Pre-Loaded Kodi Boxes Face UK Legal Enquiry

/ 5 years ago

Pre-Loaded Kodi Boxes Face UK Legal Enquiry

A trader from Middlesbrough, UK, could become the first person to be prosecuted for selling Android TV boxes preloaded with Kodi software. 54-year-old Brian Thompson is being taken to court by Middlesbrough Council, following an 18-month investigation, for selling ‘pre-loaded’ Kodi set-top boxes which, it accuses, facilitates the circumvention of copyright protection.

“I am pleading not guilty and I’m going to fight this,” Thompson told Gazette Live.

Kodi developers have long opposed the sale of so-called “piracy boxes” that rely on Kodi as an operating system, accusing those guilty of dragging the Kodi name through the mud. Since Kodi is open source, anyone can create an add-on for it, and all Kodi add-ons that facilitate piracy are not built by the Kodi development team itself.

“If it goes against me, then I won’t last ten minutes,” Thompson admitted. “But if they rule in my favour then the boxes will be getting sold for pennies on eBay, and it won’t be worth my time selling them. I expect it go against me but at least I will know where I stand.”

Thompson is set to appear at Teeside Magistrates’ Court on 27th September on three charges related to piracy and copyright infringement. Should the prosecution – essentially a test case – of Thompson be successful, it is expected to trigger a raft of similar prosecutions, effectively ruling the selling of ‘pre-loaded’ Kodi devices as illegal. A ruling in Thompson’s favour, though, will be an implicit legalisation of Kodi boxes.

“This may have to go to the crown court and then it may go all the way to the European court, but I want to make a point with this and I want to make it easier for people to know what it legal and what isn’t,” Thompson added.

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