s20(2) of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 to interpret s107(2A), but IP Kat doesn't mention this.

'References in this Part to communication to the public are to communication to the public by electronic transmission, and in relation to a work include—
(a)the broadcasting of the work;
(b)the making available to the public of the work by electronic transmission in such a way that members of the public may access it from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.'

Asking people, as IPKat does, what "your understanding of 'communicating the work in public' in the context of s 107(2A)?"

is not very helpful without also explaining s20.

In this context, the comments #2+3, which reference a Canadian case, saying that a hyperlink is not 'publication' doesn't help in judging a UK law requiring only the much lesser standard of 'making available' (e.g., cf. someone handing out leaflets on the street - they are making them available, but they did not necessarily publish them). Comment 7 is refuted in several other comments, while 'Tim Jackson', referencing Newzbin, doesn't seem to realise that O'Dwyer apparently compiled many of the links himself.....

gerty5 Tue 31-Jan-12 19:39:23

if the 'making available' is being applied to the posting of links then Google etc are lawbreakers, the UK copyright laws obviously need clarity before anybody can make a sound judgement, and nobody should have an extradition request upon them based on unsound judgement.

rshipstuff Tue 31-Jan-12 21:55:32

er, no, that's been extensively covered, that's the 'mere conduit' defence. Google don't select the links, as O'Dwyer did, it's all done by computer.

gerty5 Tue 31-Jan-12 23:57:46

But if you type 'Free Film' in the Google search engine, Google selects matching criteria, and therefore selects the links which it then offers pages and pages of thus 'making available'.

ecclesvet Wed 01-Feb-12 00:02:10

"Google selects matching criteria"

Sort of. Google's automated web crawlers, aka 'spiders', do. No-one manually found and posted the links, which is the case here,

gerty5 Wed 01-Feb-12 00:18:29

Never-the-less Google makes it available.

rshipstuff Wed 01-Feb-12 02:13:39

Making available is an offence, unless you are acting as mere conduit

'Where an information society service is provided which consists of the transmission in a communication network of information provided by a recipient of the service or the provision of access to a communication network, the service provider (if he otherwise would) shall not be liable for damages or for any other pecuniary remedy or for any criminal sanction as a result of that transmission where the service provider—

(a)did not initiate the transmission;

(b)did not select the receiver of the transmission; and

(c)did not select or modify the information contained in the transmission. '

Google store the entire internet.

Without selection or modification.

O'Dwyer, otoh, devoted his website to movies + TV, which he very much did select.

rshipstuff Wed 01-Feb-12 02:15:04

Another way of looking at it is, while it might be possible to argue that Google do 'select or modify' the information in their 'transmission', and hence do not qualify for 'mere conduit', that really doesn't help O'Dwyer, who certainly DID, 'select or modify' the information.

gerty5 Wed 01-Feb-12 10:11:23

so, Joe Bloggs uploads chittychittybangbang and initiates transmission, (a)

Unsolicited, Sally Smith downloads chittychittybangbang (b)

TVshack neither selects or modifies the transmission of chittychittybangbang (c)

but was a mere conduit

rshipstuff Wed 01-Feb-12 21:32:43

Er, no tvshack advised people they could only upload 'full episodes and movies'. That is 'selection'. They also vetted users, rejecting those who didn't add infringing content (i.e. full episodes and movies). Finally, much of the content was uploaded by 'management', presumably O'Dwyer himself.

rshipstuff Wed 01-Feb-12 21:33:48

cf. youtube, which tells you NOT to upload infringing content, and accepts ANY kind of video.

Betelguese Fri 29-Jun-12 00:22:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JosephineCD Fri 29-Jun-12 20:07:53

The guy has made over £100,000 from his website. He is guilty as hell. I hate all these attempts to pass him off as an innocent "helping his friends to watch films". He's in his 20s, and this website was a concerted attempt to make money. He should be on trial in this country, but our justice system is pathetic, so I can hardly blame the Americans for trying to extradite him.

Betelguese Sat 30-Jun-12 00:32:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JosephineCD Sat 30-Jun-12 02:42:23

I don't think anyone believes he's innocent. I live in the same town as the guy and nobody has much sympathy for him.

Vesta2 Sun 01-Jul-12 03:26:02

@JosephoneCD the money he made was from selling advertising space on his website, not from the sale of films etc, he neither hosted the films nor charged people to use his site.

