Dear Hulu: Stop Treating Me Like A Criminal

from the if-you-don't-want-me-to-watch... dept

I mentioned recently that, for some idiotic reason, Hulu has stopped letting me view any of its content. That's because I use WiTopia's VPN service for security reasons. It seems that plenty of other WiTopia users are discovering this, as well, and are getting annoyed. The issue is that Hulu wants to block people from outside the US from viewing its content (for licensing reasons, even if they're pretty pointless in today's world). But, for some bizarre reason, it's been decided that anyone who uses any sort of VPN or proxy can't use Hulu at all because they might be coming from a foreign country. I'm sitting here in California and Hulu tells me I might be illegally accessing its content, so it doesn't allow it. So, instead, I don't give Hulu any additional ad views and I don't watch the content I wanted to watch. How does that help anyone? It appears to make everyone worse off. And it's not like WiTopia is some free anonymous proxy -- it's a pay-service that has been around for ages and is used regularly for WiFi security purposes. Many of its users are US-based (the company is based in the US, and most of its servers are in the US as well). So, because (gasp!) a small group of people outside the US might dare to catch a video (with ads!!), all of Witopia's US customers can't watch any content at all? This is the same ridiculous content industry mindset that drives so many people to unauthorized file sharing: they treat you as a criminal first and force you to prove you're not (or sometimes, don't even let you prove otherwise). The problem the industry is facing isn't due to some guy in Europe catching The Colbert Report from across the sea. It comes from turning off legitimate customers and users who are sick of being treated like crap.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Living in Canada I almost feel the same way. It is utterly infuriating to be blocked off from all that content - and I can't deny that I end up streaming my share of shows from unauthorized sources. The funny thing is, when I'm hunting through TV aggregators for a working link, all I can think is: "I sure would watch a fair number of ads in exchange for an official, reliable streaming source"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Stefan Mai, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 4:44pm

    There is no money in piping US ads and bandwidth to countries around the world. Hulu isn't treating you as a criminal any more than anyone else in the world. It's unfortunate that they don't have a means to monetize traffic to other countries, but I think it's difficult to blame them for honoring their advertising partners by not allowing this gaping hole. You can't access a lot of BBC media directly... Nobody is on their back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    For movie & TV show fan Ironically "Watches" Hulu

    You can send your request for access in writing to:

    Hulu
    12312 W. Olympic Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA, 90064

    Please include your Hulu Username, a copy of a birth certificate, drivers license and recent utility bill (no more than 90 days old) to ensure you are a legal user located the USA.

    /sarcasm

    In all seriousness, I don't know what you should do. Don't actually send them this stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    WiTopia

    These guys sound quite a bit like you Mike, I wonder if they've ever perused your blog. Refreshingly honest and transparent about their service, such a crazy business strategy I can't believe anyone actually implemented it. It's almost insane.

    From their site (emphasis mine)

    Why should I trust WiTopia?

    ... Keeping it real, compared to your ISP, a hotspot/network owner, or even a government, we have a vested interest in vigorously maintaining your data security and privacy.

    After all, that is what you pay us to do.

    Not to be too capitalistic or simplistic about it, but that really is quite an incentive. This is how we earn our livelihoods. We don't sell ads. We don't have side jobs. This is it. You pay us money and we do everything we can to provide you the best service and protection possible.

    If we don't do it well, or somehow betrayed your trust, we'd guess you'd go elsewhere in an Internet minute. Knowing that, we will strive to earn your trust every single day and, hopefully, year after year....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Re:

    I don't blame Hulu really, but the industry that demands the ridiculous licensing terms for international streaming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 5:07pm

    Hulu

    Give them more rope

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    Re:

    let's put this more accurately.

    "there is no money in piping ads around the world".

    Then you get to reality.

    Meanwhile, there is money in driving interest to your show by giving people better access (aka online).

    Lots of people are on BBC's ass about it, especially people in other countries who wish to watch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    adorno, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 5:19pm

    Grow up and turn off the VPN when you want to watch Hulu.

    Simple as that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 5:32pm

    Re:

    Grow up and stop blocking users.

    Simple as that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Thad, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 5:40pm

    Just download it illegally, no ads no pain in the ass vpn restrictions, no country restrictions. When will they learn if they make it harder to get legally than it is to pirate, why jump through hoops to watch their ads?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    Don't worry...

    ... once Hulu puts up its paywall, your USA credit card billing address will be enough and they won't need to block VPN.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Don't worry...

    But...but...but...

    ...the credit card might actually have been stolen by a criminal!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    If they are doing something you do not like there is nothing preventing you from going elsewhere with your business. That is the wonder of competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Freedom, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    Sue 'em for Profiling...

    This is a perfect example of IT Profiling at its worst.

    Can you imagine if everytime Sheriff Joe saw a Mexican in Arizona that he just tossed him/her over the border - you're a Mexican, must be here illegally - off with you.

    Must really be nice to totally exclude a segment of users just because they are using a VPN of some sort.

    Mike - welcome to other side of profiling!

    Freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:57pm

    Re: WiTopia

    The problem I have with witopia is that my connection from witopia (through my ISP and to theirs) is completly secure. But the connection from their vpn server to the internet site i want to surf to is not (a fundamental flaw with the internet in general).

    I think a client should give a public key to the server(ssl-in-the-browser). client side encryption makes alot more sense. no more man in the middle attack with ssl certs since I have the keys(Of course, won't solve phishing, but only paying attention will do that now). And most importantly: the connection is secure from endpoint to endpoint.

    hmmm...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:58pm

    Basically, the Masnick personal need outweighs any contractual or legal limitations that exist. Mike wants it, so damn well give it to him, even if you have to break every contract you have.

    It's a Mike sort of a world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Pirate My Music (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:04pm

    What I hate is that I get this in Canada as well. I want to watch an episode of South Park but I can't because I'm on a vpn. I used to watch Hulu at work as I worked for a company based in the US and had a proxy into the US. When I came home to watch it I found out that I had committed an unforgivable sin (insert eye roll) and watched it from outside the US.

    It makes downloading the videos more and more reasonable every time a restriction is put in place. All the excuses in the world can be made, but I can get the same shows for free over the air from US signals on my TV... are they going to jam those signals now too, just because I might watch some broadcast TV?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Urza9814, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:13pm

    It's all about the ads

    Mike, I usually agree with damn near every word you say, but I _really_ wish people would quit pretending this Hulu crap is due to the 'content industry'. It's not. The fact is that Hulu makes their money from advertising. And nobody in their right mind would pay for advertising to people who are _thousands of miles away from their business_.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:18pm

    I think a client should give a public key to the server(ssl-in-the-browser). client side encryption makes alot more sense. no more man in the middle attack with ssl certs since I have the keys(Of course, won't solve phishing, but only paying attention will do that now). And most importantly: the connection is secure from endpoint to endpoint.


    Huh? A man in the middle just watching the whole conversation already won't be able to read anything (with any encryption). A man in the middle that can intercept and replace all traffic works will be unstoppable unless the parties have exchanged some information previously. It makes far more sense that your browser store the one certificate from your bank than it does the for your bank to store the certificates from all its' customers browsers.

    Though I suppose in your system banks could force customers to call them up every time they want to access their account on a new computer, but that would be a pretty big inconvenience for the security gain, given that there are very few man in the middle attacks of the sort described.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re:

    Uhh, yeah, the point is that the only "elsewheres" for some of these shows are random YouTube uploads that get DMCA'd, other unauthorized sources, or a scavenger hunt around the individual network/channel websites to discover systems that all have their own silly problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:25pm

    Unlikely to be Hulu's initiative. No doubt their suppliers force them to take steps to ensure only US locations are serviced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    BruceMcF, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 8:05pm

    Boo fricking hoo hoo.

    (1) If you are in the US
    (2) and using VPN "for WiFi security reasons"
    (3) why not just skip the VPN when watching Hulu? There's no sensitive information of your to be stolen, after all - Hulu is not like iStream that uses credit card information to verify your location.

    The only need to use a VPN to watch shows on Hulu is to pretend to be from the US if you are not.

    Murdoch is already complaining about Hulu only making dimes where NewsCorp is used to making dollars - if Hulu has to rebate ad revenues because of no-revenue ads streamed overseas, it only makes the hand of the NewsCorp faction arguing to go to subscriber content stronger.

    The ad-based free-stream model runs on margins that are too narrow to give free rides to leech streams for viewers outside the advertising market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 8:25pm

    Better Proxy Coming Up!

    Hulu is a great product controlled by idiots.

    They need to study the simple principles of water and gravity. Water flows downhill. If you try to block it, it simply builds up until it either bursts the blockage or flows around it. The Internet is the same way. Resistance is futile.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Jim, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 8:43pm

    You're off on this one, Mike.

    Hulu has to license all (or just about all) of it's content. I've done zillion of these types of deals myself. Blocking VPNs (and "geo-filtering") is a standard clause in these contracts. Rights holders demand it. Sometimes they are legally bound to demand it since they have already sold distribution rights in some territories. So, if Hulu wants to have shows like "The Office" and movies like "Wind Talkers," then they've must agree to block people using VPNs and proxy servers.

    It may or may not be stupid for rights holder to demand this condition, but blaming Hulu just isn't fair.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Dave B, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 9:00pm

    Just dont use a VPN then...

    it is that easy, genius. What are you doing that is so top secret that you need a VPN all the time? sounds shady

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    prat, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 10:47pm

    calm down..

    calm down.. hulu is treating you like a non-american, not a criminal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: WiTopia

    But the connection from their vpn server to the internet site i want to surf to is not (a fundamental flaw with the internet in general).

    Actually, there are things such as SSL that allow end-to-end secure connections on the Internet. So it's really not "a fundamental flaw with the internet in general". The problem that you describe is probably with the sites that you surf not caring to offer optional HTTPS connections.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:13pm

    Re:

    If they are doing something you do not like there is nothing preventing you from going elsewhere with your business. That is the wonder of competition.

