A BUSINESSMAN is determined to defend his right to sell android television boxes despite being threatened with court action in a landmark case.
Brian Thompson, who runs Cut Price Tomo TV’s in Middlesbrough, could be the first person in the country prosecuted for selling the boxes that enables people to watch channels includes Sky Sports and the latest films.
The system, commonly known as a Kodi Box, raises legal problems over what channels can and can’t be watched without breaching copyright.
Loading article content
But Mr Thompson said he believes he is doing nothing illegal selling the boxes despite his business being raised on two occasions when a number of the units were seized along with hundreds of pounds in cash from his till.
Mr Thompson said: “All I want to know is whether I am doing anything illegal. I know it’s a grey area but I want it in black and white.
“I’m prepared to accept what the court decides but at the moment as far as I’m concerned I’m not breaking the law.”
Since he was raided in March by members of Middlesbrough Council’s trading standards team, the businessman has changed his order with his supplier to ensure that not no illegal downloads are already installed.
He said: “These boxes are available from all over the place, not just me, but it’s the downloading of software to watch channels that is apparently causing the problem.
"If I am found guilty and the court rules that I am breaking the law selling these boxes, I want to know what that means for people buying and selling mobile phones or laptops because the software is available for all of them.”
Mr Thompson is not the first business to be raided in the country, in March this year the Metropolitan Police arrested six people suspected of being involved in the supply of ‘pirate’ set-top boxes configured to obtain free TV from the Internet.
He said: “Selling boxes that are fully loaded with software is apparently illegal but I’m not doing that. All the boxes I am selling comes without that software.
“If I am guilty of selling these boxes, then surely everyone who is using one illegally could be prosecuted.”
Middlesbrough Council is due to prosecute the shop owner at Teesside Magistrates Court next week.