Why Did Roku Ban XTV & Will It Come Back? We Answer Your Questions





This week Roku struck its biggest blow to pirate services on its service by banning XTV. According to the image that shows up when you now open XTV, a third-party has claimed that XTV infringed on its content.

So what happened? Why is Roku just now going after pirate services on Roku devices? Let’s take a look…

We also covered this in a YouTube Video we made earlier this week:

Why did Roku ban XTV?

Beyond the fact that it looks like Roku received a complaint about the channel, Roku is under great pressure to crack down on piracy.

Recently Roku was banned from selling its devices in Mexico because of a lawsuit. Some cable companies recently sued some private Roku Channels and, as a result of the lawsuit, Mexican courts ordered Roku to stop selling its devices in Mexico. As best I can tell that ban is still in place and now Roku is looking to ban these piracy channels in response.

So now Roku is moving to distance itself from piracy services. It renamed Private Channels to Non-Certified Channels. It added a disclaimer letting anyone who adds a non-certified channel know that it could be removed at any time if it pirates content.

As best we can tell Roku is hoping to avoid any other legal issues and respecting DMCA claims and making it harder to add pirate services is part of that effort.

How did Roku find out about XTV?

Many asked us how Roku found out about XTV. That is an issue with piracy apps, when they become popular everyone starts talking about them.

For example, last week Roku posted in the /r/Roku subreddit asking what everyone’s favorite free channels are. Before the mods removed them over half of the replies and the number 1 upvoted reply was XTV.

There are Facebook groups dedicated to XTV and people regularly posted about XTV on the Roku Facebook page and forums. When that happens you can guaranty at some point the content owners will find out about them.

So who is responsible? Everyone is. Everyone who ever posted a comment about XTV or tweeted about it made it more likely that Roku and the content owners would find out about it.

Will XTV come back?

The creator of XTV has said he plans to bring it back, but this time without any of the pirated content. That likely means most of the content on XTV won’t be back.

Will other services like XTV replace it?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to add a pirate service to Roku. Roku now requires you to have a confirmed credit card on file to submit a channel to Roku. That will likely make pirate services less willing to put their apps on Roku because they don’t want to be identified.

Hopefully this helps answer your questions.

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