Richard O'Dwyer used to run a website called TVShack which provided links to other sites that allowed downloading pirated copies of Films and TV programs.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requested O'Dwyer be extradited to the US to face charges for breaching the copyright laws. ICE claimed that the TVShack website generated "over $230,000 in advertising revenue" until the site was seized in June 2010.
Mr. Justice Purdy of Westminster Magistrate Court passed the extradition order which was approved by the Home Secretary Teresa May. O'Dwyer now faces the prospect of being tried in the United States and could face a ten years jail sentence in the US if he is found guilty by the US Court. The UK-US extradition treaty allows either country to surrender a criminal suspect to the other if the crime carries a minimum punishment of a year's prison sentence.
O'Dwyer's lawyers argued that he should only face criminal charges in the UK. The Extradition Act in UK empowers judges to pass order preventing UK citizens being extradited if it appears that a significant part of the alleged conduct took place in the UK, and in view of that and all other circumstances, it would not be in the interests of justice for the person to be tried for the offence in the requesting territory. O'Dwyer however has the right to appeal against the extradition order.
The story was first published in INTELLECT Issue no.1, dated April 2012.