Mexican court halts sales of Roku devices due to hackability

A cable company argues they’re too often hacked to stream pirated content.

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Devindra Hardawar/Engadget
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Roku's legal battle in Mexico has taken a hit. Last week, a judge ordered importation and sales of Roku devices to cease in the country, but Roku later won a suspension of that ruling. This week, however, a Mexico City tribunal overturned that suspension, reinstating the stop to Roku sales and distribution.

The initial request for a sales halt came from cable provider Cablevision, a company owned by the media giant Televisa. It claims that hackers in Mexico frequently open Roku devices up to pirated content, cutting into cable companies' sales. Hackers often use WhatsApp to make their deals.

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

Roku plans to fight the ruling and its general counsel, Steve Kay, said in a statement, "Today's decision is not the final word in this complex legal matter, and it is not expected to prevent consumers from purchasing Roku products in Mexico at this time." As of writing, Roku products were still available for purchase through Mexico's Amazon website.

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