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Live webchat with Julia O'Dwyer, mother of the British student Richard O'Dwyer who's facing extradition to the US, TODAY, Monday July 2, 1-2pm

(42 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Jun-12 12:11:55

We're pleased to say that we'll be holding a webchat with Julia O'Dwyer, the mother of Richard O'Dwyer, on Monday July 2 at 1pm.

Richard O'Dwyer is a British student who faces extradition to the USA, and up to ten years in prison, because he set up a website (TVShack.net) that showed internet users where they could watch TV shows and movies online. The US authorities want to prosecute him for offences related to copyright infringement.

Several organisations (including Liberty) have taken up Richard's case. They claim that it illustrates the imperfections of the UK's extradition arrangements with the US, and that the US authorities are acting disproportionately in order to protect the business interests of media corporations. A petition launched by the Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has become the fastest-growing campaign on the UK version of the Change.org website.

Following on from a thread in which we asked Mumsnetters what they thought about the case of Eileen Clark (who is similarly threatened with extradition to the USA), many of you asked us to look into the extradition issue and make representations to the Home Secretary.

Julia O'Dwyer has spent much of the last 18 months campaigning on her son's behalf, and trying to raise awareness of the issues involved in the case. Do join us on Monday for the chat; if you can't make it, do please post up questions here in advance.

Thanks,
MNHQ

cocolepew Sat 30-Jun-12 10:53:51

Hi Julia I was wondering if you have heard from the Home Secretary personally?

I have signed the petition and hope there is a positive outcome for your family.

LineRunner Sat 30-Jun-12 14:32:09

Julia

What do you need people to do?

I am sure that there will be many MNers willing to help and offer their support.

I hope you are holding up ok.

No question, specifically, but I want to wish you the best of luck with this.

I also wanted to alert anyone who might try Googling 'TVShack' that there are several 'lookalikes' out there, most probably full of malware. Please don't visit them.

LineRunner Sun 01-Jul-12 15:53:17

I've got to work tomorrow so unfortunately I'll miss the live element of this, but I'll read it when I get home.

Following on from the question from cocolepew, - can I also ask, have the Lib Dems in Government been of any help at all? I would like to know if Clegg, Cable and Hughes think this is fair.

Good luck.

Betelguese Sun 01-Jul-12 19:13:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dinkystinky Sun 01-Jul-12 22:12:59

Julia - Richard is clearly very bright and gifted with computers and I am so sorry that you and he are going through this awful experience. Could you share with us what your thoughts were when you heard he may be extradicted, how this has impacted on your lives and if the media or politicians have given you any support in any way during this whole awful process?

Vesta2 Sun 01-Jul-12 23:44:08

Hallo Julia,

I've signed both petitions, written to my MP, The Home-Office, and the Gov't. As I write the #saverichard petition is approaching 205000 signatures.

My question is, who now can reverse the extradition and how?

TheStandard Mon 02-Jul-12 09:48:54

Hi Julia,

While I have a lot of sympathy for you as a mother, and I know this must be extraordinarily stressful and painful for you, I wonder what your thoughts are about the rights of copyright holders? I know that TVShack didn't itself host copyright-busting material, but its purpose was plainly to direct internet users to places where they could see copyrighted material without paying.

It's not that I think imprisoning Richard for ten years in a US jail is an appropriate response to this, because I don't - but I do find it a bit irritating when internet warriors essentially say 'copyright is dead, get over it'. I think that attitude could have some serious consequences for the ability of niche and unestablished artists to make careers for themselves - how are they supposed to make a living without copyright? We can't all be funded by Google AdWords.

All that said, I wish you the best of luck with your campaign.

CinnamonStix Mon 02-Jul-12 10:01:15

Hello Julia, can you tell us when the appeal against the decision to extradite is likely to be heard?

Crumblemum Mon 02-Jul-12 10:06:42

How do you find going from being a 'normal mum' to having to lead this kind of campaign? Has it been really hard work - how did you get Change.org on side or Jimmy Wiki? Have you had to do all the leg work yourself or are there others that help?

Do you think the campaign will work and how is Richard holding up?

TheBlackShiksa Mon 02-Jul-12 10:28:33

Which politicians have been helpful to you in your campaign - and are there any you'd like to name and shame as being unhelpful or having suddenly gone silent despite opposing the Extradition Treaty in Opposition?

ginghamgiraffe Mon 02-Jul-12 10:35:18

Hello Julia

I've read that you are a nurse working with terminally ill children, how has your work been affected by Richard's case - have you been able to continue?

Thanks for coming on and here's hoping the power of MN can help Richard.

Betelguese Mon 02-Jul-12 11:38:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NicholasTeakozy Mon 02-Jul-12 11:40:40

Hello Julia.

