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O’Dwyer extradition raises copyright profile

19 March 2012

As Cameron and Obama were recently discussing the current extradition laws between the 2 countries, Home Secretary Theresa May approved the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer to the US, after a UK court had earlier decided he could be extradited for copyright infringement for hosting sites that provided links to unauthorised copyright material on other sites, which could then be download.

Mr O’Dwyer argues he had not downloaded the infringing material but merely directed searchers to other sites.

The two countries’ copyright infringement laws differ; Mr O’Dwyer is facing a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment in the US, compared with 2 years in the UK.

This decision will certainly concern UK infringers; although whether this will set a precedent will perhaps depend on Cameron and Obama’s recent discussions. Either way, we can be sure that Mr O’Dwyer’s case will only add to the current debate on whether UK copyright law can stand up to technological advances.

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