Apart from the obvious concern regarding this story, (the realisation that there’s now very few safeguards for British citizens in relation to foreign extradition), this story also heralds the dawn of the Govt sponsored crackdown on the Internet.
Twenty three year-old Richard O’Dwyer lost his case today at Westminster Magistrates Court and could now be extradited to the U.S. to face a possible five year prison sentence over copyright infringement allegations. The Sheffield student who owned and managed website TV Shack is appealing the decision but if he loses he’ll become the first British citizen to be extradited for such an offence.
TV Shack was a website that simply hosted links to other websites which stored copyrighted material such as movies and TV episodes that people could download and watch. This has been the argument O’Dwyer has put forward during his case, that he simply linked and directed traffic to the illegally hosted movies and TV episodes and that he didn’t actually host the disputed content on his website. But following today’s unbelievable decision O’Dwyer could find himself en-route to the States and a U.S. prison cell.
Does this now mean that YouTube and Google will face the same charges for hosting full length movies which you can freely watch at any time? Smells of Denmark around here.