Man is fined £250,000 for selling Kodi boxes - but are the TV boxes illegal?

A man is facing a fine of up to £250,000 for selling ‘fully loaded’ Kodi boxes – after taking out an advert in a national magazine advertising his wares.

The Hartlepool resident is facing the fine after a case brought by Hartlepool Council – one of several ongoing cases regarding the boxes.

Malcolm Mayes, 65, had advertised Kodi boxes, targeting pubs which hoped to stream Premier League games without paying subscription fees.

The adverts claimed the boxes were ‘100% legal’ – but this isn’t the case.

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Using Kodi software (which can be installed on smartphones or PCs) remains legal – it’s just installing add-ons to allow piracy which is the problem.

‘Fully loaded’ boxes come with add-ons which allow piracy of TV shows and premium football fixtures, and selling these breaches copyright laws.

So far, copyright holders have tended to ignore users, and instead target people who sell ‘fully loaded’ boxes with piracy add-ons pre-installed.

Users with Kodi boxes at home have not – so far – been targeted by the recent wave of arrests of dealers in ‘fully loaded’ boxes.

Kieron Sharp, Director General of FACT said last week,‘Set-top boxes loaded with apps and add-ons allowing access to copyright infringing material are very much illegal and anyone involved in selling these boxes should not be surprised to receive a knock on the door.’