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Roku Device Sales Banned in Mexico Over Piracy

Variety logo Variety 6/30/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Roku’s streaming-media devices are currently unavailable to purchase in Mexico, after court rulings upheld a decision banning sales of the products after a challenge by Mexico City’s biggest cable operator.

Cable provider Cablevisión, owned by media conglomerate Grupo Televisa, had sued to stop sales of Roku devices in the country, alleging that pirates are hacking the devices to illegally sell streaming access to TV channels, including those distributed by Televisa. A judge last week ruled against Roku to block sales of the devices; Roku won a temporary stay of the order, but it was reversed Wednesday by a Mexico City court tribunal.

On Friday, Cablevisión said a court ruling upheld a decision blocking requests by Office Depot and Radio Shack to resume sales of Roku products in the country.

“Cablevision cannot allow the content that it licenses from domestic and foreign companies to be illegally used,” a rep for the operator 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 it will continue the legal fight to have its devices legally approved for sale in Mexico. The court rulings are “not the final word in this complex legal matter,” general counsel Stephen Kay said in a statement.

Roku launched its streaming players in Mexico in October 2015, offering access to services including Netflix, Google Play, Spotify, YouTube, Crackle and Cinépolis Klic.

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