A 53-year-old man has been arrested and 40 Android-powered boxes preloaded with Kodi and other software have been seized, Westminster Council has said. A raid took place at a property in W2 on July 12th and the man and his boxes were taken away. His boxes were being sold online for less than £100.
The investigation has shown that the boxes were not only preloaded with plugins that allowed Kodi to stream TV, movies and sport but they were also not suitable for use, safely, on UK mains power. An increasing problem of these cheap imported boxes is that they simply aren't built to current EU and UK safety standards.
In this case, a two-pin power supply was included. The law requires that electrical items sold in the UK must include a UK mains plug. It's possible to use adapters on such plugs, or force them into plug sockets, but these approaches lack the safety of a properly designed UK mains plug.
Gizmodo's old FACT buddy, Kieron Sharp has been busy saying words again too, cautioning the public "[not to] be fooled by devices that offer you the latest Hollywood films and premium pay-for-view sports for no charge - if you want to watch this kind of content we strongly advise you go directly to the official provider to ensure you don’t fall foul of the law". Sharp, naturally, wants the public to think he's going to be knocking on their door next. While we don't dispute what he says about staying legal, it's online sellers who should be most afraid, not the people snapping up a bargain.
And PSA time, if you're using a box of dubious origin it's worth making sure you do what you can to stay safe. A good power adaptor goes a long way, and they're easy to replace cheap import models with something a bit more substantial from Amazon or Maplin. You might be breaking the law streaming football, but no one wants you electrocuted for the crime.