    Obviously, and I don't think anyone said otherwise. Did you have a point?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:16pm

    Re:

    Basically, the Masnick personal need outweighs any contractual or legal limitations that exist. Mike wants it, so damn well give it to him, even if you have to break every contract you have.
    It's a Mike sort of a world.


    If you really believe that, then I want to know what kind of fantasy world *you* live in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:17pm

    Re: It's all about the ads

    Mike, I usually agree with damn near every word you say, but I _really_ wish people would quit pretending this Hulu crap is due to the 'content industry'. It's not. The fact is that Hulu makes their money from advertising. And nobody in their right mind would pay for advertising to people who are _thousands of miles away from their business_.

    But, I'm not. I'm in the same damn state as their business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:18pm

    Re:

    Unlikely to be Hulu's initiative. No doubt their suppliers force them to take steps to ensure only US locations are serviced.

    Indeed. But I'm in the US.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:19pm

    Re: You're off on this one, Mike.

    It may or may not be stupid for rights holder to demand this condition, but blaming Hulu just isn't fair.

    It is if Hulu agreed to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:21pm

    Re: You're off on this one, Mike.

    Hulu has to license all (or just about all) of it's content. I've done zillion of these types of deals myself. Blocking VPNs (and "geo-filtering") is a standard clause in these contracts.

    And that makes it okay? I disagree. Anytime someone says "oh that's a standard clause" without giving a reason why, I know that they're full of it. There's simply no reason that Hulu should be agreeing to block VPN site access.

    Rights holders demand it. Sometimes they are legally bound to demand it since they have already sold distribution rights in some territories.

    Again, this has NOTHING to do with territories. I'm in the same state as Hulu. I understand regional blocking, but this is not regional blocking at all. This is VPN blocking because some tiny % of VPN users *might* possibly be from another country.

    So, if Hulu wants to have shows like "The Office" and movies like "Wind Talkers," then they've must agree to block people using VPNs and proxy servers.

    You never have to agree to anything. The content providers need Hulu more than Hulu needs them. Fine, let The Office not be on Hulu, and then watch what happens.

    It may or may not be stupid for rights holder to demand this condition, but blaming Hulu just isn't fair.

    Sure it is. They agreed to this (and the VPN blocking was just turned on recently -- it never used to be a problem). They should take the blame for agreeing to a ridiculous policy that makes no sense and does nothing to help them at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Ristin, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:23pm

    So, you are complaining about a free (for now) service doing things the way they want to do it? What would happen if I used used a script to type N**GER over and over again until it filled up this box, submitted it, and then did it again and again? I'm betting you have something in place to stop it. right now, hulu is free....how can you complain about anything they put in place to stop you from viewing their product?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:00am

    Re: Just dont use a VPN then...

    it is that easy, genius. What are you doing that is so top secret that you need a VPN all the time? sounds shady

    Talk about geniuses. You obviously don't know much about computer security (but that doesn't keep you from popping off about it anyway).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:10am

    Re:

    Yeah, I wish everbody would stop complaining about stuff. You're complaining about something somebody did? Nobody likes complainers. Don't complain to me. Why don't you complain to all of those you have hurt? Huh.

    If only you could put complainers in containers and put 'em all on an island. Am I right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Orlin, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:17am

    alternative

    Actually the Colbert report can be watched in Europe as well. And that through its' official webpage: http://www.colbertnation.com/
    It is still annoying (for the linux users at least) that they use secure flash and thus you can watch it only with the adobe flash, but it is better then nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:33am

    Re:

    So, you are complaining about a free (for now) service doing things the way they want to do it?

    So, you are complaining about Mike commenting on Hulu's business practices? Here's an idea for you: If you want to control what gets talked about, then maybe you should go set up your own blog.

    What would happen if I used used a script to type N**GER over and over again...

    So, what does "N**GER" mean? Is it "people who annoy you"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Allen (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:34am

    Re: It's all about the ads

    I disagree. The same technology they use to identify where you are can be used to localise or globalize the ads: Not in the US, only show ads for global brands; have a sales office in India, show the ads you sold to Indians. Using Canada as an example most US adds that are nationally relevant are going to be relevant there too. You only *think* Canadians are strange, they're actually a lot like you.


    It really *is* about the content industry and the way they do distribution.

    You see back in the olden days they used to contract with a local distributor in each country to distribute the reels and collect the royalties. It kind of made sense when they had to load all those canisters onto a steamer and ship them across oceans. Everyone was happy and most people wore an onion on their belt (which was the fashion at the time).

    As far as the 'content industry' is concerned the olden days never ended and Hulu can only show the content in the country they have licensed it. If they want to show it in Canada they need a license from the Canadian rights holder. They haven't done that (yet) so blockedy block.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    KroniKlepto (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:59am

    US military overseas

    We (US military and military families serving overseas) get screwed by Hulu, and multiple other sites on a daily basis. I'm in the UK (with BT Broadband,) so that makes it even worse. Being forced to find workarounds is time consuming and absurd.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    mike, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 1:32am

    turn off the VPN and stop cruing

    just turn off the stupid VPN and stop your liberal crying. life isn't always fair!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 1:45am

    The networks haven't found out

    that they need to compete with free content.
    You can't use Hulu and watch the ad-supported shows, so you can only go to piracy. It's as if they WANT you to pirate.

