160,000 back student Richard O'Dwyer in legal fight
Friday 29 June 2012
More than 160,000 people have signed a petition launched by the founder of internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia to block the extradition of a British student to the US on copyright charges.
Jimmy Wales, 45, came out in support of Richard O'Dwyer, 24, who faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of charges relating to his website, TVShack.net.
Some 164,000 people have signed the online petition in just five days.
O'Dwyer's supporters argue that as the site, which linked to other sites that streamed pirated television programmes, did not host material itself he should not face any charges and should therefore not be extradited.
Mr Wales called on Home Secretary Theresa May to stop the extradition, calling the interactive media and animation student "the human face of the battle between the content industry and the interests of the general public".
O'Dwyer's mother Julia said: "I'm blown away by the response to Jimmy's petition.
"It's been a tough year campaigning for my son but this outpouring of support from around the world has really made politicians sit up and take note of Richard's case.
"Now it's time for Theresa May to do the right thing by Richard."
Earlier this year, Wikipedia blacked out the English language version of its website in protest at anti-piracy laws being considered by the US government.
Rachel Robinson, of the human rights group Liberty, said: "The overwhelming support for Richard should send a message to the Government about the public's outrage at our rotten extradition regime - which both coalition partners opposed in opposition.
"It's a mystery why people in Britain are still being hauled from their bedrooms off to foreign courts without any semblance of justice or common sense."
Holborn fire: Chaos as 2,000 people evacuated to escape toxic smoke filling central London
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims