10 July 2017

"Free" pay to view TV services over Kodi? Best not go there...

A man who sold thousands of media players with Kodi installed and a host of illegal add-ons has been handed a suspended sentence.

Daniel David Brown from Llansamlet in Swansea had been buying the Android-based devices from China, then installing the Kodi media player software (which is open source and not illegal) - but also installed a number of add-ons which helped users access pirated content online. 

He then sold them through his Maiz Box Limited business based at his home and made £371,000 between June 2014 and March 2016. His activities were then brought to the attention of the police by BSkyB, which has rights to Premier League football in the UK, as well as many other sporting events. 

Lee Reynolds, prosecuting, said it was “impossible” to put a figure on the amount of revenue companies, such as BSkyB had lost through people cancelling subscriptions to pay TV. 

Although the Kodi crackdown has so far targeted sellers of 'fully-loaded' boxes, an anti-piracy group may soon turn its sights on users themselves, with the threat of prison sentences for those found using illegal add-ons.

The comments come from Kieron Sharp, the chief executive of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), who says an investigation against Kodi box owners will likely be launched "in the very near future".

"What we've been looking at in conjunction with many of our clients and members are the different levels of crime being committed," said Sharp, speaking to the Independent.

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