Although the United Kingdom has yet to withdraw plans to extradite Richard O’Dwyer to the United States in order to face charges related to copyright infringement, a separate case that isn’t entirely dissimilar to O’Dwyer’s situation may have increased pressure on the British government to take action to prevent his extradition.
Anton Vickerman, who ran the site surfthechannel.com, has been convicted of conspiracy to defraud by a U.K. court and will face sentencing next month. Vickerman’s site was similar to O’Dwyer’s, TVShack.net, in that it served as a space to share links to other sites hosting pirated movies and television shows; neither site actually hosted any content. Although Vickerman is another example of the entertainment industry’s vigorous witch hunt of so-called copyright violators, the fact that he was tried in the U.K. has amplified the call from O’Dwyer’s supporters for the government to not extradite him to the United States and, instead, try him in a U.K. court.
Earlier this week, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales created a change.org petition to be sent to United Kingdom Home Secretary Theresa May in hopes of persuading her to stop the extradition. As of today, less than five days since the petition was created, Wales has been joined by nearly 140,000 supporters on his letter to May (it just passed the 100,00 mark earlier today). The original goal for the petition was 35,000 signatures, which it achieved quickly. Now the goal has been raised to 150,000 signatures, which doesn’t really look like it’s going to be too hard for Wales to acquire.
In the meantime, no intervention has been made by the British government to keep O’Dwyer on British soil so as to face the charges in his country.[Via The Guardian.]