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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Jimmy Wales Will Fight for TVShack.net Founder

Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia creator, has launched a campaign aimed at stopping the extradition of TVShack.net founder Richard O'Dwyer to the United States. O’Dwyer is suspected of having committed copyright offences and is currently facing extradition to the United States.

Actually, charges against TVShack.net founder in the United Kingdom were dropped before he was handed an extradition notice. This makes many believe that the entertainment industry wants one of its court show trials in the United States, where TVShack creator will face a long jail sentence and a million dollar fine.

Thus far, the UK authorities have gone along with it, with the judge ruling in January that O'Dwyer could be extradited to the United States. As for Home Secretary Theresa May, whose hobbies listed on Facebook include “sending people to legal doom in other countries”, she signed off the extradition a couple months ago.

The problem is that in the United Kingdom, this online portal didn’t violate the law. The service only linked to locations where content could be downloaded, but didn’t provide the downloading function directly. In other words, it served as a search engine for video content, and the results could lead to unauthorized websites. Since TVShack wasn’t hosted in the United States, any “criminal” behavior happened in the United Kingdom, which means that the service should have faced the UK justice rather than the expensive charade of justice planned in the former colonies. Wikipedia founder claims that the web as a whole must not tolerate censorship in response to mere accusations of copyright violations.

Richard O'Dwyer always played by the rules: when he received requests to delete material from copyright owners, he complied. Jimmy Wales believes that although copyright is a very important institution, which serves a beneficial moral and economic purpose, this shouldn’t mean that copyright’s powers are unlimited. Nor should it mean that people have to abandon time-honored moral and legal principles in the interests of Hollywood.

Wikipedia founder says that Richard O'Dwyer represents the human face of the battle between the entertainment industry and the people. It’s just as if he fought against anti-copyright laws SOPA and PIPA. The petition against his extradition has 12,610 signatures.

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