Posted on January 23rd, 2012 by Ashley

Richard O’ Dwyer, a British student that has never been to the United States, is set to be extradited to the U.S. for listing places where movies and TV shows can be illegally downloaded on his website. According to the Daily Mail, O’ Dwyer has never personally downloaded anything from these sites, he merely placed them on his website that he ran out of his dorm room in Sheffield where he is studying software programming.

The 23-year-old lost his fight against extradition on January 20. He could now face up to ten years in a high-security U.S. jail. This is because he is being charged with two counts of breaching copyright by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. His lawyer, Ben Cooper, argued that the site,, did not actually store any copyright material, it only pointed to other sites that have it stored. He compared it to the way Google and Yahoo work.

The major debate on this issue has become when the United States has the right to extradite someone for a piracy charge and why Britain just them in this case. In Britain, O’ Dwyer did not break any laws. However, he was using a domain name that had to have been purchased in the United States and this required that he used a server from the U.S. as well. Now, he falls into a different country’s ruling.

A computer guru explained the offense to BANGSTYLE:

“Take it like this. If I give you a link to a free book, I am not downloading anything myself, but I am still breaking the law because I am giving you that link to do so. That is distribution,” he explained. “He was profiting off of this website.”

This is true, O’ Dwyer was making £15,000 a month for advertising on his website. Another source explained further, “If he had a website that was not making any money, it would not have mattered because he was not profiting off of people visiting his website and clicking on these links afterwards.”

Ten years still seems a little excessive. Maybe the courts will put him away for six months to a year for breaking the law and make him pay a hefty fine. There is a chance he did not even know what he was doing because he is in another country. However, for anyone who tries to use this excuse in the future, this is all listed in the fine print whenever purchasing a domain name or server.

U.S. British Citizen Copyright Laws | Bangstyle :: A Global Network Promoting Independent Artists