Petition against Sheffield student’s extradition attracts over 20,000 names

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OVER 20,000 names have been added to a petition against a Sheffield student’s extradition to the US.

Richard O’Dwyer, aged 23, of Bolsover, who is studying at Sheffield Hallam University, faces extradition to America over a website he set up called TVShack, which US authorities claim provided links to pirated films and television programmes.

The computer science student, who lives on Shoreham Street in Sheffield, allegedly earned thousands of pounds through advertising on the site he ran from his bedroom before it was closed down.

If convicted of breaching copyright laws in America he could face 10 years in jail.

Richard’s lawyers claim his site did not store copyright material that it is no different to internet search engines such as Google, which act as pointers to information rather than being responsible for the content.

Richard refused to give his consent to be extradited to face charges in the US but during a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in January, when his legal team and the US authorities both put their sides, it was ruled that the student could be sent to the US to face trial.

He is planning to appeal and take his case to the High Court, claiming extradition breaches his human rights.

His lawyers said he would be the first British citizen to be extradited for copyright infringement and was being used as ‘guinea pig’ for copyright law in the US.

They claim he never downloaded illegal copyright material himself.

He is not facing any criminal charges in Britain.