Roku Renames Private Channels As It Works to Crack Down on Piracy




Roku found itself in the middle of a lawsuit from the Mexican cable company Cablevision and creators of third-party private Roku channels.

Over the weekend we reported how Roku was now warning anyone who adds a private channel that “Roku may remove this channel without prior notice.” Roku goes on to say it may remove the channel if Roku determines that the channel violates copyright, contains illegal content, or otherwise violates Roku’s terms and conditions.

“We actively work to prevent third-parties from using our platform to distribute copyright infringing content. Moreover, we have been actively working with other industry stakeholders on a wide range of anti-piracy initiatives,” said Roku’s General Counsel Steve Kay.

Now Roku has renamed its “private” channels to “non-certified” as a way to continue to separate itself from the growing trend of developers creating private channels full of pirated content.

Originally Roku created private channels as a way for developers to test Roku channels before they launched them in the official Roku Store; however, developers quickly realized they could easily add channels to Roku players without the need to be reviewed by Roku.

So why is Roku moving to crack down on these third-party Roku channels? Roku recently got pulled into a lawsuit by Cablevision in Mexico targeting piracy app. As part of the case a court in Mexico ordered the ban of all Roku sales in Mexico. The case is still underway, but now it looks like Roku is making moves to help ensure that does not happen again.

In response to these moves several third-party Roku channels have announced that they plan to end support for Roku. Some seem to be waiting to see when Roku will ban them before they walk away.

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