Court Upholds Roku Sales Ban in Mexico

Roku disagrees with decision, will continue to pursue legal right to sell and distribute its products there
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Roku is again facing a ban on product sales in Mexico after the Twelfth Collegiate Tribunal in Civil Matters of Mexico City this week upheld an earlier court decision stemming from piracy concerns raised by Cablevision, a Mexican cable operator run by Grupo Televisa.

The reversal comes about a week after a Federal court in Mexico lifted an earlier court order that had blocked the sale of Roku streaming devices in the country temporarily.

RELATED: Mexico Federal Court Lifts Roku Sales Ban

Cablevision contends that the devices can be altered to enable users to receive copyrighted content illegally.

"Cablevision cannot allow the content that it licenses from domestic and foreign companies to be illegally used," a Cablevision official told Reuters. "We would also like Roku Inc. to better supervise the use of its software so that it's not used inappropriately."

Roku said that, despite the initial ban, its products are still being sold though many retailers in Mexico.

But Roku, a company official noted, also disagrees with latest decision, and that it continues to “pursue its legal and constitutional rights to distribute its products in Mexico,” holding that the decision likewise “is not the final word in this complex legal matter.”

According to Roku, the Cablevision case is strictly about content piracy, and not platform security, adding that the service provider’s legal actions are principally targeted at organizations that are selling unlicensed content using different internet-connected platforms.

“The businesses that are accused of using the Roku platform to distribute pirated content in Mexico developed Roku channels, and then sold subscriptions to these channels directly to end users,” the Roku official explained via email. “These channels are non-certified, and they are not available in the Roku Channel Store.”

The official added that Roku’s policies prohibit streaming content on its platform without distribution rights from the copyright holder, and that the company does not recommend, promote or encourage use of any channels not found in the Roku Channel Store. “In fact we have ongoing measures in place to find and take down these types of channels,” the official said.