Sheffield student settles copyright case and avoids extradition

Sheffieid Hallam student Richard O'Dwyer.
Sheffieid Hallam student Richard O'Dwyer.
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A SHEFFIELD student who ran a website where users could stream pirated films has ‘avoided a conviction’ after paying £20,000 to US authorities, his lawyer has said.

Sheffield Hallam University student Richard O’Dwyer ran the TVShack website hosting links to pirated films and TV programmes.

But after a court hearing in New York, the 24-year-old avoided extradition and conviction by signing a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

As a result he paid £20,000 to the authorities, representing the profits he made from TVShack between December 2007 and November 2009.

The money will be distributed among victims whose copyrights were infringed.

Lawyer Ben Cooper said: “Richard O’Dwyer is very happy to put this behind him. He has avoided extradition and will avoid a conviction.

“The solution reached is pragmatic and allows Richard to finish his final year at university and get on with his studies at a crucial time in his life. We are grateful the US recognised it was in everyone’s interests to find a practical solution.

“So far as we know this is a first in extradition cases – and a sensible solution for UK defendants faced with an ever-growing extra-territorial reach of US prosecutions.

“I expect this mechanism will be used by UK defendants in future US extradition cases now the precedent has been established and at least until the Government introduces the promised forum amendment into the Extradition Act 2003.”