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Could buying a fully loaded Kodi box soon be illegal?

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Kodi

Selling 'fully loaded' Kodi boxes that can access subscription content for free could soon become illegal as a court case concerning the equipment is set to get under way.

Brian Thompson of Middlesbrough is accused of selling equipment that "facilitated the circumvention" of copyright protection rules.

The equipment mentioned refers to so-called 'fully loaded' boxes which use the increasingly popular Kodi open-source media centre software which brings together videos, music, games, and photos onto one platform.

Formerly known as Xbox Media Centre (XBMC) the software has been developed so it can now be used on several devices, including the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV, without those companies' official support.

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Kodi

By pre-loading set-top boxes with the software, some sellers are able to offer ready-to-use streaming devices, which customers can modify using third-party add-ons to gain access to pirated content or subscription-based services for free.

Sellers that provide these Kodi boxes with the third-party software pre-installed are said to be providing 'fully loaded' boxes.

In the upcoming court case, brought by Middlesbrough Council, Thompson is accused of providing this type of equipment to his customers, and has not entered a plea.

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Speaking to the Gazette Live, he stated that he doesn't consider the boxes to be illegal and intends to challenge the charges, which follow an 18 month investigation.

Kodi developers have made clear on numerous occasions that they do not support piracy extensions or add-ons, and say they maintain a "neutral stance on what users do with their own software".

The impending court case will be the first time legal scrutiny will be applied to an application such as Kodi in the UK.

A date for the trial is expected to be set today.

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Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming case in the comments.

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