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Richard O'Dwyer's Extradition Should Be Blocked, Wikipedia Founder Says

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Sheffield student, Richard O'Dwyer, talks to the media as he arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London on January 13, 2012, to receive judgment on an extradition request by the US authorities to stand trial on charges of copyright infringement and conspiracy to infringe a copyright. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
Sheffield student, Richard O'Dwyer, talks to the media as he arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London on January 13, 2012, to receive judgment on an extradition request by the US authorities to stand trial on charges of copyright infringement and conspiracy to infringe a copyright. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Associated Press

LONDON -- The founder of Wikipedia has called on British officials to block the extradition of a 24-year-old British student wanted in the United States over alleged copyright offenses.

Richard O'Dwyer was arrested at his university dorm in 2010 by British officers accompanied by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

His alleged crime was running a file-swapping website called TVShack.net, where users shared links to movies and television shows, many of them protected by copyright.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says that merely posting links is not a crime, calling O'Dwyer the "human face of the battle between the content industry and interests of the general public."

The Guardian newspaper has thrown its support behind O'Dwyer as well, saying in an editorial published Monday that his case was "unfair" and "absurd."