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Roku Will Bork Your TV Unless You Promise Not to Sue

Photo: monticello (Shutterstock)

If you’re a Roku user, you may have noticed a new user agreement pop up on your screen over the last several days. If, for whatever reason, you did not comply with this agreement, you probably haven’t been able to stream since.

TechCrunch notes that it’s virtually impossible to avoid signing Roku’s new agreement if you want to continue using your TV. I, myself, thoughtlessly clicked through the agreement the other day, presuming it was something unimportant. In reality, the popup was a legally binding agreement not to sue Roku at any point in the future. Instead, the agreement compels the user to agree to forced arbitration, a different dispute resolution process that many legal experts contend greatly favors corporations over consumers.

For companies, the benefit of forced arbitration is that they can avoid class-action lawsuits which, obviously, can be pretty costly. Roku’s new agreement sounds fairly draconian, forcing users to engage in what the company calls an “Informal Dispute Resolution” process. This process compels anyone with legal concerns to reach out to Roku’s lawyers about them before taking any further action. As previously stated, the policy also bars users from suing the company.

Thankfully, there is a way to opt out of Roku, but it sounds like a pain in the ass. The only way to avoid this unfortunate agreement is to send a letter to Roku’s legal team telling them that you don’t want any part of it. You only have 30 days to do that and, after that, everybody who hasn’t spoken up will be automatically subsumed into Roku’s new legal arrangement. For more information on how to do all that, you can visit Roku’s website.

Gizmodo reached out to Roku for comment and will update this story if it responds.

I’m not sure why you would need to sue Roku. Maybe your TV recently caught on fire. Maybe you hate all the ads they shove in your face or their less than optimal privacy agreement. Maybe you’re annoyed that they don’t want you to sue them. Anyway, it’s always nice to have the option, right?

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