This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day: All Richard O’Dwyer did was start a website that linked to external sources where people could watch U.S. TV and movies online. He didn’t even get rich doing it.
Now the 24-year-old U.K. student is being targeted for extradition by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has decided to make O’Dwyer its prime target in its battle against digital copyright infringement.
O’Dwyer has been charged with criminal infringement of copyright, and conspiracy to commit criminal infringement of copyright. Each carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
How is this possible, when O’Dwyer’s site merely functioned as the middle man? The Guardian explains:
To sell a counterfeit CD or DVD of a copyrighted work is an offense, as is deliberately uploading such a work to the Internet.
American customs officials, after campaigning from industry bodies, contended that linking to such items on other sites (as search engines and others automatically do) would also be covered by such laws.
This is a contentious interpretation of the law, even in the U.S., where linking has in some court cases been regarded as protected speech under the first amendment. Part of the reason for the huge backlash against proposed copyright laws, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect [Intellectual Property] Act, was that this provision would come under attack.
It’s been two years since ICE agents first knocked on O’Dwyer’s door in the U.K. and hauled him in for questioning.
Since he was released on bail, U.S. officials have taken over O’Dwyer’s domain,tvshack.net, and replaced it with a large warning against copyright infringement; seized his computer and paperwork relating to the site; and frozen the site’s PayPal and email accounts.
O’Dwyer’s mom is campaigning online to keep her son from being made a scapegoat, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has started an online petition to raise awareness. But so far, they’ve had little luck.
Adding insult to injury, officially challenging the details of the case can only be done in U.S. courts — not in the U.K.
As he waits for his case to progress, O’Dwyer is perplexed at how his life has turned into one big, bad dream.
“There’s literally no reason I can think of why it has to be heard in America… at no point was the site ever in America,” O’Dwyer says. “I think they’re trying to use my website as a sort of guinea pig to try to scare everyone else making linking websites.”
(A complete timeline of the case, in reverse chronology, can be found here.)
- sigg7 reblogged this from letslook4treasure
- sigg7 likes this
- attitudevalue reblogged this from thedailywhat
- lipan-conjuring likes this
- lilacblossoms reblogged this from someothermonstra
- someothermonstra reblogged this from twoxheartedxdream
- sandwichpresss likes this
- twoxheartedxdream reblogged this from bananaleaves
- bananaleaves reblogged this from floralcrow
- floralcrow reblogged this from tofuboots
- usamodoki reblogged this from g1rlwh01sh0t
- usamodoki likes this
- g1rlwh01sh0t reblogged this from thedailywhat
- psionicdreams reblogged this from cafrine
- cafrine reblogged this from thedailywhat
- iateglitterforbreakfast reblogged this from thedailywhat
- becomingmia likes this
- bluebirdgirl reblogged this from thedailywhat
- duorx reblogged this from thedailywhat
- lela reblogged this from thedailywhat
- the-starving-artless reblogged this from thedailywhat
- aidiera reblogged this from thedailywhat and added:
- en-route97 reblogged this from thedailywhat and added:
- jiy likes this
- 1313 reblogged this from thedailywhat
- tanianita reblogged this from thedailywhat
- ouchthroat likes this
- jsndve likes this
- saraahlynne reblogged this from thedailywhat
- madnessmayhemmischiefmikado reblogged this from thedailywhat
- wake-and-bake-cakes reblogged this from thedailywhat
- whistlinginthearches reblogged this from thedailywhat
- urnn likes this
- yakuzadryclean reblogged this from -clu-
- death-wears-a-pencil-skirt reblogged this from thedailywhat
- lyfelyne reblogged this from azure-del-cielo
- lyfelyne likes this
- andythemanatee reblogged this from thedailywhat
- tinyobserver reblogged this from thedailywhat
- cafenthusiast reblogged this from thedailywhat
- goddess- reblogged this from pointy-earedbastard
- thewallflowercat reblogged this from estifito
- silentfool13 reblogged this from thedailywhat
- jaded-empath likes this
- bulletproof-and-dripping-in-gold reblogged this from scarydogmaticalien
- scarydogmaticalien reblogged this from headofvipers
- headofvipers reblogged this from cutesy-murderlamp
- cutesy-murderlamp reblogged this from faysbook
- splitsplat reblogged this from thedailywhat
- channers reblogged this from thedailywhat