UK student fined £20k by US court

By Charles Maggs

A British student has agreed to pay £20,000 in order to have a piracy case against him in the US dropped.

Richard O'Dwyer, 24 from Sheffield, set up the TVShack website which held links to pirated films and TV shows.

"I'm very happy it's finally over with," he said, expressing his relief at the judgement.

"I still believe I never committed any crime and I'm pleased the US has dropped the case against me. It really is a pity that the UK government didn't try and resolve this before I had to come over."

The agreement means he will no longer face an extradition to the US, or face the prospect of a criminal trial, dependant on him not preaching any other copyright laws in the next two years.

The £20,000 will be used to compensate victims whose copyrighted material was breached, but it is estimated that O'Dwyer made considerably more than this through advertising on the site.

O'Dwyer's mother Julia also expressed he satisfaction that the affair had been brought to a close.

"We are very pleased and relieved to have been able to resolve this matter," she said.

"We would like to thank the prosecutors who have been willing to engage in dialogue and recognise that this conduct did not merit the extradition, incarceration and criminalisation of my son."

Theresa May won widespread approval in October when she blocked the extradition of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the US, citing human rights legislation, but she was not willing to intervene in this case.