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Roku says it has almost eradicated piracy from its platform

Roku claims to have almost eradicated piracy from its platform, and it wants other TV streaming services to follow its lead.

The firm stepped up its crackdown on pirates last year, after its media players were banned in Mexico. The ruling was made in July, and came about because criminals kept using Roku devices to play copyright-infringing content.

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According to new figures released this week, which were first spotted by TorrentFreak, as of June 2018 “approximately 99.5% of streaming hours on the Roku platform globally are from streaming channels that do not exhibit potential linkages to pirate organizations”.

This figure drops to 92% for Mexico alone, but Roku says it expects that number to rise as time goes on.

“Roku has tracked 400+ pirate organizations and has removed their associated channels from its platform,” the company said.

“In addition, Roku has secured the removal of thousands of Facebook and other social media pages that misappropriate its valuable trademark rights to promote channels that provide access to infringing content.

“Many entities that publish illegal channels also copy Roku’s trademarks and branding to mislead consumers – making it look like their channels are supported by Roku when in fact they are not.”

Roku, which describes its platform as “inhospitable for piracy”, is also urging other companies to tackle pirates more aggressively.

It has gone too far in the past, notably when it cut off user access to Netflix and YouTube, but its efforts certainly appear to be working.

“These anti-piracy efforts have driven pirate organizations off the Roku platform and the company is now calling on other TV streaming platforms to take similar countermeasures since their platforms are not immune to piracy either,” it added.

It says it will continue to fight copyright infringement with the aid of machine learning and other “automated technologies” that can detect and take down streaming channels that provided access to infringing content and close accounts of developers that violate its terms of service.

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“Piracy hurts our business and the industry. We continue to devote considerable resources to fighting piracy by continuously improving our software, tools and detection methods to remove pirates from our platform,” said Gary Ellison, vice president of trust engineering at Roku.

“The data we are releasing today shows the effectiveness of our anti-piracy efforts. It is a top priority to ensure that our platform is closed for pirates and good for consumers.”

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