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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Australian File-Sharer Recommended To Surrender

An Australian file-sharer who faced a similar extradition process to the UK student Richard O'Dwyer recommended him to give up and go to the United States voluntarily to face the entertainment industry.

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Hew Griffiths, the Australian, explained that he was watching O'Dwyer’s case with a sense of foreboding. The matter is that exactly the same thing happened to him a few years ago. A British judge has decided that the 23-year-old UK student, who created an online website for sharing not illegal content itself, but only the links to TV programs hosted elsewhere, should be extradited to America to face trial and up to ten years in prison.

Although this is regarded as the first time that the bizarre, favor the rich and corporate US justice system has applied to some developed democratic country, this has apparently been already seen in the colonies. Hew Griffiths was bundled on a plane to the United States four years ago in a pointless show of America’s corporate power which did little to stem Internet piracy.

Griffiths explained that if he had been charged in Australia he would have got a 6-month suspended sentence along with a $1000 fine as maximum penalty. However, the United States gave him a 6-month prison time after 3 years in Sydney’s Silverwater jail trying to fight extradition. Although he didn’t earn money from helping distribute illegal software, under American law the entertainment industry demanded his hide, and the industry’s cronies in the government were quick to throw the book at Griffiths. After facing with a 10-year jail term, Hew Griffiths struck a plea bargain as there was actually no choice.

Indeed, there was no way he could have proved his case in Virginia, because it was like juries there just listened to the case and declared him guilty before the jury door swings shut. Griffiths recommended that O'Dwyer was better off giving up and going there voluntarily. Of course, he won’t win the case, but in case of delay the prosecutors will also throw the book at him. Griffiths believes that if O'Dwyer offers a deal there would be no problem, because the politicians don’t really want to tie up their prisons.

American authorities understand that the prosecutions are pointless, but they still want to be seen to be acting for corporations like Adobe and Microsoft, though there’s still more piracy in the United States than ever. 

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