Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/27/jimmy_wales_richard_odwyer/

69,000 sign petition to save TV-linker O'Dwyer from US extradition

Gov might be made to listen - if it wasn't Jimbo Wales

By Anna Leach

Posted in Government, 27th June 2012 07:44 GMT

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has got over 69,000 signatures on a petition to save a 24-year-old Briton from extradition to the US.

Wales wants British Home Secretary Theresa May to save the youngster from being sent to the US, where authorities want to try him for copyright infringement. The Wiki-daddy sees the plight of O'Dwyer as a test case for the copyright-censorship debate:

The internet as a whole must not tolerate censorship in response to mere allegations of copyright infringement. As citizens we must stand up for our rights online.

Wales lists out his objections to extraditing O'Dwyer:

I’m concerned about this case because O'Dwyer is not a US citizen, his site (TVShack.net) was not hosted there, and most of his users were not from the US. I don’t understand why America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil. If there was a crime it should be investigated and tried here in the UK, not in the US.

Because Wales is not a UK citizen or resident, he cannot use the UK government's official epetition site: epetitions.gov.uk. Petitions that get at least 100,000 signatures on the government site are considered for Parliamentary debate: there seem as yet to be no official epetitions for O'Dwyer. The Change.org petition seems to be an awareness-raising exercise.

We note that there is another petition related to Jimmy Wales on Change.org, though not initiated by the great man himself. The petition 'Replace the image of Jimmy Wales with that of a golden retriever' came about in response to his annual fundraising campaign which often features images of his face.

"We believe that replacing his face with that of a becoming and equally plaintive Golden Retriever would negate the offputting factor, and in fact increase the appealing factor to a significant degree," the petition states. However it has only received 14 signatures and is now closed. ®