Two men have been found guilty of “intentionally encouraging consumers ” to watch films and sports illegally through so-called ‘Kodi boxes’ that they were selling.
Back in July 2017, an undercover team from Hertfordshire Trading Standards caught Thomas Tewelde and Mohamed Abdou selling “black box tv” devices at Bovingdon Market in Hemel Hempstead.
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The team managed to capture video footage of them making a purchase from the pair, and the clip was shown to jurors during their four-day trial last week (via TorrentFreak).
They were found guilty of encouraging consumers “to obtain services dishonestly, contrary to the Serious Crime Act 2007 and the Fraud Act 2006”, Hertfordshire County Council has announced.
They’ll be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on February 28.
“We’re keen to support the growth of the creative industries which is significant in Hertfordshire. The sale of these boxes, allowing free access to copyrighted material, puts this industry and Hertfordshire jobs at risk,” said Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety.
“People who are buying these boxes may not be aware that they too could be committing a serious act of fraud as well as the associated risk of buying a box, which may not have been subject to safety checks, as in this case. If the deal appears too good to be true it likely is.”
Hertfordshire Trading Standards also declared that the devices being sold had “electrical safety issues”. They were also found guilty of supplying devices that failed to comply with Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations.
“The message is very clear; if you sell a device that provides access to content that is not licensed or owned by you, you will face a criminal conviction and we thank Hertfordshire Trading Standards for their work on this case,” said Kieron Sharp, the chief executive of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, which assisted Hertfordshire Trading Standards on the case.
Media players that have been configured for piracy became extremely popular a couple of years ago, and because many of them are pre-loaded with the legal Kodi software and illegal addons created by third parties, there has always been a hint of confusion about the differences between Kodi and so-called Kodi boxes.
One example of this confusion can be seen in the tweet embedded below: