Former TV Shack admin Richard O'Dwyer no longer faces the prospect of extradition to the U.S. and a lengthy trial, as deal is struck with the U.S. government
Former TV Shack admin Richard O'Dwyer has managed to avoid being extradited to the United States to face copyright charges, after the university student made a "deferred prosecution" deal with the U.S. government.
Having been the man behind the TV linking website TV Shack, O'Dwyer was shocked to learn last year that the U.S. government had intended to extradite the UK citizen to the U.S. for prosecution on criminal copyright charges, despite Richard's website having never hosted illegal content. Some similar cases in the UK had already been dismissed, which led to claims that the U.S. government, backed by the powerful movie industry, was "jurisdiction shopping".
The tough extradition battle and the apparent unfairness of the situation of the all powerful movie industry and the full force of the U.S. government agencies against a 24 year-old university student led prominent Internet pioneer, and founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, to launch an online appeal against the extradition. An online petition set up by Wales managed to attract more than half a million signatures.
It appears the online protest, which brought immediate mainstream attention to the plight of Richard, has had an effect, as the U.S. government has now agreed to deal with Richard and put extradition off the table. Instead, Richard will now simply have to pay "a small sum in compensation" to the rightsholders.
As part of the agreement, Richard's mother Julia will now have to fly to the U.S. to complete the deal.