    If Hulu was smart, they'd strike a deal with Witopia, and only allow Witopia users that are originating from the US. I'm sure that Witopia could set it up like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Don't worry...

    Correction.

    Your credit card might have been stolen by a criminal that doesn't live in the USA!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Pete Austin, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 2:23am

    It's called "Qualifying Out"

    It's nothing personal, just that Hulu don't value users like you, who know about security, so why would they waste money providing a service? Maybe you know enough not to click spammy ads.

    http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sales/qualifying/qualifying_out.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 3:57am

    Dear Mr Mike.

    Turn off your VPN.

    Enjoy Hulu.

    Quit whining.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re:

    Indeed. But I'm in the US. But you're behind a proxy, so how are Hulu to know you're in the US?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    bassmadrigal (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 5:12am

    Re: US military overseas

    I agree. I am in the military and am stationed in Germany. While living on base (here at least) you can watch hulu, but on base housing is limited to low ranks and limited housing options for families only. Most of us are required to live off base. According to wikipedia there are over 150,000 military members just between Europe and Asia/Pacific. And I am pretty sure that doesn't count US Contractors or any dependents. So the number is probably easily 3x-5x that. All the US ads still apply to me, because I still shop in the US. And due to the major delay in getting shows broadcast on AFN (sometimes more than a season behind), I have been forced to use alternative means to keep up with my shows. As others have mentioned, I would be more than willing to watch those ads (and I have been pursuaded to click on those ads as well), because I am fine supporting things like that, but if I want to watch my favorite shows and can't through any legal measures, then I am going to go to alternative options. Jeremy Hansen Ramstein Air Base, Germany

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 5:17am

    Re: It's all about the ads

    I _really_ wish people would quit pretending this Hulu crap is due to the 'content industry'. It's not. The fact is that Hulu makes their money from advertising. And nobody in their right mind would pay for advertising to people who are _thousands of miles away from their business_.

    and why can't they sell UK ads for UK viewers to see? because of contracts they have with... wait for it... the content industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re: WiTopia

    Nope, the problem I have is i have to "trust" that the server on the other end is the one the ssl cert says it is. This is where a man in the middle attack can happen. If i own the certs, then i know that the certs are mine. Client-side encryption will allow compelty private browsing all of the time, instead of hoping that while you are using your credit card the ssl cert hasn't been broken. again client-side encryption will not solve phishing.

    And the fundamental flaw in the internet is the fact that, unless the site use ssl or a javascript encryption, everything you do on the internet is plaintext. that should be so. like sending everything, from "im doing fin letters" to state secrets using a postcard. not too safe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Mechwarrior, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 5:54am

    Re:

    Well, BBC is funded by the citizens of the UK. So technically their primary audience is the UK and thus must reserve bandwidth for UK users otherwise they would be reneging on their promise to the UK public.

    Hulu is a commercial enterprise that isn't just blocking foreign users from accessing it, but also USA users as well. That's not a good business plan. Business being getting as many people as possible to consume your product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Mechwarrior, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:01am

    Re:

    Dear AC

    Turn on your VPN

    Enjoy your security

    Quit being disingenuous

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    Mike,
    I'm going to have to side with those who question why you're using VPN to connect to Hulu.

    I'm going to be blunt here, but you remind me of these people who log onto their computers using an administrator account only to whine and bitch when something goes wrong because of the open vulnerability they placed themselves in.

    VPN is designed for security, and should be used for secured purposes. There's absolutely *no reason* why you should be using it to surf Hulu's website (or any other non-secured website, for that matter).

    Doing so opens possibility for vulnerabilities within the VPN world. You, of all people, should know there's no such thing as 100% security.

    I'm a bit surprised to see an article like this when it's quite clear who is truly to blame. Sure, you may not like the fact Hulu's blocking you, but those who are offering you the VPN service may not appreciate you taking chances on *their* secured connection.

    All it takes is one time to change security to vulnerability. The less you take those chances, the more likely your computer remains secured.

    Side note: while you're at it, log off the admin account as well. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Nicholas Overstreet (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    A programmer's simple solution

    if ($hulu == "suck")
    {
    $torrents = true;
    }

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    What's Hulu?

    Is it that thing I used to watch on my PS3???

    It's been so long that I can't hardly remember anymore. They don't even register on my radar.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:25am

    Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    Wtf Miles?
    I have seen you make awesome arguments before, but this is not one of them.

    You are honestly saying that if one part of the connection isn't secure you should not use any security at all? That makes no sense.
    but those who are offering you the VPN service may not appreciate you taking chances on *their* secured connection.
    You do realize he pays them for this right? It is the service they offer in exchange for your money?
    All it takes is one time to change security to vulnerability.
    It seems to me from your post that you are more advocating turning off all security just because one site on the internet might not be secure. I think you need to clarify.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:25am

    Re: A programmer's simple solution

    Amen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: WiTopia

    Nope, the problem I have is i have to "trust" that the server on the other end is the one the ssl cert says it is.