Betelguese Sun 01-Jul-12 15:14:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vesta2 Sun 01-Jul-12 15:55:13

In excess of 193000 people have now signed the #saverichard petition www.change.org/petitions/ukhomeoffice-stop-the-extradition-of-richard-o-dwyer-to-the-usa-saverichard set up only a few days ago by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia.
The 2003 UK/US extradition treaty was hastily tweaked after 9/11 for counter-terrorism purposes.
Richard O is not a terrorist, nor is he accused of anything connected to terrorism.

LineRunner Sun 01-Jul-12 16:06:52

There is very little traffic on the MN WebChat thread in advance of the Live Web Chat tomorrow with Julia O'Dwyer at 1pm

It would be good to get some more contributions, if people have questions.

Betelguese Sun 01-Jul-12 16:32:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vesta2 Sun 01-Jul-12 16:54:03

Betelguese, as a fellow supporter of this petition it's good to see your voice.

LineRunner Sun 01-Jul-12 16:54:13

This for me is a shocker about extradition and jurisdiction.

The USA should have got over its 'Word Policeman' role after Vietnam, let alone its other later fuck-ups. And will the UK never learn? We worry about our autonomy in relation to Europe, yet this nonsense with the USA continues ...

Magna Carta, anyone?

JosephineCD Sun 01-Jul-12 16:58:40

@JosephoneCD the money he made was from selling advertising space on his website, not from the sale of films etc, he neither hosted the films nor charged people to use his site.
That's a stupid argument. He was making money from directing people to illegally hosted films and TV shows. Do you think this is a reasonable way to earn a living?

Vesta2 Sun 01-Jul-12 17:12:59


Vesta2 Sun 01-Jul-12 17:16:16

BTW the previous comment 'Quite', was in agreement with linerunner not Josephine cd

Vesta2 Sun 01-Jul-12 17:29:41

josephinecd ...a reasonable way to make a living? interesting question. Here in the Western world it is very difficult for any of us to have a reasonable way of making a living, or live reasonably without being a link in a chain that affects somebody somewhere adversely, perhaps oneday the people of the rainforests will extradite us all as terrorists as they lose their homes and livelihoods. Richard O isn't a terrorist.
Do you mind about the money?

Betelguese Sun 01-Jul-12 18:14:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poulay Mon 02-Jul-12 22:42:58

There doesn't seem to be any question of 'world policeman' here.

He set up a website for people to steal US movies and the US are obviously the ones to try him.

Just the same as if someone was selling fake Louis Vuitton bags you'd expect the French to deal with it.

LineRunner Mon 02-Jul-12 22:47:46

No, actually if my neighbour was done for flogging fake french bags down the Quayside Market, I'd expect Newcastle trading standards to deal with it, possibly ending with a charge dealt with down the magistrates' court.

Poulay Mon 02-Jul-12 23:14:51

I don't think you can compare a few bags down the local market with one of the world's top sources for illegal movies (which this site was).

Large scale operations, such as this one, are handled by national police forces. E.g., the French police acted against Hermès counterfeiters in China

Rather silly to compare a bloke doing a few dozen bags down the market with O'Dwyer doing millions of movies on his website.

LineRunner Mon 02-Jul-12 23:15:51


Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 00:52:16

LineRunner grin

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 00:57:28

I meant someone selling millions of bags wink

Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 01:23:52

poulay but O'Dwyer sold neither bags nor films.

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 02:39:07

He made over £100k from the distribution of copyrighted films. Whether that was done through a website, or through actually pressing the DVDs, it doesn't really make a difference. The guys in China didn't steal leather or brass from Hermès, what they stole was the idea, the design. Here is no different.

Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 03:21:08

poulay O'Dwyer made money from advertising space.
O'Dwyer did NOT distribute films, NOR did he make a cheap remake of 'Enter The Dragon'.
Furthermore O'Dwyer has not been accused of either of the above.

LineRunner Tue 03-Jul-12 08:55:12

His mother's quite open on the web chat that Richard O'Dwyer made £145k.

For me it's about magna carta and judicial autonomy.

If I read this correctly, a British person did something that was not unlawful in the UK, at the time it was done. But it was illegal in the USA so the USA have got our Home Secretary to agree to an extradition.

That kind of worries me.

I imagine the USA wouldn't bother to attempt this for any other reason than protecting corporate media interests, and probably wouldn't attempt it for any other 'crime'.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 10:42:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Triggles Tue 03-Jul-12 10:57:15

<<<<<<<<<<I am concerned that any UK citizen may start a small business within UK and suddenly discover they contravene a US Law; and so they are handed over to be tried, though they do not break the UK law. >>>>>>>>>>>

The difference is that he is not some innocent child that accidentally broke the law. He is a grown adult that quite obviously set out to make money by utilising a site that then relied on illegal copies of films, and knew he was breaching laws, based on the name change and the fact that he continued to reset sites after being shut down.

