Skip to comments.'Piracy' student Richard O'Dwyer loses extradition case
Posted on 01/13/2012 8:37:55 PM PST by BlazingArizona
A Sheffield student can be extradited to the US to face copyright infringement allegations, a judge has ruled.
Richard O'Dwyer, 23, set up the TVShack website which US authorities say hosts links to pirated copyrighted films and television programmes.
The Sheffield Hallam University student lost his case in a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
If found guilty in a US court he could face up to five years in jail.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
So stealing other people's intellectual property is something that the Constitution specifically allows the Congress to regulate.
I don’t understand your complaint.
Note: I am a copyrighted artist and published author.
The British are fools for allowing this.
Well, the “limited Times” for writings have, practically speaking, become unlimited.
If that were true, I wouldn’t be able to sell Mickey Mouse knock-offs. . . . oh wait!
Nope. The general rule is Life + 70 years. (Though it is longer in certain cases). This is in line with the copyright statutes of many other nations.
If an individual invents a device, and consumers find this device to be useful, the inventor shouldn’t receive royalties for his invention? It should be legal to take credit for that invention, or a song, or composition, or painting, etc.? We should legalize the pirating of merchandise whose authors or inventors won’t receive royalties, compensation, or profit?
China’s looking for a few good believers. You may like it there.
No. The notion that government granted monopolies called patents and copyrights constituted property rights was unknown at the time the Constitution was framed, and has done much mischief to the Founders intent. The phrase "intellectual property" is a late 19th century innovation. When the Founders framed the Constitution, they had in mind the Statute of Monopolies of 1624 and the Law of Queen Anne, both of which were understood as the Crown granting monopoly rights to inventors and authors respectively (and in the former case limiting the right of the Crown to grant monopolies to new inventions).
The notion that such rights constitute property and can be bought and sold is the root of the current state of affairs in which one would almost imagine the Constitutional provision read "To impede Progress of Science and the useful Arts, by securing for indefinitely extendible Times to Commercial Interests the exclusive Right to the Writings and Discoveries of Authors and Inventors who permitted them to make copies thereof."
The notion that creating more copies of information constitutes theft of the information is to say the least bizarre. It is a violation of a state-granted monopoly on the copying of the given information, to be sure, but unlike actual theft does not deprive others who possess the information of its enjoyment. In the present case, the notion that a grant of a monopoly by the U.S. Congress applies to foreign nationals on foreign soil is a precedent we do not want to set, as other states will claim the same right to extradite U.S. citizens for violations of their laws on U.S. soil.
Government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.
Agreed, and those in the U.S. government demanding it are fools, too. Do they really think that this sort of extraterritoriality won't be applied by other nations against U.S. citizens?
Yeah, right, and when the copyright on Mickey Mouse is due to expire again, it will become Life of author + 140 years, and the U.S. will badger other countries to go along with it and extend their copyright terms or at least agree to honor U.S. copyrights.
The last good copyright law was the Law of Queen Anne (14 years plus 14 more if the author, not the author’s publisher, not the author’s estate, the author requested it). Progress in Science and the useful Arts that is the Constitutional justification of patents and copyrights in the U.S. depends as much on things passing into the public domain as on encouraging research and artistic output by granting monopolies. Most of our early cinema history will turn to dust in film cans because the copyright laws you defend are keeping anyone from copying it. Snatches of melodies are now the subject of lawsuits. There will be no “Variations on a Theme of John Lennon” composed because the hassle in getting rights to reuse the melody is too great. Already musical settings of Robert Frost’s poetry are impossible, thanks to copyright laws that now act contrary to the Constitutional justification and only serve to allow “rightsholders” who didn’t produce a bit of art to prevent the creation of derivative works unless the new artist pays them tribute because government-granted monopolies have been reified as “property”.
LOL! You repeat libertine talking points almost verbatim. The language is very plain, and absolutely supports “government granted monopolies” (OH NOEZ BOOGEYMEN!!! BOOOGHA BOOOGHA BOOOGHA!!!)
