Richard O'Dwyer

Richard O'Dwyer is a web developer, student, and creator of

Created in 2007, TVShack acted as a search engine for tv shows, movies and other types of media sourced from 3rd party websites.

Arrest & Extradition

In an operation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) a number of domains were seized, including TVShack for a violation of copyright infringement laws. In 2011, the US Justice Department requested the extradition of O'Dwyer on counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, and in January 2012, British Judges rejected his appeal. [1][1]

Deferred prosecution deal

On 28th November 2012, the High Court was told that Richard had signed a deferred prosecution agreement with the US, meaning the extradition request would be withdrawn.[2] On the 6th of December, Richard appeared in a New York court to finalise the arrangement.[3]


Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia has criticised the case, starting a petition which gained great momentum, and calling for a meeting with the home secretary [2][4]

Tom Watson MP has supported this movement.

The Open Rights Group also spoke out, citing that UK citizens should not be liable to prosecution by US law. [3][5]


The case has resonated for a number of reasons, namely the viability to the UK-US extradition treaty. Moreover, it may provide clues as to the implications of the Digital Economy Act. Individuals in the UK, through this act, may be liable to the same types of charges as O'Dwyer.


  3. Richard O'Dwyer's two-year extradition ordeal ends in New York, Guardian, 2012-12-06