He is a criminal with no regard for society's rules. What a shame he didn't spend as much time dedicated to doing something legal. Not so clever, IMO.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 11:18:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Triggles Tue 03-Jul-12 11:24:11

<<<<<This country needs to respect and protect young entrepreneurs>>>>>>>>

He is not a "young entrepreneur" at all. He is a criminal with no respect for any laws, else he would have stopped when he was shut down the first time. I have no respect for him - he deserves jail time IMO.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 11:45:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 11:55:59

> Nobody can try him in UK because he has not commited a crime on UK soil.

Yes he has. The legislation is linked above. www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/2013/regulation/17/made

> This country needs to respect and protect young entrepreneurs.


Triggles Tue 03-Jul-12 12:35:17

Yes I am in the UK. Not that it has anything to do with it. hmm

Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 14:24:08

The UK/US extradition treaty was amended after 9/11 specifically for the purposes of counter terrorism.

Blunkett who signed the treaty has since stated he 'gave too much away'


Prior to the 2003 amendment O'Dwyer and others were protected from willy nilly extradition and could be tried here.

O'Dwyer's case is not about terrorism.

Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 14:25:00

Blunkett who signed the treaty has since stated he 'gave too much away'


Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 15:54:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 16:09:43

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Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 16:25:55

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Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 16:48:31

> Poulay, The Charges against Richard were dropped so he is not criminal. People are not criminals unless convicted so by the courts. There has to be a trial at the court. Allegations or laws saying what must not do, do not count to a criminal conviction. The Laws tell you what "Must not do", but only Courts decide who is criminal.

The UK courts have determined that the behaviour is criminal in the UK

It is criminal for me to break the speed limit in my car, but I still do it. I just haven't been caught. In this case O'Dwyer set up one of the world's largest movie-stealing websites, and he's going to be tried in the country that produced most of those movies.

Seems fair enough to me. The US has a multi-billion dollar movie industry and they've got every right to protect it. Why should we try him here? Surely if we prosecuted him in the UK then we'd be 'doing the Americans dirty work for them'.

These websites are definitely illegal and damaging to the film industry why should he escape justice. They want to send out a clear message to others doing the same thing.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 17:23:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 17:44:41

I don't really think he needed a solicitor in international law - the 'fuck tha police' homepage made his understanding of the criminality of his actions pretty obvious.

Don't think legal insurance would cover you for criminal enterprise either.

It's really not rocket science surely? If you are selling blue cheese to the Americans, or something like that then I can see why you might need a lawyer to check the legality of selling food, etc., but come on, stolen movies is really not a grey area.

LineRunner Tue 03-Jul-12 18:17:34

Where has Richard O'Dwyer been found guilty? Did I miss something?

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 19:32:42

Who said he had been found guilty? Why are you splitting hairs? He is being extradited, not to be tortured in Guantanamo Bay, but to stand trial to determine if he is guilty or not.


The UK court has determined that there is 'probable cause' regarding his actions.

I believe that means that we are reasonably entitled to say that his behaviour was criminal. It does not mean that he has been convicted - yet - but on a balance of probabilities, yes we can say that he committed a serious crime.

JosephineCD Tue 03-Jul-12 19:49:53

Why is he hiding behind his mother at 24?

I hope he gets 10 years in Sing Sing. Maybe he will grow up a bit.

LineRunner Tue 03-Jul-12 20:46:31

Guilty / Not Guilty.

'Splitting hairs'.

Yeah, right.

LineRunner Tue 03-Jul-12 20:55:38

Of course we do jail innocent people in this country. It's called 'on remand'. Apparently the number of people who are held but never subsequently found guilty of a crime takes up the costs of 2.8 medium-sized jails a year.

That's quite a wedge.

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 21:02:17

He is guilty.

He just hasn't been convicted yet.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 21:40:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 21:50:34

You don't need a lawyer to tell you that stealing movies is illegal.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 21:51:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 21:54:40

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Betelguese Tue 03-Jul-12 22:16:31

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Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 22:59:36

Poulay exactly what is it you believe O'Dwyer to be guilty of?

Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 23:02:33

JosephineCD at exactly what age should people grow-up?
And how does imprisonment make them into grown-ups

Poulay Tue 03-Jul-12 23:44:30

Vesta2 he has infringed copyright under Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 s107 2a. This carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. A UK court agreed this.

He knew his actions were criminal. They are criminal by international treaty.

Vesta2 Tue 03-Jul-12 23:58:17

poulay ...but what exactly did he do?

