Richard O’Dwyer Escapes US Extradition

Richard O’Dwyer Escapes US Extradition

Richard O’Dwyer, the man behind streaming website TVShack has managed to avoid extradition to the US by signing a “deferred prosecution” agreement, that negates the chance of jail time, but means O’Dwyer will need to travel to the US and pay a small compensation sum.

This is much less than the potential huge fine and 10 years of jail time O’Dwyer could have ended up with, had he been extradited and set for trial in the US. It all seemed like a done deal too, as British current home secretary Theresa May approved his extradition and until today’s news it was only his ongoing appeal that was preventing it going through.

However O’Dwyer hasn’t been fighting it alone. Earlier this year, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, began a petition to keep the TV Shack founder in the UK to face trial – even though the charges within the country were dropped – and a GoFundMe campaign has brought in over £12,000 ($19,200) for his legal defence.

Commenting on the news was Julia O’Dwyer, the defendant’s mom: “It’s been a fraught few days waiting for them: they were delayed on the US side, because all the offices are in New York and it was all due to the hurricane [Sandy] that hit them. It’s a bit of a relief — I can’t believe it really, that it’s turned out like this, so well. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.”

While O’Dwyer sorts out his mandatory visit to the US in order to pay the compensation, his case will also head back to the high court in two weeks time to be formally dismissed.

O’Dwyer’s TVShack only linked to content, it never hosted it

Pirate Party UK leader Loz Kaye has released a statement, commenting on the news: “This decision vindicates the Pirate Party’s view that the extradition request was disproportionate and unnecessary all along. It does not remove the underlying problem though. The US can not be allowed to be the copyright cops of the world. I hope that Richard and Julia O’Dwyer will be able to begin to rebuild their lives now.”

TVShack was a streaming link site that was created in 2007. O’Dwyer was officially arrested and charged in 2010, at which time he also shut the site down and it has remained that way since. While all charges seem now to have been dropped, he was initially charged with copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

Anyone else think that this was a very long, drawn out way for the authorities to prevent TVShack from operating? A two year trial push to finally accept a visit to the US and a small fine?

What do you guys think?