Wikipedia founder wants man's extradition stopped

Richard O'Dywer allegedly earned thousands of pounds through advertising on the TVShack website before it was closed down by US authorities
Richard O'Dywer allegedly earned thousands of pounds through advertising on the TVShack website before it was closed down by US authorities Photo: PA

The founder of Wikipedia is calling on the Home Secretary Theresa May to stop the extradition of a student from the Midlands to the US on copyright charges.

Richard O'Dwyer, who is 24 and from Bolsover near Chesterfield, faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted of the charges related to TVShack.net, a website he set up which linked to other sites that streamed pirated television programmes and films.

The extradition was approved by a district judge in January but Mr O'Dwyer has appealed against it. The appeal is due to be heard by the High Court later this year.

"O'Dwyer is not a US citizen, he's lived in the UK all his life, his site was not hosted there, and most of his users were not from the US," he wrote.

"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."

– Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

On Saturday (June 23), Mr O'Dwyer's mother Julia took part in a protest at Downing Street against the extradition order.