There are a lot of people working tirelessly to take down illegal streams that lets people watch content free of charge. People like the Premier League. This work also requires the help of the tech companies that unwittingly allow this sort of stuff to happen too, with rightsholders now teaming up with Roku to ensure people can't use the set-top boxes to watch dodgy streams.
The new crackdown is happening thanks to a court decision in Mexico, which ordered the company to temporarily suspend sales of its hardware because people could easily use it to access pirated material. The legal fight is still ongoing, but it turned out to be the kick in the pants Roku needed to take these matters a bit more seriously.
Roku's rules have never permitted pirated content to appear on its devices, and such channels do not appear in the official store. Instead they have to be directly loaded by the user. The so-called 'private channels' have now been renamed 'non-certified' channels, with extra warnings added to make it clear accessing copyrighted material without paying is not ok.
When a user attempts to load a non-certified channel, a warning appears stating that the channel can and will be removed if Roku feels it can be used for illegal things. Roku told Torrent Freak that this is designed caution users who might blindly add extra channels without thinking about the consequences. Cord Cutters News has also reported a number of pirate channels have been removed recently, which has caused some pirates to consider leaving the platform.
I can only imagine this is the reaction they'd get from Roku:
Private channels do have legitimate purposes though, letting people access channels that aren't allowed in the Roku store. Adult Channels like PornHub's are the best examples.
Like Kodi, Roku is unfortunately a victim of its own success. But unlike Roku, Kodi has not taken any action to ban add-ons that let people breach copyright. While it has been very blunt in saying it doesn't want anything to do with these add-ons, Kodi believes that the open-source nature of the platform would make such actions pointless. Roku, on the other hand, is a closed system, so its in a better position to do something - and it looks like it is. [Torrent Freak]