by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jul 17th 2009 5:08pm
Earlier this year, there was an uproar when Hulu and Boxee got into a back and forth "blocking" of Hulu content on Boxee (with Boxee posting workarounds for every Hulu block) at the request of Hulu's content partners, who were worried about pissing off cable companies. The whole thing was silly. Boxee wasn't doing anything illegal or wrong. It just provides a specialized video web browser. Today, already, anyone who can hook up a computer to a TV can access Hulu on their TV using a regular browser. The only difference with Boxee was that it was a better browser for the TV. It's hard to see why that should be blocked. Then, a few weeks ago, the same thing happened with the PS3 suddenly being blocked from displaying Hulu content as well. Not surprisingly, Hulu has now admitted basically the same thing: it came under pressure from content partners. Hulu is (again) reasonably apologetic and open and honest about the situation, but again it raises questions about whether or not Hulu can really survive as it serves two masters, one of whom is so backwards looking it thinks that pissing off consumers who are doing something completely legal is a good business strategy.
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