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British Citizen May Face Extradition to the U.S. For Linking To Pirated Content


British citizen Richard O’Dwyer owned and operated a site called TVShack up until November of 2010 when U.K. and U.S. police stopped by his house to seize all his gear. Since then, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been calling for blood claiming that O’Dwyer made $230,000 by linking to pirated content. Now, after having the misfortune of being ruled against by U.S. District Judge Quentin Purdy, O’Dwyer may now face extradition to the U.S. to face the consequences of his grievous, grievous crimes.

O’Dwyer is going to appeal the ruling, of course, but regardless of how that plays out, the fact remains that the U.S. has now successfully called for the extradition of a foreign national who merely linked to pirated material. This guy didn’t even pirate anything himself or directly assist in distributing pirated content.  Should the extradition go through and O’Dwyer be found guilty, he could face something like five years in prison. It’s worth mentioning that the U.K. officials on the other hand, have not pressed charges.

If the prospect of SOPA dropping the proverbial hammer on sites that link to copyrighted material scares you, mash it up with this new extradition precedent and you’ve got a whole other monster on your hands — a monster with tentacles that reach across the pond. Hopefully this runaway train will get stopped before things get worse, but whatever happens, a dangerous precedent has been set.

(via BBC)

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