Student pays $32,000 for Internet piracy

Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:40 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A British student who ran a website linked to pirated copyright material has "avoided a conviction" after paying $32,000 to U.S. authorities, his lawyer says.

Richard O'Dwyer, 24, of Sheffield, who ran the TVShack website that included links to pirated films and TV programs, avoided extradition and conviction by signing a deferred prosecution agreement in a New York courtroom, attorney Ben Cooper said.

The fine, representing profits he made from TVShack from December 2007-November 2009, will be distributed among the holders of copyrights infringed by TVShack, he said.

"He has avoided extradition and will avoid a conviction," Cooper told Sky News. "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."

O'Dwyer's mother Julia said she was relieved at the outcome.

"We would like to thank the prosecutors who have been willing to engage in dialogue and recognize that this conduct did not merit the extradition, incarceration and criminalization of my son," she said.

However, she said, she was unhappy with the British government's handling of the situation in allowing extradition proceedings against her son to be initiated.

"The government is using a rotten law which was designed to bring fugitive offenders back to the place where a crime was committed, not for outsourcing our criminal justice system to another jurisdiction," she said.

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