Channel Issues & Questions

Help & troubleshooting for channels on your Roku device, including adding/removing channels, logging in to, authenticating, or activating a channel, channel-specific playback issues, assistance contacting channel publishers to report issues, and adjusting channel-specific settings.
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ioan
Level 7

Democracy Now! is bullying me for not donating them for free the channel I made and got to 300k users

I agree with all of you and I guess I can't expect a company - even if it's "Democracy Now!" - to be fair, so I'm updating the channel right now to not use any of their logo, name or anything that may infringe upon their trademark. It's their right to demand that, so I will comply.

Thanks.

After contacting me demanding that I contact Roku to switch the channel to them, I told them that I'll do it, for a small fee. I managed this channel making sure it works for 8 years and I got it to 15k average daily users. After asking them to pay me for my work, they contacted Roku to remove the channel because infringes upon their trademark. Remember, this is after 8 years, and previously they contacted me to make modifications to the channel to work better for their viewers. Here is an email I got from them in 2011:


This is amazing Ioan.  Thank you so much for doing all of this.


Yes, the demo would be great.

Do you know how the distribution to the set-top boxes works?  Mainly, do you know if the set-top boxes are pointed at our feed, or if there's instead a one-time download from our server to a Roku-maintained content distribution network, from which the set-top boxes download the video? I ask because if the latter is the case, we might be able to switch to a higher-quality file.  For instance, we have a torrent-shared H264/AAC MP4, ( http://ewheel.democracynow.org/rss.xml[/url:zzoc3orj] ) and a broadcast-quality MPEG2.

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What are my options? Roku asked me to remove the copyrighted material until tomorrow or they'll remove the channel. I feel like that will mean "we will remove your access to your own channel and we will give it to Democracy Now", because how would I submit and get approved another channel without the logos until tomorrow?
Here is the quote from Roku:


Please change both the name and access/install code of your channel (currently Democracy Now and democracynow, respectively), as well as your channel icon, which also contains the mark “Democracy Now!”. In addition, please remove all infringing marks that appear within your channel as well as any other infringing content or marks. Please respond to this email by January 26, 2018 with confirmation that you have done so. If your channel is removed due to alleged trademark or copyright infringement, you may not resubmit or re-enable the Channel Application under the same or a different developer account without Roku's written permission.


Anyway, It's very disappointing how Democracy Now is trying to bully me into giving up the channel I made to make the life of their own viewers better. I didn't put Ads, I didn't charge a fee... but now I realize I should have done that.
Thanks for reading my rant.
https://github.com/e1ioan/
http://rokucam.com
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6 Replies
trekkeriii
Level 10

Re: Democracy Now! is bullying me for not donating them for free the channel I made and got to 300k users

Suggest you talk to a lawyer and not post more about this. Just a suggestion.
http://trekkeriii.com/Roku_PHP_list.php
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mike_s
Level 8

Re: Democracy Now! is bullying me for not donating them for free the channel I made and got to 300k users

There are two sides. They're not trying to take the channel, they're trying to regain control of their name and trademarks, which they have every right to do. They really can't take the channel itself, because you hold the copyright on the code. If Roku transfers control of the channel to them, you're then free to file a copyright violation complaint with Roku.
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jeffrok
Level 11

Re: Democracy Now! is bullying me for not donating them for free the channel I made and got to 300k users

I don't see the big deal- they probably have their own channel in the wings, and it probably contains revenue generating ads.. it's their right as a company to ask you to stop producing their channel. I don't see it as bullying at all.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
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mikebdoss
Level 7

Re: Democracy Now! is bullying me for not donating them for free the channel I made and got to 300k users

Yeah, if you didn't have a contract with them, it really doesn't matter what you did with them in the past - they have the legal right to, at a minimum, have your channel taken down. It's probably in their best interest to play nice (I'm sure they'll retain more viewers on your existing channel than if everyone had to install a new one), but that doesn't mean they will. 

I'm not sure what the Roku developer agreement says about such things (if anything), but it's possible also that you signed away your rights to the code when you put the channel up. If it's important to you, I'd get a lawyer, but it's still their content that you're serving up. 
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Elijah_Baley
Level 7

Re: Democracy Now! is bullying me for not donating them for free the channel I made and got to 300k users

Just a little free advice that is probably worth exactly what you are paying for it:

Unless Roku or some other entity actually transfers your code to another party or in some other way a direct violation of your explicit rights happens just take down your app. You have nothing to gain and a lot to loose if the issue escalates.

Even if there does turn out to be an explicit violation of your rights this sounds like a case of, their lawyers will get richer and your lawyers will get richer and they will pass any expense they incur on to others and you will get poorer. 

Verbal and/or implied contracts are ALWAYS very hard to enforce even if there is a bit of writing to back them and the amount of revenue that can be generated from an app like this on any platform is not enough to cover legal expenses and if their lawyers are any good at all fighting for any rights you may have would take years and in the interim I can almost assure you that the app will have to be taken down. That is a halfway decent lawyer will force the burden of proof to you and then drag everything out for a LONG time.
Two Roku Ultras, three Roku 3s and a Roku 1
"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Mark Twain
Van Roy's Law: An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.
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mike_s
Level 8

Re: Democracy Now! is bullying me for not donating them for free the channel I made and got to 300k users

"Elijah_Baley" wrote:
Verbal and/or implied contracts are ALWAYS very hard to enforce even if there is a bit of writing to back them and the amount of revenue that can be generated from an app like this on any platform is not enough to cover legal expenses and if their lawyers are any good at all fighting for any rights you may have would take years and in the interim I can almost assure you that the app will have to be taken down. 

Punctuation is your friend. You win the record today for longest run-on sentence.
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