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TVShack's Richard O'Dwyer pays £20,000 to end extradition case

07 Dec 2012
TVShack's Richard O'Dwyer

TVShack founder Richard O'Dwyer has put his two-year nightmare behind him after a five-minute court appearance in New York, where he agreed to pay £20,000 in damages to the movie industry.

The US authorities had spent two years trying secure O'Dwyer's extradition, believing that the website he had founded, TVShack, breached copyright laws by providing links to pirated movies.

The case captured public attention, with high-profile figures such as Wikipedia mogul Jimmy Wales leading the calls for the case to be dropped.

O'Dwyer eventually struck a deal at the High Court, on the condition that O'Dwyer voluntarily traveled to the US.

At the hearing in New York's southern district court O'Dwyer signed an agreement not to break any US laws and to pay £20,000 in damages – the amount of profit the US authorities believe O'Dwyer made from running TVShack.

O'Dwyer told The Guardian that he was happy with the result, but criticised home secretary Theresa May for her lack of support.

“I still believe I never committed any crime. I'm very happy the US government has decided to drop the case against me. It just really is a pity the UK government didn't try and resolve this without us having to come all the way over,” he is reported to have said.

O'Dwyer also told the BBC that he intended to return to university now the case has been resolved.

O'Dwyer had been in his final year at Sheffield Hallam University when he was arrested by City of London Police, accompanied by US Customs officials, in October 2010.

He had created the search engine at the heart of TVShack in his spare time.

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