jail.jpgLos Angeles – Twenty-three-year-old British computer student, Richard O’Dwyer is facing possible extradition to the United States to be charged with copyright infringement for illegally linking copyrighted material to a website that he created.

The website, TVShack.net which is now showing a government notice that is has been seized,  had links to thousands of movies and television shows, but did not directly host them.  O’Dwyer was arrested on May 23 in England, and then released after a family member posted his bail. 

If O’Dwyer is brought back to the U.S., he could be sentenced to up to five years in a federal prison if found guilty of copyright infringement.  O’Dwyer and his family are fighting the extradition attempt and are pleading with the UK government to deny the extradition demand because they believe the charges are disproportionate, unnecessary, and deeply traumatic.  O’Dwyer’s mother apologized for her son’s foolishness and claims that he did not understand U.S. copyright laws and the implications for breaking them.

O’Dwyer’s attorney is also defending Gary McKinnon, the alleged military hacker.  McKinnon also faces extradition back to the United States.  The fact that O’Dwyer’s website never actually hosted any of the copyrighted material and that the server was not based in the U.S. may be adequate defense to keep him from being extradited.