    Doesn't your browser warn you if the URL doesn't match the certificate? All 3 of the browsers I use do. Get a new browser if it doesn't. If you're saying the DNS could get hijacked, I don't see how there's anything you could do about that.

    How would keeping the certificate on the client side help? You would still be initiating a secure connection with some server on the internet. How would you be any more certain what server it is?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    espritdave (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Re: Overseas viewers

    Re this comment

    "There is no money in piping US ads and bandwidth to countries around the world. Hulu isn't treating you as a criminal any more than anyone else in the world. It's unfortunate that they don't have a means to monetize traffic to other countries, but I think it's difficult to blame them for honoring their advertising partners by not allowing this gaping hole. You can't access a lot of BBC media directly... Nobody is on their back."

    I wouldn't be so sure that's there's no money in piping ads across the globe. Ask McDonalds, Nokia, Sony, Ford, Toyota, Microsoft, Apple etc. These are global brands and would surely want to take every opportunity to reach the widest audience. If there was no money in reaching overseas audiences, why when I visit US based web sites do I see ads for Toyota or Burger King? These aren't just US products, they can be bought around the world.

    Sure, Joe the used car sales guy out on Route 19 isn't going to see any reason to worry about it, but is he likely to be an advertiser on Hulu anyway?

    In defence of Hulu, I think that you'll find that the US national broadcasters like NBC & CBS also prevent overseas viewing of content via their web players. Not to say that it isn't stupid, but it does appear to the current model.

    As for the BBC, it is worth remembering that they are owned and financed by taxpayers - not advertisers. Their license which is governed by parliament forbids some media being offered outside the UK. Why should the local taxpayers subsidise overseas viewers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Jim, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: You're off on this one, Mike.

    There's simply no reason that Hulu should be agreeing to block VPN site access.

    There's probably a great reason: They might not get a lot of the content that attracts users to Hulu.

    You never have to agree to anything.

    If you want something (i.e. a license for content), then you do.

    The content providers need Hulu more than Hulu needs them. Fine, let The Office not be on Hulu, and then watch what happens.

    Perhaps you have more information than I do, but that statement seems to be pure conjecture. I think you may be right in the long-term, but right now I believe that The Office would still do pretty well without Hulu. That's just my opinion.

    I really believe that you're dramatically oversimplifying this, and your seem to be totally ignoring any practical considerations. I've met lots of movie makers, for example, that pretty much sold a kidney to fund their films. If Cannal+ comes along and offers one of them beau coup bucks for exclusive European rights, then you'd better believe that the movie maker is going to agree to many of the terms required by Cannal+, even if those terms are stupid.

    The companies that license content to Hulu may have limited options because of other agreements. For Hulu, the question may be: Do we want to keep VPN users so badly that we'll walk away from content that will make our site valuable to millions of other users? Your post and response suggests that you think rights holders and Hulu should make servicing VPN users show-stoppers in all of their multi-million dollar agreements. Mike, you're a smart guy and you have a great blog, but that just seems ridiculous to me. Blocking a relatively small number of VPN users may be stupid; however, loosing important contracts because you didn't agree to something ridiculous, but has relatively little downside, may be far more stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Pitabred (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    Re: It's all about the ads

    Hulu's execs seem to have a good head on their shoulders. Hell, they started the service... the problem is most certainly the content owners. They're the ones that push down the blocks of different devices and other crap like that. They don't realize that there are more and more of us fed up with paying $50/mo for absolute crap on cable while being locked into using a shitty DVR that will randomly reboot, and so on. I dropped my cable subscription and now just use Netflix and Hulu. If Hulu keeps going the way it is, I'll be down to just Netflix, and I'm ok with that. I don't need the content unless I can get to it on my terms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, time will tell. It's unfortunate, but understandable that Hulu had to make some concessions to get the content. It's unfortunate but understandable that their efforts to keep their obligations had unintended side effects.

    If they don't fix it, that would be unfortunate and not so understandable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re:

    Good point, but if BBC doesn't find a way to capitalize on their growing international audience, they'll be depriving their UK public of some easy proceeds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    william (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    me too.

    the most infuriating is comedycentral! I can't remember how many times I tried to follow a link to a "funny" video or segment only to find myself blocked and CURSE comedycentral to hell.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    not-so-anonymous, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Thing is, we have no need to justify our actions. Do we tell people why we are buying a knife and declare that we are using it only for legal purposes? Must we tell the clerk where we live? No, because being there is enough to make us subject to the laws of the country, the problem arises when companies have no way of knowing who you are and where you're from.

    Companies are in their right to withhold service unless you identify yourself. anonymous users well have to go elsewhere for the service *COUGH*torrent*COUGH*, it is a sad thing, break ups, but they do happen. When the parts can't coexist the whole disolves, simple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    You are honestly saying that if one part of the connection isn't secure you should not use any security at all? That makes no sense.
    Hulu doesn't require a secured connection, so why use a secured channel to access it.

    You do realize he pays them for this right? It is the service they offer in exchange for your money?
    Yes, I gathered this from the article. But the VPN connection isn't the issue as much as *why* the connection is refused.
    I agree with Mike's assessment the reason for blocking the VPN is stupid, but I can't understand his position when a simple change of connection, which also protects his VPN, would be the *better* choice.

