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Roku Issues Warning Messages to Those Adding Private Channels
Ahead of a rumored IPO, Roku is warning those who add private channels to their accounts, and may be banning services with pirated content.

Set-top box company Roku has begun issuing warning messages to users who add private channels to their service. While not widely known, Roku users can add access to private channels after signing in through a browser. These channels require a code for access, and are often used to stream pirated or adult video.

Two days ago, TorrentFreak broke the news that people adding codes for private channels (called "non-certified channels" by Roku) now get a warning message saying the Roku platform is only to be used for legal content, and infringing channels may be removed without notice. Users are still able to add the channels, however.

Roku told the site it's actively working to combat piracy, and will disable channels. With Roku considering going public later this year, some have speculated this is as a way for the company to deal with a potential problem ahead of time. In June, Mexico banned sales of Roku devices due to the availability of private channels.

Roku created private channels to let developers test offerings before making them public. TechCrunch reports that some services are ending support for Roku due to the crackdowns.

When asked, Roku did not respond to written questions from StreamingMedia.com, saying executives were offsite and unavailable. Instead, it offered a statement that includes the following, "Roku’s policies prohibit streaming content on our platform without distribution rights from the copyright holder. We are actively cooperating with the content community and other rights holders in their efforts to combat piracy."

Roku recently announced that it has 15 million active monthly users.

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