Home Secretary Theresa May has confirmed that they will not block the US from extraditing Richard O’Dwyer, despite an online petition of over 200,000 signatures.
UK officials are to ignore the petition launched by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales explaining that;
“The UK courts found there were no statutory bars to his surrender under the Extradition Act 2003 and on 9 March the Home Secretary, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed an order for his extradition to the US.”
The Change.org petition has received support from a number of celebrities and politicians. The most notable including, writer of popular sitcom Father Ted, Graham Linehan, Labour deputy chairman Tom Watson, Conservative MP Louise Mensch and Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart.
The case against Richard O’Dwyer has attracted much criticism as the website he created, TVShack.net, was not hosted in the US. TVShack.net itself was never hosted on any US server and the majority of the site’s viewers were non-US based.
In a statement Wales said: “America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil.
“The internet as a whole must not tolerate censorship in response to mere allegations of copyright infringement. As citizens we must stand up for our rights online.”
Richard O’Dwyer could face up to 10 years in a US maximum security prison if successfully extradited. This is based on two counts of copyright infringement each carrying a maximum jail term of five years.