“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to THEIR respective Writings and Discoveries.”
Foolish laughter. The limits have been made effectively indefinite. Patents and Copyright have been merged together in a stew of "intellectual property", and a police state is required to enforce the rules. The rights holders greedily seek to charge rent forever on their holdings at the expense of progress, because progress would bring about the failure of their business model. "Obviousness" has been tossed out the window, discoveries have become inventions, and telling someone where to find something on the internet is labeled as piracy.
Pirating has been going on since before there was a World Wide Web. They used to share movies (and still do) via USENET and in all of that time I still haven’t figured out how they can claim all of these losses. They obviously claim that a person who downloads “War Horse”, for instance, is stealing the $10 he would have spent on a movie ticket when the reality is that the vast majority of downloaders would just stay home if they couldn’t get it for free. If they thought it was such a drain on their resources then logic dictates that “War Horse” would have never been made in the first place since they knew well before the movie ever made it past the planning stage that there was a 100% chance it would end up on a pirate site. Yet they still soldier on? Do they think jailing some kid is going to make the slightest dent on downloading?War Horse
That would be more pertinent a debate if the works which O’Dwyer were alleged to pirate were ones that would have been well out of copyright under older, shorter term copyright laws. But this does not seem to be the case. O’Dwyer is accused of pirating works that are maybe five or ten years old at the most. Even Queen Anne statutes would have frowned upon this. And it’s not a mere list of URLs that have to be manually typed into a browser one by one; it’s the universally understood thing called a link which works like a machine (if it ever failed to work like a machine you’d be very incensed at the system being broken).
As always there are two sides to such stories.
Roger that. Under the logic used here If I blaspheme Mohammed the US should extradite me to Iran for trial.
My complaint here is the whole idea that US law applies outside the US. It does not. The defendant is an Englishman who put up a website in Britain, with no connection to the US whatever. This is an activity subject to British law, not US law. Britain has intellectual property laws of its own, which are not all that different from our own, under which it could prosecute if O’Dwyer is in violation. But they won’t, because O’Dwyer is posting just links, not actual copyrighted content. This is legal under British law.
Why, especially in an era of massive deficit spending, are we even spending revenue carrying water for Hollywood? Extradition treaties are supposed to be for catching murderers on the lam. They are not for Obama and Holder to play “mine’s bigger than yours” for the entertainment industry.
I hope the UK abrogates the extradition treaty and tells Holder to go to hell. And yes, I too speak as a published author who has had to stay current on IP law as part of the job.
-——the securing for limited Times-——
The time part is abused
I agree with you about why go after this person when he is only supplying links AND he is in a foreign country? But is that truly all he is doing? Is there more to this story then either of us know?
China is the greatest culprit when it comes to stealing copyrighted material. I can’t think of anyone who has been extradited from there for stealing another’s creation. It is to be expected that the two nations with the greatest amount of copyrighted output would move against an individual trafficking in copyrighted material. Certainly China doesn’t care, and they do have copyright laws.
If this man is indeed not guilty of trafficking in the works of aother, and simply providing links, then the situation vis a vis the action of the DOJ is alarming. IMHO this would be Obama the dictator sending a message to those internet users who supply links - LOOK OUT, ‘CAUSE I’M COMING FOR YOU NEXT!
At present monopoly rights are granted to publishers, estates of authors and inventors, and companies that had nothing to do with inventing a device, all because the monopolies the Constitution proposes to grant to Authors and Inventors (on the model of the Statute of Monopolies of 1624 and the Law of Queen Anne) has been reified as "property" which can be sold or inherited, and the effect is now contrary to the stated purpose in giving Congress the power to grant such monopolies.
