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Support for Richard O'Dwyer

The founder of internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia has thrown his support behind a campaign seeking to block the extradition of a student based in Sheffield to the US on copyright charges.

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160,000 sign 'Wikipedia' petition in support of Richard O'Dwyer who is set to be extradited for copyright charges

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition launched by the founder of internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia to block the extradition of a Sheffield student to the US on copyright charges.

Jimmy Wales, 45, came out in support of Richard O'Dwyer, 24, who faces up to 10years in prison if convicted of charges relating to his website, TVShack.net.

Some 164,000 people have signed the online petition in just five days.

O'Dwyer's supporters argue that as the site, which linked to other sites that streamed pirated television programmes, did not host material itself he should not face any charges and should therefore not be extradited.

[Richard is] the human face of the battle between the content industry and the interests of the general public".

– Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder

I'm blown away by the response to Jimmy's petition. It's been a tough year campaigning for my son but this outpouring of support from around the world has really made politicians sit up and take note of Richard's case.

– Julia O'Dwyer, Richard's mother

The overwhelming support for Richard should send a message to the Government about the public's outrage at our rotten extradition regime - which both coalition partners opposed in opposition.

– Rachel Robinson, of the human rights group Liberty

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