Liberty hold Richard O'Dwyer Human Rights 'Copyright' Anti-Extradition Event

Mike Halsey MVP
Mar 30, 2012
Updated • Mar 31, 2012
Music and Video

Last night I attended an event in Sheffield (UK) hosted by Human Rights campaign group Liberty.  The aim of the event was to raise awareness of Richard O'Dywer, a university student from the city who is currently appealing against extradition to the US on charges of copyright infringement.

The case dates back to when Richard was still at school and set up a website that contained links to copyrighted material online.  These included pirated movies and TV shows.  What resulted was a major legal battle in the UK, and in the city where I live, to prevent him from being extradited to a country where he hadn't been since he was five.

Liberty's official statement about the case is...

Richard, just 23, is accused of copyright infringement by US authorities for hosting a website offering links to downloadable pirate films and TV shows. Not actual material – just links. He built the site from his Sheffield bedroom and his computer server was not even based in America. Yet still he faces being dragged across the Atlantic for trial now the Home Secretary has approved his extradition. If removed Richard will become the first British citizen extradited to America because of copyright laws.

Richard's mother, Julia O'Dwyer was in attendance along with the policy director for Liberty and two academic staff from Richard's (and my) university, Sheffield Hallam.  Also in attendance in the audience was the leader of the UK Pirate Party, Loz Kaye, British Conservative MP David Davis, a former shadow home secretary and several people who were either helping someone else fight deportation to the US, or who had been deported themselves in the past.

Mrs O'Dwyer began almost comically saying “Who’d have known that a student in his bedroom could end up in so much trouble.” but went on to say that she believes “[They are] not fighting crime… [They are] actually fighting [their] own government”.  She is obviously deeply concerned about her son's chances which she describes as...

“The odds appear to be stacked against us but we have to go on…the least damaging way for Richard”

David Davis MP, who is concerned about the extradition arrangement the UK has with the US said that “98% of people give in to plea bargaining” in the US, where a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in order to receive a reduced sentence.  His concerns, and the concerns of Liberty were that Richard hadn't shared any copyrighted content himself and was not guilty of breaking any UK law.

The issue of copyright infringement and the intervention of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and other organisations pressuring for prosecutions both in the US and for extraditions to the US from other parts of the world, only seems as though it will get much worse before it gets better.

Liberty's involvement came about because of their also working with UK asberger's sufferer Gary McKinnon, who faces extradition to the US for hacking into the Pentagon to look for UFO secrets.

Feeling is obviously very strong and the presence of two people who had been previously extradited to the US only served to rally the crowd when they told their stories.  It's a tough call all round but Liberty and Julia O'Dwyer believe they are close to a breakthrough and are calling on UK residents to contact their MP to complain about the case.  You can read more about Richard O'Dwyer and Gary McKinnon's cases here.


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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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