UK student vows to fight copyright extradition

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Web-designing student faces up to 10 years over TV links website

A young British computer scientist is fighting extradition to the United States where he faces two charges of copyright infringement.

Richard O'Dwyer faces extradition after the Southern District Court in New York brought two charges relating to copyright infringement on his TVShack.net website, which provided links to content.

A 23-year-old web designer and computer-science undergraduate at Sheffield Hallam University, O'Dwyer was arrested three weeks ago and spent a night in Wandsworth Prison while awaiting bail, but plans to fight to keep the legal action in the UK.

The idea of going to the US is shocking for him and would disrupt his life, studies and damage his future career

O'Dwyer joins hacker Gary McKinnon on the US's wanted list.

O'Dwyer faces charges that could add up to ten years' imprisonment if he was found guilty in the States, where he faces charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, and criminal infringement of copyright, which carry a maximum sentence of five years each.

“He'll certainly fight it because if he is going to be tried it should be in this country, where we have perfectly good copyright laws,” a source close to O'Dwyer told PC Pro.

“The idea of going to the US is shocking for him and would disrupt his life, studies and damage his future career.

“As his mother said, it's absurd – like using a hammer to crack a nut.”

The source said O'Dwyer was being represented by Ben Cooper, the same lawyer who has handled the McKinnon case, and that the defence would focus on the fact TVShack did not host copyright material, only links, as well as the fact it was set up and operated from the UK.

The website was shut down by US officials, and O'Dwyer will face a hearing on 12 September in London.

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