    It seems to me from your post that you are more advocating turning off all security just because one site on the internet might not be secure. I think you need to clarify.
    I'll try. VPN connections are used on the premise that a remote computer can connect to another using secure protocols which do their best to prevent unauthorized access to either system.

    The *sole* purpose is for a secured connection, but it shouldn't be used outside of this purpose. In other words, a VPN shouldn't be used to access systems which the VPN wasn't intended.

    Yes, some will argue that it's to protect the connecting machine, but this is why I related it to the administrator account.

    To me, it makes *absolutely no sense* to use a VPN to establish connections for which the VPN wasn't intended to do.

    I'm going out on a limb here, but I would assume the VPN is used to establish the connection between Mike's laptop and the Floor64 servers, such that he can securely work from anywhere in the world. Maybe connections to other businesses as well.

    The entire *purpose* of security is to prevent unauthorized access, so (again, my perception) it makes no sense why a machine designated for security would be used in a non-secured role.

    What's ironic are the articles Techdirt posts about government employees losing their laptops containing sensitive data and then posing the question why these laptops were allowed out of the building to begin with.

    Same concept. Mike *shouldn't* be using a secured laptop to access an unsecured site. Ever.

    But, admittedly, this is just my viewpoint as I consistently see people making this same mistake daily (hence the "log out of the admin account").

    I guess I'm just a bit more cautious in this type of situation. I'd never use a VPN connection to hit a site it wasn't designated to secure itself over.

    There's *no reason* to use VPN to hit the Hulu site.

    Get a netbook to surf the web. Leave the secured laptop to its primary secured role.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    Yeah, it's pretty clear from the article that he was just a little offended at the multiple layers of insinuation of wrong doing when he wasn't doing something that probably shouldn't be so wrong.

    Even if they had some unfortunate, unintended outcomes of their licensing control (and I respect the desire to fulfill your obligations no matter how unreasonable they are), they really should have considered how they worded the message to their viewers. "Since you're probably a thief anyway, screw you."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: It's all about the ads

    Good point - this is a wasted opportunity for building a better business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: It's all about the ads

    The salesman who can coordinate the contracting of regionalized ads to targeted audiences will have a nice revenue stream AND some nice travel opportunities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    anon, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    This is not the real issue. As tragic as Mike's case is, it is not really about him.

    When you access a site it gets information about you, a lot of people isn't okay with that, so there are many ways to hide your identity. But companies are not okay with anonymous visitors, for economic reasons they *need* to know who is on the other side.

    The real problem is both parties have incompatible seemingly opposed needs: Companies need information and customers need privacy. People is in their right to keep privacy and companies are in their right to demand information before giving a service.

    So, people like us who wants to keep their private info private (and are in our right to do it) are no longer target market for Hulu and the like. Big deal, I'll just find other ways to watch it or not watch any series at all and just go read a good book.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re: A programmer's simple solution

    end.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re:

    Okay, nevermind. It's clear from some of his comments that he is super-adamant in a way that didn't come across in the article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    AnonCow, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Hulu's attitude toward customers and poor customer service will make Comcast look like a JD Power Survey winner by comparison.

    All the crappy service and loathing of customers without the pesky interference from the FCC...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, I wish everbody would stop complaining about stuff.

    Complaining about complainers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: You're off on this one, Mike.

    Oh hell, yeah! The Office would do just fine without Hulu - on torrents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed. But I'm in the US. But you're behind a proxy, so how are Hulu to know you're in the US?

    Umm, how are they to know he isn't?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Jason, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re:

    That's it! I have had enough! Just because you ** out a couple of letters doesn't make it okay to derogate people for being different.

    Why don't you try calling me a NAGGER to my face!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: WiTopia

    And the fundamental flaw in the internet is the fact that, unless the site use ssl or a javascript encryption, everything you do on the internet is plaintext. that should be so. like sending everything, from "im doing fin letters" to state secrets using a postcard. not too safe.

    That's a fundamental flaw with the foolish user that's willing to send sensitive information over insecure links. Don't do it. Or get yourself a nanny if you just can't help yourself otherwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    alterntives(), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:22am

    Just walk away.

    Look, if the content providers want to lock up the content - just walk away.

    What these ppl don't get is if watching their crap is not a habit then they are even LESS likely able to extract money from that content.

    So just walk away. Screw 'em. Let them die just like newspapers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    I'm going to be blunt here, but you remind me of these people who log onto their computers using an administrator account only to whine and bitch when something goes wrong because of the open vulnerability they placed themselves in.

    So, you're saying that using encrypted connections *makes* one vulnerable? You're losing credibility. Fast.

    VPN is designed for security, and should be used for secured purposes.

    Wait. I thought you said it opened up vulnerability. Make up your mind.
    Cedibility: still sinking. Course change: unlikely.

    Doing so opens possibility for vulnerabilities within the VPN world.

    There you go, flip flopping again like a fish out of water. When I see someone doing that it makes me wonder what agenda they're trying to hide.
    Credibility level: practically nil.

