Personally, I don't like everything about the approach Roku is taking, but I understand the reasons behind it. Most of what they're doing, I'm fine with. The only part that really bothers me is the 20-user limit. Yes, Roku will only allow a beta app to have 20 users. That's not enough. But the overall idea of no longer allowing unlimited users for an unlimited period of time is something I understand.
So, I prepared to write up a post telling what's going on and my thoughts about it. Then, I found a video published by Cord Cutters News. This YouTube video on their channel offers good information.
I can still offer my thoughts. So, do watch the Cord Cutters News video first.
I think that Roku needs to do something about their Private Channels, now known as Non-certifies Apps, process. It's turned into a place where you can find great content, and utter junk. You'll find great little apps that offer great content. You'll also find apps that let you pirate content. Something needs to be done about it.
Two companies with apps that seem to get a lot of use are VidAngel and PornHub. VidAngel edits movies and redistributes them into a more family-friendly format. PornHub is videos of naked people fornicating.
VidAngel lost a lawsuit with Disney over their operations. They had to pay over $62-million in damages, went bankrupt, reorganized, and are now trying to make a comeback. I wouldn't use their service, but if others want to, and if their service doesn't violate any copyright laws or content owners rights, then fine. Go for it.
Personally, if I was offended by a movie, I wouldn't want a third party to edit it for me. The offending company still gets their money (unless it's being pirated, which is a problem), so they have no incentive to do any different. Whatever.
VidAngel has taken the tactic to misrepresent what's going on, painting themselves as the victim. That's out and out false. They don't have a certified app, and want the new rules to not apply to them. I have no patience for people who think they're above the law, or think rules don't apply to them. Those type of people are all the same, and if all disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn't miss them.
PornHub is a service that shows pornographic videos. And PornHub has had its share of legal troubles.
The lawsuit claims that PornHub and its parent company, MindGeek, allowed any type of pornography to be published and incentivized people to watch more of it. Executives understood that users were posting nonconsensual sexual content and knowingly chose to monetize it, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
“The case is not about consensual porn or negligence,” Michael Bowe, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in an email. “It’s about a porn company’s intentional election to include in their business model rape and other nonconsensual content.”
Like VidAngel, PornHub has stirred up its base by painting themselves as the victim of Roku. VidAngel and PornHub are no different in this respect. Their respective supporters have more in common than either realize. Remember the season of the reality show, The Surreal Life, where Tammy Faye Messner (nee Bakker) and Ron Jeremy became friends? This sort of reminds me of that.
I don't have any sympathy for either VidAngel or PornHub. I don't care about their content, but neither does Roku. And that's the thing that they don't want to hear. It invalidates their argument. It removes the victim label, and forces them to have to follow the same rules as everyone else.
Neither VidAngel nor PornHub will be in my Streaming Life. But, if the content of either is for you, I hope they get things worked out within the rules and requirements of the Roku certification process.