Man gets £250k fine for selling ‘fully loaded’ Kodi boxes to pubs in the Uk
A MILLIONAIRE businessman who sold illegal digital television boxes has narrowly avoided jail.
Malcolm Mayes, a 65 year old from Hartlepool, who spends much of his time in Spain after moving there in 2001 running various businesses, pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to two charges and was given two ten-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months to run concurrently, and was ordered to pay £170,000 legal costs to Hartlepool Borough Council and an £80,000 confiscation order.
Mr Mayes admitted selling devices designed, produced or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures between March 1, 2012 and November 30, 2014 and advertising for sale such devices between January 1 and November 30, 2014.
The boxes allowed people to access a range of television channels without paying a subscription fee.
The digital television box itself is not illegal, but it is against the law to sell them with the capability of accessing copyrighted material.
The court heard Mr Mayes had infringed the copyright and allowed access to sport broadcasts, in particular coverage of Premier League football matches in pubs and clubs. The adverts in the The Caterer, Licensee and Hotelier News, offered a one-off payment of £995 for Britain’s “Number One Sport’s System” including 380 games a season
Prosecutor Richard Wright QC told the court Mr Mayes had sold 100 of the boxes for around £1,000.
“Using a website called livepubfootball.tv, Mr Mayes sold the boxes for £1,000, mostly to the licensed trade. “They were dishonestly advertised as ‘100 percent legal’, and were sold over a wide geographical area.
“The attraction to the publican was the price, a Sky subscription for the same service costs about £7,000 a year.”
Mr Mayes was ordered to pay the £170,000 legal costs within three months and the £80,000 confiscation order within seven days.
“Many of the pubs and clubs that bought his devices lost significant amounts of money when they failed to operate as promised.