Thursday, March 10, 2005

Copyright Infringement Extradition

An Australian man faces extradition to the US on copyright infringement charges. Back in July last year Hew Raymond Griffiths already lost a case fighting his extradition and today his appeal has been rejected by a Federal Court. Griffiths was indicted by a Virginia grand jury last year for criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. He is the alleged leader of the DrinkOrDie group, which released infringing copies of software. In the US he can face a 10 year jail sentence, compared to 5 years in Australia. This has not kept the Federal Court from extraditing him, a novelty for copyright charges, as the judgment acknowledges:
"If there is apparent novelty in this appeal it lies in the nature of the extradition offences the appellant is alleged to have committed and for which his surrender is sought by the US when, at all relevant times, he was residing in Australia."
I was not able to find today's judgment. The July 2004 judgment is available here.

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