A pair of “fully-loaded” Kodi box sellers have been handed jail sentences by the courts. The two men sold the devices under the name ‘Oobersticks’, and they were pre-installed with a custom build of Kodi, as well as a number of piracy-enabling addons.
TorrentFreak reports that the combined sentences add up to 42 months. The first defendant, Glenn Burrows, was handed a sentence of 22 months while the second, Darren Wicks, received a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years.
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The pair were originally arrested in December 2016, at which point Burrows argued that he believed his business to be legal based on the fact that it was VAT registered with HMRC and held an account with the WorldPay payment processor.
However, both later pled guilty to their offences before eventually being sentences by Norwich Crown Court.
Hiding behind a technicality
Although Kodi is a legal piece of software, its flexibility means that there are numerous piracy-enabling add-ons available that will allow it to stream content from less-than-legal sources.
The pair appear to have attempted to play into this slight grey area by supplying the boxes only partially configured, so that their customers would have to complete the final stage of configuration themselves.
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However, it seems this tactic didn’t save them from the courts. A detective from Norfolk and Suffolk’s Cyber Crime Unit said, that the sentences “send a clear message that the use of illicit streaming devices to watch content without the copyright owner’s permission is illegal.”
These sentences, like that of Brian Thompson, has made it clear that attempting to sell fully-loaded piracy boxes is a risky business. Although Thompson would later be issued a fine of just £1, the stress of so many years of legal proceedings is likely to have taken a significant toll.
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