A MAN has admitted two charges of selling so-called Kodi Boxes which enable free access to premium content online, including live sports channels and movies.
Brian Thompson had initially denied the offenses and set up the prospect of a landmark court case relating to the sale of Kodi boxes.
The 55-year-old runs Cut Price Tomo’s TV store in Middlesbrough.
Judge Peter Armstrong told the businessman that all sentencing options would be left open when he deals with him next month.
I don’t know what the sentence will be, all options to the court will be open
He was granted unconditional bail ahead of his sentencing on October 20.
Judge Armstrong told him: “I don’t know what the sentence will be, all options to the court will be open.”
As he walked away from court Thompson said he had never denied selling the boxes, but said customers had to adapt them themselves to gain access to premium content for free.
He has previously told reporters: “All I want to know is whether I am doing anything illegal. I know it’s a grey area, but I want it in black and white.
“I’m prepared to accept what the court decides but at the moment as far as I’m concerned I’m not breaking the law.”
Kodi is a neutral media player that can be installed on a broad range of desktop computers, servers, smartphones, HDMI streaming devices.
The media player is capable of streaming content from the internet, a home network or local HDD storage.
The open-source software itself is entirely legal. However, it does allow users to install additional apps that can enable access to copyrighted material – uploaded, shared or streamed from other users across the globe – without permission from the rightsholders.
Ready-made streaming set-top boxes, running on hardware from a variety of different manufacturers and preloaded with third-party add-ons that enable access to pirate content, are colloquially known as Kodi Boxes.
- If you have information relating to the sale or provision of illegal streaming devices or services, call 101, or you can give information anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.