US authorities are seeking to extradite a computer science student from Sheffield and throw him in jail for up to five years because he linked to online movie clips.
Twenty-three year old Richard O’Dwyer, was arrested three weeks ago and forced to spend the night Wandsworth Gaol until £3,000 bail was posted by his aunt. He's now fighting extradition to the US where, according to the Sheffield Star, he's wanted for linking to copyrighted material on the web.
He appeared before District Judge Daphne Wickham at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London yesterday and was bailed to reappear on September 12th.
As a condition of his bail he's banned from accessing the TV Shack web site, so we surmise his crime was to link to the site in the first place.
O’Dwyer is being represented by Gary McKinnon's defence lawyer Ben Cooper, who said: "The server was not based in the US at all. Mr O’Dwyer did not have copyrighted material on his website; he simply provided a link. The essential contention is that the correct forum for this trial is in fact here in Britain, where he was at all times.”
The young man's mother Julia O’Dwyer said after the hearing: “Let’s hope our Government can bring some common sense to bear to put an end to such unnecessary, yet deeply traumatic, extradition demands.
“We have a perfectly good justice system in the UK - why aren’t we using it in cases such as this?”