Anti-Piracy

Roku Device Sales Blocked in Mexico on Piracy Concerns (Bloomberg)

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Roku Inc. set-top boxes were pulled from the shelves of major department-store chains in Mexico after a court blocked sales of the devices, saying they could be hacked to let users view pirated movies and TV shows.

Salespeople at department stores Liverpool and Palacio de Hierro told newspaper Reforma they were ordered to stop selling Roku boxes due to “legal issues,” the paper reportedTuesday. Hackers in Mexico offer services to alter the device, still sold through Amazon.com Inc.’s Mexican site for 899 pesos (about $50) for one model, so users can access programming that normally would require a paid subscription, like HBO or Hulu.

Cablevision, a cable provider controlled by Grupo Televisa SAB, obtained a court order temporarily blocking the sale of the device, Tricia Mifsud, a spokeswoman for Los Gatos, California-based Roku, said in an email. The court order also required some banking institutions and convenience stores to stop accepting monthly payments to hackers.