O'Dwyer avoids extradition to U.S.

LONDON

British student Richard O’Dwyer has avoided extradition to the U.S. and possible conviction for breach of copyright laws for piracy after he agreed to sign a Deferred Prosecution Agreement and pay £20,000 ($32,000) in a Gotham court Thursday.

O’Dwyer, who set up file-sharing website TVShack.net in 2007, was arrested in 2010 on allegations of copyright infringement. The U.K. dropped the criminal investigation but he has fought extradition to the U.S. for the past two years.

He travelled voluntarily to New York for the hearing.

As part of the agreement O’Dwyer committed not to break any U.S. laws, only associate with law abiding people and work in a lawful occupation. He also agreed to stay in contact with a U.S. correctional officer for six months. He will not receive a criminal record and will remain free to travel to the U.S.

Following the hearing in Gotham, O’Dwyer told the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, “I still believe I never committed any crime. I’m very pleased the U.S. government decided to drop the case against me.”

He criticized the British government for not doing more to resolve the issue.

In August, Anton Vickerman became the first Brit to be jailed for online piracy. Vickerman, who ran surfthechannel.com, was convicted in June following a private prosecution brought by Blighty’s Federation Against Copyright Theft, which could see him serve a maximum of 10 years in prison.

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