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« Irish Times Skewed News Story on Dublin Internet Freedom Conference | Main | US Backs Troubling UN Internet Freedom Resolution, Lets State Control In Through "Development" Back Door »

06/28/2012

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John Allman

Richard O'Dwyer published a search engine, as I understand it, a piece of software that located automatically content that others were publishing. I don't suppose it was technically possible to make that search engine filter out links in the search results to content that was published unlawfully.

Copyright owners should have been grateful to him, for providing them with an easy way of finding the perpetrators of copyright violations, so that they could sue them, have them prosecuted, and close them down.

I have seldom seen as limp an argument-by-analogy. However, I do take my hat off to you, for being the only commentator I have come across so far to express a dissenting view, different from those whom you call the "thought leaders".

On technical points, the issue that is upsetting British people is one you haven't addressed: the extradition to the USA, where rightly we fear Richard won't get a fair trial, of a British subject who has never left the country, to be tried in the USA, for actions performed in the UK, or rather omissions (filtering out illegal copies, if he could after all have coded his search engine to accomplish this), when it had already been decided that he hadn't committed any crime that could be prosecuted under our laws.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

Richard O'Dwyer didn't "publish a search engine". He set up a site to attract people to submit pirate sites which he aggregated and knowingly republished so as to amplify the opportunities for theft. It's material assistance to crime. Why are you trying to bless it with this "free speech" gambit? It doesn't wash.

My argument by analogy in fact is spot on, and it's exactly what the governments of the US and UK think of it, too bad for you.

Oh, geez, and now you're going to use that ultra-lame anarchist Anonymous argument, that "we're doing you a favour by hacking your site and showing you where the vulnerabilities are"? How come when robbers steal stuff from your home, nobody thanks them for "showing you the vulnerabilities in your home security system". It's just completely preposterous. If you really cared about such things, you'd report the pirated sites to the owners and to the authorities, not make a site where you SELL ADS AND MAKE MONEY OFF CRIME, duh. Honestly, you are TOO lame!

I did address the issue of extradition and I supported it. That's because in the absence of SOPA or ACTA -- i.e. the absence of LAW and the RULE OF LAW that deters bad actors, cases like this have to serve as the deterrents. And the creators and copyright holders of America are tired of British socialists draining all their value, full stop. So they will pursue this case with a vengeance, and you have only Mitch Kapor and EFF and company to thank. Because corporate bad behaviour isn't deterred (Google) and individual bad behaviour isn't deterred by universal law, these kinds of cases have to serve.

Of course O'Dwyer will get a fair trial. We have an independent judiciary and even stronger free speech protection than you do in libel-happy England. Say, if you find our legal protection so poor, why come here as business people, students, tourists and grant recipients, eh? Stay home then, if this is such a lawless hell-hole.

As for the fact that he "never left the country," what does that have to do with anything?!

As for "doing something that isn't a crime in his own land," say, you should try that argument out on the guy who wanted to arrest Dick Cheney when he landed in the UK. Whatever one things of it, Cheney was not found to commit any "war crimes" or any malfeasance while in office in his own country, so why would another country get to try him? That sort of logic isn't sound and works against in fact those working for universal jurisdiction -- which they usually try against US or Israeli officials selectively, of course, and no doubt with your applause. Funny how you don't mention this problem *then*.

I'm not convinced there *isn't* a crime he's committed in the UK. And in any event, if the government, which represents the electorate more than you do, decides that they wish to cooperate with the US because they do find it an act that needs punishment and deterrence, then that's fine with me. And that's what they've done in signing the extradition.

Of course he could code his engine to filter out pirate sites. But he didn't, deliberately, because he wished to create a free TV aggregate site, regardless of the IP issues. Duh.

I hope this case will be pursued because a deterrence *is* needed given the lawless "the Internet" ready to flashmob any attempt at the rule of law. The only issue is whether a 10 year sentence is a punishment that fits the crime, and there I don't think it does, but I'm happy to hear the arguments.

Reuven

Exactly. If Generation-iPod wants free television shows, then they can make their own copylefted television shows, and convince actors, musicians cameramen, directors, set designers, etc to work for free to produce them.

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