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British student strikes deal to avoid US extradition over copyright charges

A British student facing trial and possible imprisonment in the US on charges of copyright infringement has struck a deal to avoid extradition, it was revealed today.

The BBC reports that 24-year-old Richard O'Dwyer from Sheffield signed a "deferred prosecution" agreement that requires him to pay a small fee rather than be extradited.

A High Court judge called the move a "very satisfactory outcome" and revealed that O'Dwyer would voluntarily to travel to the US in the next 14 days to complete the agreement and pay the compensation.

If tried and convicted in a US court, O'Dwyer could have face up to 10 years imprisonment.

The US authorities brought charges against O'Dwyer's website, TVShack, in 2010, accusing it of providing links to pirated films and TV programmes hosted on the web. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency claimed that, which was shut down in June 2010, earned more than $230,00 (£147,000) in advertising revenue.

Before today's outcome, Home Secretary Theresa May had initially approved O'Dwyer's extradition after a hearing earlier this year.

A leaked memo from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) described TVShack as a pirate site that made a profit by providing aggregated links to copyrighted material.

"Richard O'Dwyer created, offering thousands of stolen movies and other pirated content to viewers in violation of both US and UK law. He profited handsomely from advertising on the site. To call him a 'middleman' suggests a lack of involvement in the illegal activity, which is simply not the case," read the memo.