A man from Middlesbrough in the northeast of England has pleaded guilty in what has been described as a landmark court case relating to the sale of so-called ‘Kodi’ boxes. At an earlier court appearance he had pleaded not guilty
Brian Thompson pleaded guilty to two charges – one of selling the Kodi, or IPTV devices, which when loaded with particular software, allow users to watch pirated sport and films, and another of advertising them for sale.
The charges against Thompson, who operates Cutprice Tomo TVs on Parliament Road in the town, dated back to a six-month period between July 25th, 2015 and January 30th, 2016.
Middlesbrough Council brought the charges in 2106, at the time, one of the first ever prosecutions relating to the sale of such boxes.
Thompson will be sentenced on the same day, October 20th, as a similar case involving Julian Allen. At Teesside Crown Court, Judge Peter Armstrong said that sentencing in respect of the matters to which Thompson had pleaded guilty would be adjourned to that date. “The purpose of adjourning sentence is so that a pre-sentence report can be prepared on you. Your bail is renewed until that date. I have to warn you that the renewal of your bail at this stage mustn’t be taken by you as any indication of the type of sentence that’ll be passed,” he advised.
“I don’t know what the sentence will be but all options will be open to the court when you’re dealt with. Free to go on those terms.”
The box itself is not illegal, but the council maintained it was illegal to sell them ‘pre-loaded’ with the capability of accessing copyrighted material. In July 2017, the English Premier League was granted an injunction to block streams of live games.