Roku users downloading unofficial streaming apps on the popular media players have started seeing a blunt, no-nonsense copyright warning as its creators attempt to to crackdown on pirate channels.
Roku streaming devices have long been a favourite for those dabbling with pirate streams via an unofficial Kodi app, as well as "non-certified" channels dedicated to freely and illegally streaming paid-for TV, movies and sport.
However, following a piracy lawsuit in Mexico which temporarily saw Roku media players banned in the region, the California-based company is distancing itself from unofficial streams by making a bold statement to Roku users.
Headed by a "Warning!" banner in all-caps, the message reads:
"This is a non-certified channel. Roku requires all channels to abide by Roku's terms and conditions, and to distribute only legal content. Roku does not test or review non-certified channels. By continuing, you acknowledge you are accessing a non-certified channel that may include content that is offensive or inappropriate for some audiences. Moreover, if Roku determines that this channel violates copyright, contains illegal content, or otherwise violates Roku's terms and conditions, the Roku may remove this channel without prior notice."
While the statement is quite clearly an attempt by Roku to exonerate itself from any legal threats moving forwards, the fact that it also addresses channels being removed without warning mirrors a similar message Kodi recently issued to disgruntled users.
Both Roku and Kodi - the latter an open-source software platform used to host streaming add-ons - have become intrinsically linked to the landscape of online media piracy thanks to the rise of simple, user-friendly TV sticks - most notably those sold online that come pre-loaded with pirate streams.
Although the two offer completely legal propositions for would-be streamers, both have found their products at the mercy of unscrupulous types who take advantage of each platform's flexible ecosystems by creating and/or downloading pirated channels or add-ons that both Roku and Kodi actively oppose.
A Roku spokesperson explained to TorrentFreak that the warning is intended to alert users to the possible ramifications of downloading pirate apps not found on the official Roku store, stating: "We want to encourage our customers to be careful when adding channels to their Roku accounts, and we do not recommend, promote or encourage the use of any channels not found in the Roku Channel Store."