Roku’s latest piracy crackdown took things a little too far

Roku accidentally cut off user access to Netflix and YouTube this week, as part of an anti-piracy push gone wrong.

Some users attempting to access the two video apps were greeted with the following warning: “FBI Anti-Piracy Warning: Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law. Roku has removed this unauthorized service due to repeated claims of copyright infringement.”

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As you can imagine, users were more than a little confused. Fortunately, it was the result of a mistake.

Roku quickly issued an apology on Twitter, saying it had experienced a “technical glitch”. It has now fixed the issue.

“Netflix and YouTube are working along with most channels in the Channel Store. Go to Settings> System> System update> Check now. For some channels, you may need to log in again,” the company wrote in a subsequent update.

It appears that Roku was deliberately targeting some completely different channels when the Netflix and YouTube apps were unintentionally blocked.

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“We use that warning when we detect content that has violated copyright,” the company told Cnet.

“Some channels in our Channel Store displayed that message and became inaccessible after Roku implemented a targeted anti-piracy measure on the platform.”

Do you think mistakes like these will damage the anti-piracy movement? Share your thoughts @TrustedReviews.