Viviennemary Wed 04-Jul-12 00:05:34

Strange how the bankers can get away with cheating. They never seem to be called to account much for their actions. And it seems to be nigh on impossible to deport certain terrorists. However, I think he should face trial and prosecution in the UK. And should not be extradited to America. I read that his website was making £15,000 a month for advertising. I would imagine he knew he was doing something not legal.

Poulay Wed 04-Jul-12 00:50:09

He exactly set up a website for stealing (downloading) copyrighted (mostly) US movies, which he made a lot of money from. What more is there to say?

Not sure which bankers have got away with cheating. You might recall the Natwest Three, three crooked bankers who tried the same 'it's so unfair' line when they were extradited to the US, employing an expensive PR firm. They got 3 years in prison. I guess O'Dwyer will get a similar sentence.

Vesta2 Wed 04-Jul-12 11:22:59

poulay were the films on his website?

LineRunner Wed 04-Jul-12 18:37:23

Habeas Corpus

Magna Carta

Prima facie

Michael Gove could be onto something ...

Dprince Wed 04-Jul-12 18:54:02

He knew what was doing was illegal. He thought he had found a loop hole but clearly didn't get that internet is not the same as a countries boarder.
He crime was commuted against the US, therefore they should try him.
He is not 'a young son' he is a poor little boy. He is a man that committed a crime and should face up to it rather than hide behind mummy.
The blog is not doing the ' campaign' any good. It is not clear and she sounds like an over bearing mother that knows her son is in the wrong but will attack others to prove so, rather than actually defending him.

LineRunner Wed 04-Jul-12 19:19:46

I am not particularly interested in the O'Dwyer family, and tbh couldn't really give much of a shit about speculation on their personal dynamics - although how the campaign is being run is clearly interesting as a lesson in winning/not winning hearts and minds.

I am interested in the law and Britain's supposed judicial autonomy, as it affects us all.

Interesting thread.

Dprince Wed 04-Jul-12 19:20:48

The crime was committed not commuted.

Vesta2 Wed 04-Jul-12 21:51:53

LineRunner yep, American Independence day, seems England can't say the same.

Poulay Wed 04-Jul-12 21:52:42

Because we extradite a criminal? Eh what? They extradite to us, we extradite to them. Following due process. No big deal.

LineRunner Wed 04-Jul-12 21:55:00

It is somewhat of a big deal.

Vesta2 Wed 04-Jul-12 22:02:54


1. criminals are people who have been found guilty of a crime.

2. US citizens are afforded greater protection from extradition as it's written in their constitution.

3 Prior to the 2003 amended treaty uk citizens had same protections, after 9/11 the treaty was hastily amended for counter-terrorism purposes.

4 The extradition treaty as it stands empowers the US and disempowers the UK.

5. I cannot see how anybody who is a UK citizen can possibly find this situation anything other than unacceptable.

Betelguese Thu 05-Jul-12 10:08:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LineRunner Thu 05-Jul-12 10:57:41

I would definitely like a public debate.

To me, it seems a dangerous precedent to set, to send a British citizen into the lion's den and shrug and say that's ok because people think he's a bit of a tosser.

So we're going to sacrifice Magna Carta because some bloke's mum's blog is a bit crap?

Poulay Thu 05-Jul-12 12:25:49

Anyone would think from reading the above that the Americans refuse to extradite to us. They don't.

We extradite to them they extradite to us, there is no imbalance, only anti-American posturing.

Betelguese Thu 05-Jul-12 17:53:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dprince Thu 05-Jul-12 18:10:10

So somebody who is accused of a crime (and admits the act) shouldn't be punished? Because they are not resident in that country?

Vesta2 Thu 05-Jul-12 18:27:01

signme.org.uk/749Lib Dems launch petition To Change The Unfair UK/US Extradition Treaty

The president of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, called on Theresa May to review her decision to approve the "ludicrous" extradition, while Conservative backbenchers said extraditions such as O'Dwyer's serve as "a thorn in the side of the special relationship".

Conservative backbencher Dominic Raab, a prominent civil liberties campaigner said he struggled to see the difference between O'Dwyer's actions and those of major search engines.

Former shadow home secretary David Davis has also spoken out in favour of O'Dwyer, and attended a campaigning event at Sheffield Hallam University for the student.

Sir Menzies Campell, who is carrying out a review of extradition policy for Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, refused to comment on current cases but said the UK extradition treaty needed more stringent controls.

All the above extracts from yesterdays Guardian.

