Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
0

Tech News

'Piracy' student Richard O'Dwyer 'happy' case is over

By
The British student who escaped extradition to the US where he was facing trial and possible imprisonment over piracy charges has said that he is "happy it's finally over".

Richard O'Dwyer, from Sheffield, travelled to the US to voluntarily pay a £20,000 fine after law enforcers claimed that the 24-year-old's TV Shack website had hosted links to pirated TV shows and films.

Richard O'Dwyer

© PA Images / Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire



He had signed a "deferred prosecution" agreement with US authorities, in which he promised not to break any US laws. The case against him will be dropped if he adheres to the agreement.

Following his appearance at the New York Southern District federal court, O'Dwyer told the BBC: "I'm happy it's finally over. I still maintain I never thought I was committing a crime."

He added: "I'm glad the US has decided to drop the case. It's a pity the UK wasn't able to resolve this. I'm looking forward to getting back to university and see all my friends."

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency brought the case against O'Dwyer and TVShack.net after claiming that the site earned more than $230,000 (£147,000) in advertising revenue by offering copyrighted material.

The domain name was seized by US authorities in June 2010, and then shut down.

After O'Dwyer's extradition order to the US was agreed by Home Secretary Theresa May in the summer, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales hit out at the decision, saying that it was the US trying to "prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil".

But on November 28, a deal was agreed with the High Court in London involving O'Dwyer signing the three-page deferred prosecution agreement and so avoiding extradition.

Ben Cooper, O'Dwyer's barrister, said that as far as he knows this is a first in extradition cases, and it represents a "sensible solution for UK defendants faced with an ever-growing extra-territorial reach of US prosecutions".

Julia O'Dwyer, Richard's mother who has campaigned tirelessly on behalf of her son over the past two years, said that she was "pleased" with the outcome, but felt that the matter had dragged on too long.

"We are very pleased and relieved to have been able to resolve this matter," she told the BBC.

"We would like to thank the prosecutors who have been willing to engage in dialogue and recognise that this conduct did not merit the extradition, incarceration and criminalisation of my son.

"This matter could have been dealt with over two years ago without the threat of extradition, which in my view is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut."

A spokesperson for O'Dwyer said that the £20,000 fine would go to the victims of copyright infringement on TVShack. But the deal means he will have no criminal record and will not be subject to travel restrictions related to the case.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...