March 15, 2012

Richard O’Dwyer

Filed under: Uncategorized — madaxeman @ 9:38 pm

Now that I have a girlfriend to attend to, who quite rightly thinks it hardly unreasonable she might occasionally get a bit of my time, I need a new cause like I need a hole in the head. One of the big contributing factors to my involvement with #TwitterJokeTrial, #Dorries and #DaftArrest was that as well as being interested in the issues, I had the time to get involved. My time these days seems to be a somewhat scarce resource.

Some things though are important, and should not be left unchallenged – and such is the case with the case of Richard o’Dwyer.

Richard O’Dywer created a website called TVShack, which basically contained links to pirated televisions and films on the internet. Now, it’s important that we realise what we’re talking about here – he didn’t host any dodgy content on his own servers – he essentially just set up roadsigns on the information superhighway saying “If you’re looking for Episode 4 of Series X, it’s over there…”.

Amazingly, this action has seen the United States request his extradition to stand trial in the United States. Even more amazingly, our spineless government have agreed to it!

There are a couple of areas of concern about this case for me. The first of which is that under British Law, I do not believe it is an offence to set up links to copyrighted materials – but then I could be wrong – I am not a lawyer.

The second area of concern is a real doozie though… Whilst I should say that I do not believe this to be the case, let’s adopt (from O’Dwyer’s perspective) the worst case scenario and say he’s guilty as sin and he knows it. We’re still left with the fact that the offence would have been committed by a British citizen, on British soil. The server, if you’re interested, was in Sweden. Simple question then – what has this to do with the United States?

What we have here is a blatant case of a foreign power trying to sieze a citizen without jurisdiction, and utilising a decidedly unbalanced extradition treaty to do it. The government’s first duty should be towards its people – but this one is happy to gift wrap them and put them on the plane.

Desperate times.


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