THE pen of Justice Minister Chris Ellison is the only thing stopping Hew Raymond Griffiths being outfitted with an orange jumpsuit and ankle chains. Hew Raymond Griffiths
Suspect: Hew Raymond Griffiths
On his desk is a paper that will decide whether the NSW Central Coast man is extradited to the US, where he faces up to 10 years’ jail and a $US500,000 ($686,000) fine for copyright piracy.
Mr Griffiths, 43, of Berkeley Vale, has never been to the US, but he’s in big trouble over there.
Back in 2003 a grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, indicted him on copyright infringement charges over his alleged involvement in the notorious DrinkorDie piracy ring.
The US alleges Mr Griffiths was Bandido, the co-founder of DrinkorDie, which distributed pirated software, movies and music – and taunted authorities about it – back in the 1990s.
The indictment, drawn up by one of the elite Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Unit teams working within the US Department of Justice, alleged that Mr Griffiths ran the organisation, controlled membership and arranged to reward high-performing members with computer parts.
It also claims he taunted law enforcement in an online interview, claiming: “I cannot be busted, I have no warez here.”
Even the Americans admit the Griffiths case is something of an experiment.
Never before has a foreigner been extradited to face charges of online copyright piracy.
The Australian, http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,18775041%5E15302%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html