A Middlesbrough shop owner has admitted to two charges relating to selling Kodi-powered TV boxes, which enables access to paid-for content for free.
Brian Thompson had originally denied the offences and set up the prospect of a landmark court case relating to the sale of Kodi boxes.
The 55-year-old runs Cut Price Tomo’s TV store in Middlesbrough.
Judge Peter Armstrong told the businessman that all sentencing options will be left open when he deals with him next month.
Mr Thompson, of Barnaby Avenue, appeared at Teesside Crown Court to admit one count of selling and one count of advertising devices “designed, produced or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures”.
He was granted unconditional bail ahead of his sentencing on October 20.
Judge Armstrong told him: “I don’t know what the sentence will be, all options to the court will be open.”
As he walked away from court Thompson said he had never denied selling the boxes, but said customers had to adapt them themselves to gain access to premium content for free.
He has previously told reporters: “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.”
Kodi is a neutral media player that can be installed on a wide range of desktop computers, servers, smartphones, HDMI streaming devices.
The media player is capable of streaming content from the internet, a home network or local HDD storage.
The open-source software itself is perfectly legal, however, it does allow users to install additional apps that can enable access to copyrighted material – uploaded, shared or streamed from other users across the globe – without permission from the rightsholders.
Ready-made streaming set-top boxes, running on hardware from a variety of different manufacturers and preloaded with third-party add-ons…