Roku devices show FBI warning in channel outage

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Roku streaming devices have been hit with a massive outage.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku streaming players and TVs suffered a service outage Tuesday afternoon, with many users reporting they couldn’t access Netflix, YouTube and other channels.

“Roku is aware of an issue where some channels may not install on your Roku streaming player or Roku TV, or they may fail to load,” Roku said in a support advisory page on its website Tuesday afternoon. “We are investigating and working toward a quick resolution.”

The message is apparently a standard in-house message Roku sometimes uses.

“We use that warning when we detect content that has violated copyright,” Roku said in a statement. “Some channels in our Channel Store displayed that message and became inaccessible after Roku implemented a targeted anti-piracy measure on the platform.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how many customers were affected by the outage. Injecting a bit of intrigue into the outage is that some users report seeing a message that the channel they sought to view had been removed “due to repeated claims of copyright infringement.”

Roku said the issue was resolved largely resolved at 7:30 p.m. PT but that a few channels remain affected late Tuesday. A representative said she couldn’t give a number of affected customers but characterized it as “a very small amount.”

Updated at 10:10 p.m. PT with Roku resolving the issue with many channels.
Updated at 6:30 p.m. PT with Roku statement on FBI piracy message.

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