A question I'd like an answer to is why is HM Government extraditing a young man for something that is not a crime in this country? Hosting content is one thing, providing links to other websites is another.

Good luck with the campaign.

Betelguese what makes you think a "download costs zero to make and cannot be sold". Very warped misguided view.

Hi Julia - just wanted to wish you and your son best of luck.

toothandnail Mon 02-Jul-12 12:43:01

Hi Julia,
first off I'd like to wish you every success with your campaign, and have given it my support where possible.

I imagine that prior to Richard's current situation your life was relatively comfortable, mainstream and part of the status quo in a small way.

Over the last year or so you have come into contact with diverse communities and people whose religions, politics, and economics could be viewed as radical, extreme or just plain bonkers, as well as the very poor to the very rich either mainstream or alternative.

How, if at all has this affected your world view and approach to life?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Jul-12 12:57:40

Delighted to say that Julia is with us and will start answering questions shortly. Do join in and spread the word that's she's here.
Thanks

JuliaOdwyer Mon 02-Jul-12 12:59:54

Hello everyone, I'm very pleased to be here and thanks to Mumsnet for inviting me along. I hope I can answer all your questions.

JuliaOdwyer Mon 02-Jul-12 13:02:04

cocolepew

Hi Julia I was wondering if you have heard from the Home Secretary personally?

I have signed the petition and hope there is a positive outcome for your family.

The only correspondence I have had from Theresa May was the extradition order which amounted to four lines of a standard template with a rubber stamp and her signature, and that wasn't to me that was to Richard, she hasn't responded to the one letter that I wrote to her. Thank you for signing the petition and your good wishes.

JuliaOdwyer Mon 02-Jul-12 13:04:48

LineRunner

Julia

What do you need people to do?

I am sure that there will be many MNers willing to help and offer their support.

I hope you are holding up ok.

Most importantly, I need people to write to their MP's, sign the petition and spread the word. So any support like this is much appreciated and helps to put pressure on the government. I'm trying to be strong and I think I'm driven by the intense anger this has generated about the terrible injustice and disproportionate use of extradition to deal with such a matter.

JuliaOdwyer Mon 02-Jul-12 13:11:39

TheStandard

Hi Julia,

While I have a lot of sympathy for you as a mother, and I know this must be extraordinarily stressful and painful for you, I wonder what your thoughts are about the rights of copyright holders? I know that TVShack didn't itself host copyright-busting material, but its purpose was plainly to direct internet users to places where they could see copyrighted material without paying.

It's not that I think imprisoning Richard for ten years in a US jail is an appropriate response to this, because I don't - but I do find it a bit irritating when internet warriors essentially say 'copyright is dead, get over it'. I think that attitude could have some serious consequences for the ability of niche and unestablished artists to make careers for themselves - how are they supposed to make a living without copyright? We can't all be funded by Google AdWords.

All that said, I wish you the best of luck with your campaign.

Yes, this extremely stressful and terrifying. I would not condone copyright infringement creators need to be able to make a living. Having said that, business models must modernise to keep up with the modern world especially with regards to the internet and what that enables its users to do. With regard to Richard he is an avid movie fan and has publicly stated that it is much better to watch better to watch a film at the cinema and he still goes to the cinema at least twice a week. We are not actually fighting a crime here, we are fighting the extradition law and our own government, if Richard has committed any crime he should be prosecuted in this country where he was at all times.

fiftieshousewife Mon 02-Jul-12 13:11:43

Hi Julia,

What sort of response has the Save Richard campaign had in the USA? Has the Obama administration made any sort of statement on it, or have you had any private indications of what they think?

JuliaOdwyer Mon 02-Jul-12 13:14:15

fiftieshousewife

Hi Julia,

What sort of response has the Save Richard campaign had in the USA? Has the Obama administration made any sort of statement on it, or have you had any private indications of what they think?

There was a question posed to the president in a recent Google hangout about Richard but the president's response was that he really doesn't get involved with these matters. I haven't had any kind of indications from anywhere else in the US, but there has been some publicity about the Save Richard campaign and I have spoken on a New York radio show called Off the Hook.

JuliaOdwyer Mon 02-Jul-12 13:17:30

LineRunner

I've got to work tomorrow so unfortunately I'll miss the live element of this, but I'll read it when I get home.

Following on from the question from cocolepew, - can I also ask, have the Lib Dems in Government been of any help at all? I would like to know if Clegg, Cable and Hughes think this is fair.

Good luck.

I and a number of supporters have received positive responses from Nick Clegg and Vince Cable in addition, Tim Farron, Sir Menzies Campbell and Julian Huppert have been supportive the Lib Dems are against this extradition law in its present form but after 8 years action is needed not words.

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