A man who earned hundreds of thousands selling ‘Kodi boxes’ from his home in Wales has been sentenced in court.
Daniel David Brown from Llansamlet had been buying Android media players from China and pre-loading them with the open-source software and a number of third-party add-ons that enable users to illegally access copyrighted content.
He sold them through his Maiz Box Limited business, and made £371,000 between June 2014 and March 2016.
He was reported to police by BSkyB.
Gadgets and tech news in pictures
The 28-year-old was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court, where he was described by Judge Peter Heywood as “industrious but misguided in some ways” and “clearly skilled in the use of computer technology”, reports Wales Online.
The About section of Maiz Box’s YouTube channel describes the devices as “the ultimate TV box which brings all your favorite entertainment to your finger tips”.
Mr Brown has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
He has also agreed to pay £19,996.08 towards the cost of his prosecution, at £800 per month, and no Proceeds of Crime Act orders were made.
That appears to be a rather lenient sentence, considering recent changes to the law.
Earlier this year, the maximum possible sentence for online copyright infringement offences rose from two to 10 years, with the change designed to scare large-scale pirate box sellers into ceasing operations.
“The reason for the change to 10 years was to go after those people who are providing, producing, importing, making available on a very high scale – committing serious crime,” Keiron Sharp, the CEO of FACT, recently told the Independent.
“They can now be given a serious sentence to reflect that crime, and that wasn’t the case before.”
Kodi, which is perfectly legal, last week hit out at sites and repositories that promote the use of illegal add-ons, and “Kodi box” users that have been asking it for technical assistance.
“Team Kodi (the unpaid volunteers who create Kodi and manage the Kodi name/brand for love not money) have never manufactured a ‘Kodi Box’ and we do not supply media content,” it said.
“People who have been selling ‘Fully Loaded’ devices on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, etc. or provide ‘IPTV Streaming’ services with impossibly $cheap subscriptions to improbably $large selections of Movies, TV shows, Live Sports, etc. are not affiliated with the Kodi project. They are criminals who profit from piracy.”