There is nothing "libertine" about wanting early cinema to be digitized before it turns to cellulose dust, or culture to progress as it always has -- by building on existing culture -- a process that depends more on the "for limited times" than it does on the grant of a monopoly. Jazz could not have existed is the present copyright regime had been in place: publishers' lawyers would be tossing out lawsuits left and right for borrowing riffs or chord progressions. But maybe you have a point: the world would be so much better off if the current "life + 70" terms had applied to Beethoven's oeurve so that Liszt wouldn't have been able to make his piano transcription of Beethoven's symphonies, and Brahms hadn't been able to write his Variations on a Theme of Paganinni, without jumping through legal hoops and paying fat royalties to whatever publishing house had the rights!
Once copyright and patent law becomes principally a tool for rent-seeking by persons other than the author or inventor, as it has now, it has gone outside the Constitutional mandate, and has become bad law. And like most laws gone bad, it becomes the excuse for more bad law: in the case on this thread extraterritoriality, possibly in the near future the introduction of felony provisions against online copyright infringement, which you can bet your bottom dollar will be used to suppress political speech in forums like this one, should anything like even the current version of SOPA minus the DNS shut-down provisions passes.
This whole argument is BS.
The web is nothing but an unofficial Library. Period.
“Not property?” LOL!
What do you think makes up a property right? The words of the Constitution are very clear, and confirms the essence of the bundle of rights which make up a property right.
Property rights predate the Constitution and are among the most precious rights that human beings possess. It’s what separates a free society from a Communist one.
It is quite telling that you are so cavalier in pretending that the right doesn’t exist, presumably because you want to steal what belongs to others.
You laugh too easily.
I suggest you actually investigate the history of patent and copyright law, and how such things were understood at the time of the American Founding.
Property rights predate the Constitution, but the notion that a copyright or patent constituted property is an invention of the late 19th century as I have pointed out before. All forms of what the Founders would have recognized as property have the quality that possession of them by one person denies another of possession: if I own a house, you do not; if you have a (particular) gold sovereign, I do not. Theft necessarily deprives the rightful owner of the enjoyment of the property stolen.
If another wealthy family had built an exact copy of The Breakers, the unoriginal family would not have stolen the Vanderbilts’ Newport residence.
Not so with so-called “intellectual property” — what is called “piracy” does not, like actual piracy on the high seas, deprive anyone of the thing copied, but at most deprives someone (usually not the Author or Inventor) of monopoly rents (and only then under the assumption that the “pirate” would actually have bought a copy were a free one not available). I am not, however, much interested in “piracy”, but in the harmful effect reifying patent and copyright as “property” that can be bought and sold has had on the advance of culture, most especially the creation of derivative works in the arts and the analogous sort of progress in science and technology. Tech companies as lawsuit factories and not being able to use Robert Frost’s poetry as lyrics are not desirable outcomes.
Had the Founder thought of it as “property”, what’s with the limited term qualification? Real estate, furniture, particular physical books, and everything else that the Founders would recognize as property passes from one owner to another until it ceases to exist or the world ends. Rent-seeking publishers and such calling patents and copyrights “property” even though they have inveigled courts to join them in this conceit, does not make it so.
A question for you since you appeal to the pre-existence of the notion of property at the time of the American Founding: under what circumstances would you regard a monopoly granted by a medieval kings or princes to a tradesman to produce and sell a particular product within the prince’s domain to be property?
a) if the monopoly were for a limited term and not transferable?
b) if the monopoly were for a limited term and could be inherited by the tradesman’s son, but not sold or granted to another by the tradesman?
c) if the monopoly were for an unlimited term and could be inherited by the tradesman’s son, but not sold or granted to another by the tradesman?
d) if the monopoly were for a limited term and could be inherited by the tradesman’s son, and freely sold or granted to another by the tradesman?
e) if the monopoly were for an unlimited term and could be inherited by the tradesman’s son, and freely sold or granted to another by the tradesman?
In which cases would it make a difference if the monarch made the grant irrevocable or retained the right to give the monopoly to another or permit competition?