US grabs, extradites British college student linking activities legal in Britain, but US seized domain name as student faces possible 10 years in US prison.

Richard O'Dwyer, a 23 year old student at Sheffield Hallam University, has lost his battle to resist extradition to the US. In June 2010, ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) seized the domain, even though it was hosted in Sweden (the .net domain registrar is in the US). A British court found the extradition order lawful and the UK Home Secretary agreed to fulfill the extradition order.

O'Dwyer's sited was established in December 2007, and claimed to be a "resource site" for movie, television, music, and other files located on third-party sites. Hosted in Sweden, the website content later moved to, a domain not registered in the US. ICE grabbed that domain, along with more than 80 others, in November 2010. British media is boiling over the extradition of a young student, directing their anger at both the US and British officials for allowing the action.

Heavy handed

Fascist Police State - the most serious crimes are the ones against greedy corporation.

kot_matroskin on

he's accused of aiding and abetting those who aided and abetted those who infringed copyright in Romania who, among many infringements, some were of American rightsholders.

pinkyorperky on

Will we be shipped off to a Gulf State if we offend Muslims? If you can be extradited to a foreign country for something that is legal in this country then what is the point of British citizenship.

nogbadthebadest on


We seem to be filing more extraditions for copyright violators than murderers, rapists, kidnappers, and financial fraudsters combined.

Facekhan on

No government worthy of the name would extradite their own citizens or cause them to be extradited for such pathetic charges.

pewkatchoo on

they paint him up as a poor student, and don't mention the $250,000+ he made off the site. This was absolutely not just piracy, but PROFITING from piracy.

TylerE on

Internet complications

Wow. And not a good wow. Charged for posting links. Can't help but think we are on a path to no place good.

Romberry on

Don't host your startup with a US company or at a European data center belonging to a US company (e.g. AWS or Linode in Ireland). And preferably not in a country that is a US copyright/IP colony (UK, AU, NZ, CA).

hastur on

It was a linking site, he wasn't hosting anything. Google aids in copyright infringement as people use their service every day to find download links to things. But they are fine?

methoddk on

Legal authorities prosecuting Internet-based crimes will generate an enormous amount of new case law figuring out global jurisdictions for local crimes over the next dozen or so years.

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