An Aussie filesharer who faced a similar extradition process to British student Richard O’Dwyer said it’s easier to give up and go to America to face the music.
Hew Griffiths said that he was watching O’Dwyer’s case with a sense of foreboding because the same thing happened to him.
A UK judge has ruled that the 23-year-old British student, who built an online site for sharing links to TV programs hosted elsewhere, can be extradited to the United States to face trial and up to 10 years in jail.
While this is the first time that America’s bizarre, favour the rich and corporate justice system has applied to a developed democratic country, apparently it has been seen in the colonies.
Griffiths was bundled on a plane to the US in 2007 in what he believes was a pointless show of US corporate power that did nothing to stem online piracy.
He said that if he had been charged at home he would have received a six-month suspended sentence and a $1000 fine, maximum.
The US gave him a six month jail term after three years in Sydney’s Silverwater jail attempting to fight extradition.
Griffiths made no cash from helping distribute pirated software and games, however, under US law Big Content demanded his hide, and its cronies in government were happy to throw the book at him.
Faced with a ten year jail term he struck a plea bargain because there was no choice.
There was no way he could have proved his case in the state of Virginia. Juries there just listen to the government’s case and declare the person guilty before the jury door swings shut.
Griffiths told the Sydney Morning Herald that O’Dwyer was better off giving up and going there. He’s not going to win the case, but if he delays the prosecutors will throw the book at him.
“If he offers a deal there won’t be a problem. All they want are political brownie points. They don’t want to tie up their prisons,” Griffiths said.
US authorities know the prosecutions are pointless, but they want to be seen to be acting for companies such as Adobe, Microsoft and News Corporation, Griffiths added. However, there is still more piracy in the US than ever.