TVShack owner will not be extradited to America

Richard O'Dwyer, the young British man who ran the TVShack linksite (which allowed users to post links to legal and illegal places to watch TV online) will not be extradited to the USA after all. He's settled with the US government, and will pay a small fine, as well as travelling voluntarily to the USA to paper over the proceedings. TorrentFreak paints this as a victory for the activists who fought for O'Dwyer, including the 250,000+ Britons who signed Jimmy Wales's petition to keep O'Dwyer out of the US justice system.

The MPAA, who are believed to be the prime instigators of the case, were not happy with these campaigns and will probably be disappointed by the deal. A few months ago leaked documents revealed that the movie industry group saw Richard O’Dwyer as a purposeful copyright infringer.

“O’Dwyer was not a mere ‘middleman.’ He profited heavily from this activity. To call him a ‘middleman’ suggests a lack of involvement in the illegal activity, which is simply not the case,” MPAA wrote.

“Being 24, posing for newspaper photo shoots in a cartoon sweatshirt, and having your mother and Jimmy Wales speak for you, does not mean you are incapable for breaking the law,” the added.

TV Shack Admin Richard O’Dwyer Will NOT Be Extradited To U.S.


  1. “Being 24, posing for newspaper photo shoots in a cartoon sweatshirt, and having your mother and Jimmy Wales speak for you, does not mean you are incapable for breaking the law.”  Charming. I can see why the MPAA garners so much good will.

  2. “O’Dwyer was not a mere ‘middleman.’ He profited heavily from this activity. To call him a ‘middleman’ suggests a lack of involvement in the illegal activity, which is simply not the case,” MPAA wrote.

    Ironic that someone representing a bunch of middlemen doesn’t understand the definition of middleman.

  3. Still don’t like the sound of this. He shouldn’t have had an extradition order in the first place and why should he have to capitulate for something not illegal under British law and not actually allegedly “committed” in the states? His site wasn’t even hosted there, so, as far as I can see, what case has the USA against him, constantly insisting he was “breaking the law”. Who’s law? In who’s country? The MPAA should also keep their noses out of things that don’t concern them. The UK government seems to have rolled over once again. Why should he have to go to the states to “settle” this matter and what guarantee is there that he won’t still be arrested on arrival, given the USA’s recent dubious record of riding rough-shod over Kim Dotcom and seizing other people’s domain names? The whole affair is a total disgrace and a whitewash from both governments.
    This comment is very pertinent:
    Open Rights Group chief Jim Killock said in a statement that it was “great that [O’Dwyer’s] extradition request will be dropped”,but he should not have been up for extradition at all. “Is the UK government happy for the US to assume jurisdiction over every UK Internet user? The government would do well to take a long hard look at its extradition arrangements with the USA,” Killock said.

    1. It’s probably some sort of backroom deal between the US and the UK to save their faces. The US gets a small victory and can continue to pretend that the internet gives them world wide dictatorial legal authority. The UK doesn’t look like the bootlicking lapdog it is.

    2. The US is really starting to scare me with their world police mentality, between the MPAA and there drone strikes. Just look at all the comments on the Egypt sentences ‘Innocence of Muslims’ director to death, in absentia article, they are funny about Egypt not having drones but also true.

      Hopefully I can hear the quadrocopter coming as I will be hiding inside

    3. If TV Shack allowed people in the United States to access their site, they could be said to be operating in the U.S. and therefore to be under U.S. legal jurisdiction. At least that’s how U.S. authorities interpret it. Really, I think the only way someone can protect themselves from U.S. legal oversight on the Internet is to block people in the United States from accessing their site.

      1.  Are you seriously trying to suggest that just because the site (which in itself was not illegal in the UK) was able to be accessed from the USA that O’Dwyer should be subjected to their laws on that basis and extradited? Operating in the US? I think not. I understand the site was not even hosted there. Presumably then, you would have anyone who has ever criticised a repressive government on line shipped off to face their laws just because they have seen that particular person’s site and take exception to it or declare it illegal in THEIR country. Rubbish, I say. The crux of the matter, as I see it, is that one country is trying to apply their laws to a resident of another and this is not on in my opinion. Also see my reply to Camp Freddie further on.

  4. >He profited heavily from this activity.

    I wasn’t aware that TVShack was for-profit if it was just links.  does he mean advertising?  did O’Dwyer really profit?  how “heavily”?  or, as I suspect, was the MPAA guy just making that up?

  5. He’s not coming to the US “voluntarily”, and it could just be a ruse to arrest him in the US.   Countries should not even be able to open extradition hearings if it’s not also illegal there as well.

    What’s next, extradition to Pakistan for blasphemy?

  6. Uhh.. 

    “will not be extradited to the USA after all”

    “travelling voluntarily to the USA to paper over the proceedings”

    Can anyone tell me what’s protecting him from being arrested when he voluntarily shows up?

  7. Glad that the MPAA are standing up for the principle that only MPAA members are allowed to mercilessly exploit creatives for money.

    Also glad that they’re taking a stand against people that manipulate the media in order to paint themselves as injured innocents and their opponents as shameful opportunists. Now, where’s my Willy Wonka meme picture…

  8. I’m glad he’s not getting extradited.

    FYI, what he was accused of was illegal in the UK. That is the entire point of how and why he could be extradited (the extradition treaty requires any offence to be illegal in both the UK and US). It’s all spelled out by the judge in his extradition decision.
    The reason he could be extradited is that everyone in the UK turned a blind eye to enforcing copyright law under the Digital Economy Act (because the law is untested and our own media goonsquad weren’t stupid enough to create a martyr by taking him to court). However, this meant that the MPAA in the USA could demand his extradition, because some US citizens were affected by his actions.
    The extradition treaty is hugely flawed because anyone who is alleged to commit a crime on the internet can be extradited if a ‘victim’ is i the USA, regardless of where the ‘perpetrator’ lives or where the servers or other infrastructure are based.

    Also, this won’t be a trap. Reneging on promises made over an extradition makes you an international pariah. It’s why we can’t extradite suspect terrorists to Jordan. We can’t believe them when they say ‘no death penalty’ and ‘no torture’. It’s also why we can extradite murderers to the USA, because the USA haven’t lied about assurances (such as no death penalties) given in the past.

    1. I don’t buy this. Methinks you are waffling, sir! Similar sites in the UK have been found to be legal and non-infringing, so why should O’Dwyer’s be any different? Sounds suspiciously as if they were gunning for the small guy who couldn’t put up a fight, financially, just to make an example of him. There was no prosecution in the UK, so just WHO has made the arbitrary decision that it is illegal without due process through the courts? You have set yourself up as judge and jury and stated quite categorically that what he did was illegal. You are obviously legally qualified to say this, so please produce court documents to show this as fact. I fail to see why a UK citizen who is NOT doing illegal in his own country should be subjected to the laws of the USA – a country he is not a resident of or even visited, just because the site can be accessed from there. (A further red herring thrown in by poster, GregS previously). As mentioned elsewhere, does that mean that anyone who has been critical of (say) some far eastern country’s royal family and lives elsewhere where their laws are not supposed to apply will immediately be shipped off to have their hands cut off or whatever other heathen punishment these people have? Your argument makes no sense.

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