    You, of all people, should know there's no such thing as 100% security.

    Indeed. Who said otherwise?

    I'm a bit surprised to see an article like this when it's quite clear who is truly to blame. Sure, you may not like the fact Hulu's blocking you, but those who are offering you the VPN service may not appreciate you taking chances on *their* secured connection.

    Uh, WiTopia *sells* secured connections. That kind of makes it *Mike's* connection, now doesn't it? And watching Hulu is perfectly within their acceptable use policy. So what was your point again? Or rather, what's your *real* agenda?

    All it takes is one time to change security to vulnerability. The less you take those chances, the more likely your computer remains secured.

    So, the less security you have the more secure you are? [jaw hits floor]
    Credibility: completely gone.

    You know, I looked for any sarcasm tags in your post and didn't see any. Really, I did. So, what are you, some kind of Hulu shill or just an idiot? Or maybe a troll playing the part?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re: Ads

    > There is no money in piping US ads and
    > bandwidth to countries around the world.

    Sure there is. You just don't use the same ads. The system is already detecting the user's location. Just ad one more step. If the user is in the USA, they get a Coke ad. If they're in Britain, they get an ad for BBC News or whatever. If they're in Russia, they get an ad for a Russian mobile phone company. If they're in Australia, they get an ad for vegemite.

    Seems pretty simple to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    So, what are you, some kind of Hulu shill or just an idiot? Or maybe a troll playing the part?
    Mr. Hypocrite, it's best if I dumb down my post, as I appear to have written it confusingly. I'll take the blame for this, so allow me to expand even further.

    You own a lock box which holds all your secret information. The goal of this lock box is to transfer contents from your home to the bank. There is only one key, so its security is confined to you.

    Now, would you take this lock box down a dark alley where thieves hold tools and will waste no time trying to break open your lock box? Or worse, steal your key?

    Of course you wouldn't. But this is what Mike (and many others) do. They're taking their lock box down the dark alley because they continually believe the key will keep them safe, and worse, should open other things besides the lock box.

    The purpose of security is to ensure the contents of the lock box gets to the bank. Not Hulu, YouTube, or any other non-secured website. By *purposely* going down the dark alley is inviting the failure of security.

    Of course, it's Mike's choice to do so, but it completely boggles my mind he's upset when his key isn't working where he expects it to, but not intended for.

    If anything, Mike has set a precedent on why security fails so often. Too many times, people want the lock box to do everything while trying to remain secured.

    Kind of similar to installing P2P software on government computers, open to the world, in which the content is to be secured *from* the outside world.

    I would have drawn pictures, but I wouldn't have been able to post them.

    Hope this helps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    Thank you for the clarification Miles. Your standpoint makes more sense now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    The purpose of security is to ensure the contents of the lock box gets to the bank. Not Hulu, YouTube, or any other non-secured website. By *purposely* going down the dark alley is inviting the failure of security.

    I see, so you're suggesting using a separate computer for each website. That *is* idiotic.

    Furthermore, if you're using a bank that authenticates you using such a scheme then I suggest that you find another bank, quickly, because they're also idiotic and incompetent.

    And none of that explains your previous claims that using security makes you less secure. But go ahead, tell yourself whatever you want, I suppose. But if you start trying to spread it around then you can expect people who know better to point it out.

    Of course, it's Mike's choice to do so, but it completely boggles my mind he's upset when his key isn't working where he expects it to, but not intended for.

    You keep making claims about how WiTopia intends for their service to be used, but you never present any evidence to back it up. Please quit making stuff up.

    Kind of similar to installing P2P software on government computers, open to the world, in which the content is to be secured *from* the outside world.

    Uh, no, installing a VPN is *not* "kind of similar to installing P2P software". You really have no idea what you're talking about. Not that everyone should be computer security specialists, but to go around just making stuff up like that is inexcusable. Not only is it ignorant, it's dishonest.

    I would have drawn pictures, but I wouldn't have been able to post them.

    Thank goodness. What you wrote was bad enough; I really wouldn't have wanted to see a bunch of crayon drawings as well.

    Hope this helps.

    Ditto

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    R. Miles, your claims are false. Witopia is not designed just to be used with secure sites. It is designed for complete internet security.

    Just look at what Witopia explains as reasons for using it:

    http://www.witopia.net/index.php/support/why/

    It makes no sense to have to log out of the VPN just to watch Hulu. That would then limit what else I could do while I was on Hulu. Why would that make sense?

    Besides, there's nothing about using Witopia widely that makes it less secure. I don't understand that argument at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    KaiserJay, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 5:07pm

    Re:

    @Stefan Mai

    "You can't access a lot of BBC media directly... Nobody is on their back."

    Nobody is berating the BBC for blocking video content from users outside of the UK because BBC programming isn't ad supported like US terrestrial channels - it's paid for by the British people. All households must pay $236 a year to the BBC for the "privilege" of watching TV; whether we choose to watch the BBC or not...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WiTopia

    There was a scare a few months ago over how a person could get a cert of another company. That kind of stuff goes right by browsers.

