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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KYFAN
Level 7

Whitaker TV legal

Just curious. I saw Whitaker TV app on. Roku.  I thought IPTV was illegal? Is Whitaker TV legal? 

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27 Replies
AlphaPepe
Level 7

Re: Whitaker TV legal

IPTV isn't illegal. That's what Sling, Youtube TV, Hulu Live, Fubo, AT&T TV Now, etc are. Piracy is illegal. So you can't run an IPTV service without the proper licensing. (Which all of the mentioned services have.) Regarding that app, I don't know if it's officially licensed or not but IPTV itself is not illegal.

AnotherT
Level 8

Re: Whitaker TV legal

When you see hundreds of channels at a very low price, something isn't right.  You cannot compare Hulu, Sling, etc. which have contracts and agreements from the content owners to distribute their channels to an IPTV "company" that likely does not.  If they were paying the rights, it would be nearly impossible to charge such a low subscription rate.  It may work today, but not work tomorrow.  You never know about rogue IPTV distributors.  Regulators are cracking down.  Subscribe at your own risk.

23rdDjin
Level 9

Re: Whitaker TV legal

spent a few minutes looking about. according to appgrooves(dot)com, it's owned by Whitaker and Whitaker Holdings Inc.  according to corporate filings, their "business type" is described as "Domestic Profit Corporation". their operating status is listed as "inactive" and the business was dissolved July 15, 2018.

curiouser and curiouser...

here's some info from Open Corporates:

https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_mi/801981474

__________________

"if it itches, play it..." - David Bowie - 1999
KYFAN
Level 7

Re: Whitaker TV legal

I did the free trial and while I think it is neat to see local channels from across the U.S.  It did seem really buggy and very cumbersome to use. Not as polish or as professional as YouTube TV, Sling, or Hulu.  I don't think it is worth it.  I just found it interesting for that type of channel to be on Roku and wonder if it does get "busted" would Roku be in trouble for allowing them to be a basic channel not even a hidden channel on their service.  Thanks for the comments and I hope everyone is safe out there. 

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PhillipB
Level 7

Re: Whitaker TV legal

It must be your internet service........ I have no issues with the service. 

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trothatl
Level 10

Re: Whitaker TV legal

An identical channel, Tyson TV, has appeared in the Roku channel store. Although there are differences in their home page layouts and graphics, both websites are nearly identical in many respects. One of the Tyson TV graphics even pulls the image from the Whitaker TV website. My guess is that these channels are from one or two IPTV resellers (you can look up that term if you aren't familiar with it) selling subscriptions to the same IPTV service.

As for being legal, websites for both services say this on their FAQ page:

"IS THIS LEGAL? Currently under the US law it is not illegal to repackage or resell IPTV. The FCC has held
that the IPTV resales do not violate any franchise or exclusivity agreements with cable providers under federal law. Also, if you are reselling broadcasts that are available online streaming on foreign servers as part of your IPTV packaging, courts have held this would not be a violation of the copyrights laws in the US. Watching TV content streamed over the internet is legal. However, it is not legal to download or
record any material that is copyrighted. Some IPTV services stream content from servers that have recorded the content, and many times the content is copyrighted. Even though you are watching it as it as streamed, at some point it was downloaded to get you the content. Whitaker TV does NOT offer any type of downloaded content such as a movie-on-demand or TV series."

On the other hand, it's not hard to find articles about IPTV resellers being sued by DISH and others.

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AnotherT
Level 8

Re: Whitaker TV legal

Interesting.  They are all extremely crafty about how they word its legality.  Repackaging or reselling IPTV is not the issue.  The issue is the CONTENT THEFT that IPTV is stealing without paying its rightful owners for it.  These resellers all take your money and run.  Some countries are also going after the subscribers.  Suit yourself.  As the old saying goes...if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  These people reselling stolen content are making tons of money off the backs of others.  Hopefully they don't keep a list of their subscribers for the feds to seize when they get busted.  This is like me stealing a bicycle and then charging you to ride it.  It's not illegal for me to charge YOU to ride it but it is illegal for me to steal the bicycle in the first place.

AnotherT
Level 8

Re: Whitaker TV legal

IPTV in itself is not illegal if the vendor is getting the content legally.  I'd stay away from the vendors who offer your 5,000 channels for a small monthly fee.  They obviously are not paying the rights to legally distribute the content and they'll disappear eventually along with your money.

Sunny33
Level 7

Re: Whitaker TV legal

I tried to get the trial today but had many issues about getting the search to work..total waste of time. Also Roku didn't look to support the channel which does make me wonder about legalities. I know someone in the US that says it's good but maybe not so for Canada.

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