'Pre-Loaded' Kodi Boxes are Facing Legal Scrutiny

By Tom Pritchard on at

There are a lot of great things you can do with Kodi boxes, but one part of why the system is so popular is that certain unscrupulous individuals can use the software to access copyrighted material without paying. Now copyright law means it's facing a bit of legal scrutiny in the UK.

Brian Thompson, from Middlesbrough, is the first man to be prosecuted for selling so-called 'pre-loaded' Kodi boxes. Rather than just letting people access their own media files, Thompson has been accused of selling boxes configured to deliberately "circumvent" copyright protection measures.

Thompson told Gazette Live that he intends to plead not guilty, and will fight the charges against him. The case is particularly significant because it's the first of its kind. If Thompson is found guilty it could lead to a string of prosecutions across the country, and effectively outlaw Kodi boxes. On the flipside, a not-guilty verdict would offer some extra protection to other Kodi sellers in the UK.

The developers of Kodi (formerly XMBC) have stated in the past that they do not condone the use of third-party apps that let people access copyrighted material. That said, with it being an open-source system the developers have taken a hands-off approach to how people use the system. Despite that, they are prepare to fight people who use the trademarked name to deliberately sell kit that encourages piracy.

Thompson is set to appear in court later today, and Kodi enthusiasts would do well to pay attention. [Gazette Live via TechRadar]