British Home Secretary Theresa May is sacrificing the life of a young British citizen who committed no crime other than hacking off Big Content.
To be fair to May she would send anyone overseas to face a kangaroo court if the government asked her, but the case of Sheffield Hallam student Richard O’Dwyer is particularly unpleasant.
Under pressure from Hollywood, the US has started criminalising cases of piracy and using its legal system as a private police force for the studios. This unfortunately also means enforcing Big Content’s view about what is a “crime”.
A sensible home secretary would look at the charges that a British Citizen faces and question what he had done.
What O’Dwyer did was, when he was 19, open a website called tvshack.net which linked to places to watch TV and films online. In the UK this was not a crime – the movie studios complained and the CPS said it was not worth pursuing. So Big Content leaned on its tamed US cops to get an extradition on the kid so he could face the full wrath of US law.
In the US he could go to jail for a decade for doing something which is legal in the UK.
Needless to say that created a bit of stink with people who feel that May is ruining a kid’s life just to keep the US government happy.
To make matters worse, a US citizen who carried out a crime in the UK would not be extradited back to face the music. The US is better at protecting its own citizens than May.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Theresa May has told the House of Commons that she will not revisit plans to extradite to the US on copyright charges, saying her mind was already made up.
This lady is not for turning and the usual rubbish.
May hopes that this will push her tough Margaret Thatcher style image, but the reality is that she just appears like a heartless careerist who would sell her own grandmother if she thought she could look good on the cover of the Daily Mail.
O’Dwyer’s only hope now is a court appeal.
But May might be finding that she is facing a lot of public support for O’Dwyer. Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales is arranging an army of celebrities to take her on.
He is quoted as saying May should be very clear that the case is not going to go away and new supporters are joining the campaign all the time.