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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 Thankyou

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'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.,
though perhaps that's even more reason why they want to control the net. Access to Hocking's work, or even 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.

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