UK copyright cops made their biggest sweep yet in the crackdown on preloaded Kodi TV streaming kit.
Five people were arrested today in Rhyl in Wales, and Bootle, Bolton, Manchester and Cheadle in England. Police did not release names. The five were quizzed by investigators and have all been released on bail. It is believed the suspects banked around £250,000 from selling Kodi streaming gear.
During the raids, “fully loaded illegal TV set top devices”, a term that covers both USB sticks and set top boxes, were seized. The Federation for Copyright Theft was joined by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), the IPO and regional police in the raids.
Earlier today, we described the background to the “Kodi crackdown” here. TV sticks preloaded with services that stream subscription TV services such as Sky Movies and BT Sport have become much easier to use. The high price of TV subscriptions, particularly in deprived areas, has seen a rapid growth in their adoption, often by word of mouth.
Police made the first successful conviction of a pirate set top box seller in December in the Nottingham Crown Court, under conspiracy to defraud laws.
We understand that the latest raids are focused on securing a conviction under the Copyright Act, an easier path for enforcement groups and Trading Standards officers. ®