Daniel Brown from Llansamlet, Wales made hundreds of thousands importing boxes from China running Android TV. He then installed Kodi, along with some third-party plugins allowing buyers to access streaming TV and movies illegally.
He got caught, taken to court, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison - but it was suspended for 24 months. As penance he will perform 180 hours of unpaid work, and pay legal costs of nearly £20,000.
The case got to court after Sky complained to the police about the sales, which took place via Facebook. The boxes were sold with free access to Sky Sports and Brown offered technical support on the hardware, presumably correcting problems with plugins as they got taken offline. The judge remarked that Brown was “industrious but misguided in some ways” and his lawyer said "it was to his shame" that his client had added the extra plugins.
Interesting that among the boxes Brown was said to have sold was an OTT model. This is the device that was recently recalled by the EU after the discovery it might electrocute owners. Ignoring the copyright aspect of these cases, there is real potential for damage if these sellers flog a dangerous box to someone who then gets hurt as a result.
The prosecution said it was impossible to estimate how much revenue Sky had lost thanks to Brown's boxes. And while the 18-month sentence might seem harsh, British law is now punishing copyright infringement with some considerable vigour. The maximum sentence for such crimes is 10 years, more than carrying a firearm in public (seven years) or abandoning children under two (five years). Company records show that Brown's Maiz Box Ltd made £371,000 between June 2014 and March 2016. [Via: Wales Online]