Vesta2 Thu 05-Jul-12 18:35:59

signme.org.uk/749 Lid Dems launch petition To Change The Unfair UK/US Extradition Treaty

Betelguese Thu 05-Jul-12 18:49:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Betelguese Thu 05-Jul-12 18:58:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poulay Thu 05-Jul-12 19:04:03

Dominic Raab is evidently a bit thick.

Google do not encourage people to link to illegal movies, they index the whole internet.

If he had made a website that only accepted, let's say child pornography, saying 'hey child porn fans, I am only accepting child porn links, please send me yours - any legal pornography will be rejected' would people say that that's no different to what Google does either?

Because that's exactly what O'Dwyer did. He ran a website which ONLY linked to illegal content. If anyone can point to a major corporation that has a website devoted to illegal content I'm all hours.

Google has http://video.google.com which I'm sure has some illegal stuff in it, but they don't do it knowingly or deliberately, it's done by a robot which takes EVERYTHING. That's their defence.

O'Dwyer has no defence. None whatsoever.

Poulay Thu 05-Jul-12 19:04:22

'All ears' not 'all hours'.

Betelguese Thu 05-Jul-12 19:30:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poulay Thu 05-Jul-12 21:13:19

What's that got to do with Richard O'Dwyer? O'Dwyers actions are illegal under the 1996 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights which has been signed by almost every country on Earth: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_Trade_Organization_Members.svg

The EU rejected the NEW treaty because of issues such as trade in generic medicines. NOT because they thought Richard O'Dwyer should be able to profit from stolen movies.

LineRunner Thu 05-Jul-12 21:29:43

What's anything got to do with one bloke? That's my point. This is about Magna Carta.

Vesta2 Thu 05-Jul-12 23:22:03

poulay ''I am proud to say that the highly controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will not come into force in the European Union,” the Treaty’s rapporteur in the European Parliament, David Martin MEP, wrote on his blog after the session.
“This is a historic day in terms of European politics,” he wrote. The European Parliament vote means that 22 European member states cannot ratify ACTA into their local sovereign law.'' www.rt.com/news/acta-eu-parliament-vote-400/

Betelguese Fri 06-Jul-12 00:05:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poulay Fri 06-Jul-12 01:27:53

That's really fascinating but is completely irrelevant to O'Dwyer's actions which have been ruled illegal under UK law by a UK court and by existing (1996) international treaty.

Vesta2 Fri 06-Jul-12 12:32:19

signme.org.uk/749 Lid Dems launch petition To Change The Unfair UK/US Extradition Treaty

Vesta2 Fri 06-Jul-12 12:33:29

signme.org.uk/749 Lid Dems launch petition To Change The Unfair UK/US Extradition Treaty

Betelguese Fri 06-Jul-12 19:20:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

antsypants Sat 07-Jul-12 11:31:45

There is not a 23 ear old in the world who has the skills to run a website but is not intelligent enough to be able to know the legal implications of what they are doing, for one the websites are set up as linking websites in an attempt to avoid detection and punishment.

LineRunner Sat 07-Jul-12 16:12:25

This is not about the individual. It is about British judicial sovereignty.

Is that so difficult - really?- to comprehend.

Betelguese Sun 08-Jul-12 15:20:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StunningCunt Tue 14-Aug-12 23:54:23

"The owner of Surfthechannel.com - a site that provided links to illegally copied TV shows and films - has been sentenced to four years in jail.

The maximum sentence that could have been given at Newcastle Crown Court would have been 10 years.

Surfthechannel.com had acted as an index of professionally made online videos - both legal and illegal - encouraging its users to send in new links and check that they worked.

However, it did not host the video files itself, but instead pointed visitors to other sites including Megavideo and China's Tudou."


Seems like O'Dwyer is getting off lightly by being extradited compared with that.

NovackNGood Sat 18-Aug-12 14:01:56

He should be on the first aircraft to the US and I hope we take all court costs out his huge profits from showing hot to steal content. He knew he was doing a crime and he now goes crying to mummy even though he is a grown man.

toothandnail Thu 08-Nov-12 10:18:37

Mr Vickerman, he of surfthechannel.com was investigated by the MPAA, same as Richard O'Dwyer.
Mr Vickerman was tried and sentenced in an english court.
Mr O'Dwyer should be afforded the same and not extradited

Latonia Thu 08-Nov-12 16:27:09

This man was clever enough to set up his website but stupid to then start up a new website knowing the FBI had closed down the first one.

I don't understand why, if he made over £100k, his mother is touting for contributions for £25k, presumably for legal fees?

I would extradite him.

toothandnail Sat 01-Dec-12 02:47:21


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