by Mike Masnick
Thu, Apr 2nd 2009 1:43am
To be honest, we're still quite confused as to why Hulu's content partners think it makes sense to stop Boxee from showing Hulu videos. If you don't know, Boxee is basically a web browser for your television. If you have a computer hooked up to your TV, you can watch Hulu (and other) videos. You could do it via any browser you want -- including Firefox or IE -- but Boxee is designed to function better for TVs. Yet, for some reason, even though it's just a browser, Hulu's content partners freaked out and demanded Boxee stop. Since then, there's been a bit of a technology back and forth, with Boxee offering workarounds, and Hulu trying to block Boxee's workaround (which Boxee got around quickly again). The latest, as pointed out by a few readers, is that Hulu is now trying to encrypt its content to keep it from working in non-browser apps. Of course, Boxee on the Mac is just like a browser, so the encryption doesn't even do anything -- and Boxee is planning to upgrade its software on other platforms to do the same thing. Honestly, though, the whole thing seems like a waste. Hulu is dedicating technical resources towards making its content less useful, and trying to stop people from using the content in perfectly reasonable ways. That's a recipe for failure. Even if the company is only doing this to appease angry content partners, you have to wonder how Hulu can possibly survive while sitting between content providers who want to lock everything down, and users who want to do the opposite.
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