UK student Richard O’Dwyer avoids jail in US over copyright infringement

7 Dec 2012

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Richard O'Dwyer, creator of TVShack.com

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Richard O’Dwyer. A 24-year-old UK student who faced extradition to the US over alleged copyright infringement through his website TVShack.com has escaped a 10-year jail term after signing an agreement in New York.

O’Dwyer, a student at Sheffield Hallam University, as a teenager created a website called TV.Shack.net, which linked to places on the internet where users could watch TV and movies online.

In 2010, UK police officers and US customs officials arrested O’Dwyer at his student digs in Sheffield.

A petition for extradition was approved by UK Home Secretary Theresa May on 9 March in spite of massive opposition to the move in the press and by the public.

At the time of writing, a Change.org petition by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales attracted 253,657 signatures.

At a hearing in lower Manhattan yesterday, O’Dwyer signed an agreement that was reached last week by his legal team and US prosecutors.

Under the agreement, O’Dwyer was ordered to pay over US$32,000, the net equivalent of the profits he was supposed to have earned while running TVShack.com.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com