TVShack founder O'Dwyer to cough up £20,000 to end copyright case


TVShack founder Richard O'Dwyer has been ordered to pay 20,000 by a US court that accused him of breaking copyright laws.

O'Dwyer has spent the last two years battling calls to extradite him to the US to stand trial for copyright offences related to the running of his TV Shack website.

The site allowed users to search for places online to watch TV shows, films and music videos, and post links to content for other members to view.

O'Dwyer has agreed to sign a deferred prosecution agreement, agreeing not to break any further US laws, which if he complies could result in the case against him being dropped.

The 20,000 fine will be used to repay victims whose copyright was allegedly infringed by TVShack's activities.

The outcome of the case is the result of deal O'Dwyer struck last month, where he agreed to travel to the US to sign the deferment agreement if it meant the charges and extradition order against him were dropped.

Home Secretary Theresa May initially agreed to extradite O'Dwyer to face charges in the US back in May, prompting Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to campaign against the decision on his behalf.

Speaking to BBC News, O'Dwyer reiterated that he does not think he broke the law with TV Shack.

"I'm glad the US has decided to drop the case. It's a pity the UK wasn't able to resolve this," he said.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to university and see all my friends."

Julia O'Dwyer, Richard's mother, said she was pleased the matter has finally been resolved.

"This could have been dealt with over two years ago without the threat of extradition, which in my view is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut," she added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.