Richard O'Dwyer escapes 'film piracy' extradition to US

Nov 28, 2012

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales tweets 'Hooray' after running petition on behalf of British student

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RICHARD O'DWYER, the British student facing up to 10 years in a United States prison for setting up a website with links to television programmes and films stored online, will not be extradited to face trial.

US authorities claimed, a website created by the 24-year-old Sheffield Hallam student, broke copyright laws by giving users access to pirated content. Home Secretary Theresa May signed an order for his extradition to the US in March, but the BBC says he has struck a deal today requiring him to pay a "small sum of compensation" instead.

No criminal conviction will be recorded under the terms of the "deferred prosecution" agreement which O'Dwyer will formally sign when he makes a voluntary trip to the US in the next few weeks.

The deal was described today as a "very satisfactory outcome" by the High Court judge Sir John Thomas. Under the terms of the agreement O'Dwyer promises not to break copyright laws again in the knowledge he will be prosecuted if he does.

The student's supporters have always argued that if broke the law it had done so on British soil and O'Dwyer should face justice in this country, The Guardian says.

More than 253,000 people have signed a petition started in June by the Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, calling on May to block O'Dwyer's extradition. Wales greeted news of the deal by posting "hooray!" on his Twitter account.

O'Dwyer's mother Julia, who has campaigned to stop her son's extradition, described the news as "amazing".

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, which pursued the case against O'Dwyer, says his website made more than £147,000 in advertising revenue before it was shut down in 2010.

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