1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Thursday, 29 November 2012

O'Dwyer escapes the wrath of the USA

Richard O'Dwyer, the 24 year old UK student who created TVShack, which offered consumers the chance to stream and download hundreds of copyrighted films and TV programmes without the permission of copyright owners, has escaped extradition to the USA. O'Dwyer has seemingly done a plea bargain - whereby he will attend the USA and visit a court - and pay over a limited amount of compensation, avoiding both extradition and a criminal trial for the infringements. O'Dwer was a student at Sheffield Hallam University and made an alleged £147,000 ($230,000) running his original incarnation of TVShack, and after that was closed down, a second similar service, before that was finally shut down in 2010. The site did not host content, but linked to infringing sites. 

After UK Home Secretary Teresa May blocked the extradition of hacker Gary McKinnon to the USA on human rights grounds, and said she was introducing more stringent tests before extradition requests for trials outside the UK could take place, O'Dwyer remained one of the last extradition cases to be heard. It seems his legal team sought a compromise with US prosecutors although just as talks were reaching a crucial point, New York was struck by Hurricane Sandy, delaying any agreement which was eventually announced in the High Court yesterday. More on the history of Mr Dwyer's trials and tribulations here and here .

And a more opinionated view at http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/nov/28/richard-odwyer-films-struggle-liberty

1 comment:

Francis Davey said...

Point of information: my understanding was that Mr O'Dwyer had signed a "deferred prosecution agreement". In return for complying with the conditions of the agreement, he will not be prosecuted and there will have no criminal record - at least from the US Federal perspective.

There is some discussion of this in the Guardian..

Deferred Prosecution Agreements are coming to the UK within the next 2 years if DOJ timetables are to be believed. So we will all have to know about them.