    The reason for having client side cert has nothing to do with the endpoints themselves, but the path between endpoints. you isp, any gov, their isp would oblivious to the information you are passing. Even with the current server side encryption you have no real idea what is on the other side. At least this way you know that the end to end connection is secure.

    How is any of that a bad thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WiTopia

    I had a techer in college say this about ssl:
    "Usung HTTPS is like sending $0.02 across town in an armour'd car."

    And he was right, but at this point I want my $0.02 cents protected. I am not sure what your argument was. Remember, all information not "protected"(with its flaws) by https is wide open. Even ajax on pages with https may be unsecure. My idea is to make the whole connection secure, regardless of the subject matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:27pm

    Re: calm down..

    maybe Hulu doesn't see the difference...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >>>Indeed. But I'm in the US.

    >>But you're behind a proxy, so how are Hulu to know you're in the US?

    >Umm, how are they to know he isn't?

    They don't know, thanks to the VPN. That's the point.
    They are under no obligation to provide access to everyone in the US.
    They *are* under obligation to prevent access by anyone outside the US. (Unfortunately. I'm in Australia, and would love access.)
    What do you suggest they do to meet their obligations when faced with untraceable users?
    Seems to me they have no choice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 3:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    R. Miles, your claims are false.
    I'm not making any claims, Mike.

    Techdirt featured a recent article about government employees being banned from using P2P software on government computers. You attributed the cause of leaked files to the lack of education of P2P software (settings), correct?

    Think about this a moment. Really.

    How is your VPN usage *any* different, Mike?

    Are you going to write a Techdirt article against Witopia should one day you hit a site and your VPN is compromised because of *your* actions?

    It boggles my mind people do this. I fully understand the purpose of Witopia. It's the users who think "security" is 100% guaranteed that get compromised.

    I certainly hope your laptop doesn't contain information you don't want others to have.

    You're just begging for someone to take it.

    That would then limit what else I could do while I was on Hulu.
    Bingo!!! Just what a VPN should do in the first place, Mike.

    Keep throwing up those IT articles about security failure.

    When you do, I'll simply link back to this one and point out the failure caused when people want to do unsecured actions using a secured system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re:

    All households must pay $236 a year to the BBC for the "privilege" of watching TV; whether we choose to watch the BBC or not...

    I was under the impression that if your household didn't have a TV you didn't have to pay the TV fee. You're saying that's not true?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They don't know, thanks to the VPN. That's the point.
    They are under no obligation to provide access to everyone in the US.
    They *are* under obligation to prevent access by anyone outside the US. (Unfortunately. I'm in Australia, and would love access.)
    What do you suggest they do to meet their obligations when faced with untraceable users?
    Seems to me they have no choice.


    First, you need to understand that IP addresses don't prove identity or location of users in the first place. You generally can't really tell if *any* IP address is being used as a proxy or otherwise forwarding information to and from another location.

    So, by your reasoning Hulu should "have no choice" but to cut off ALL IP addresses. But they don't, do they? So sorry, I don't buy your, or Hulu's, excuse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Bugs Bunny, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    A VPN is the same as P2P?
    What a maroon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Re:

    "There is no money in piping US ads and bandwidth to countries around the world."

    No American products are sold outside of the US? News to me...

    As for the BBC, their budget is paid for directly by the British taxpayers. No ads, therefore, no way to recoup costs from overseas viewers. it's also worth noting that some shows broadcast on the BBC (such as Family Guy) are unavailable on the iPlayer due to licensing issues (e.g. miss an episode? Tough shit, you have to pirate it if you watch it again. US idiocy wins again!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think the comment was pointing to the fact that there's a lot of channels available that have nothing to do with the BBC, and you'll get charged whether you watch the BBC or not.

    Anyway, the licensing authority do tend to assume that you do own a TV and make it difficult for you to prove that you don't. You don't have to pay if you don't have one, but everyone I know who doesn't tends to go through an annual ball-ache trying to avoid the charge,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    A VPN is the same as P2P?
    What a maroon.

    You need reading comprehension lessons.

    Of course they're not the same. The point, since you missed it, is that *you don't put P2P software opened to the world on a secured computer and expect it to remain such* just as one shouldn't use VPNs to establish a PRIVATE connection to a PUBLIC server.

    Get it now, or are pictures required?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Seems to me they have no choice."

    RTFA, dumbass.

    The identified IP address will belong to Witopia. it should be possible for Witopia to assign IP addresses to US customers that Hulu accepts as valid US addresses. they have a chocie to work with VPN providers, but have instead decided to block them completely. Stupid choice, therefore valid criticism in the article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Anyway, the licensing authority do tend to assume that you do own a TV and make it difficult for you to prove that you don't.

    So if you don't have a TV you have to prove it? I'm curious, how does one go about proving such a negative? Is everything like that there? I mean, if they decide to accuse you of murder, do you have to be able to prove that you never killed anyone or do they have to prove that you did?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's somewhat easier to prove that don't own a TV (let them in and show them around) than prove whether or not you didn't commit a certain act in the past.

    Either way, check out how they've expanded their remit on the below link. If it's even possible for you to do any of those things, they will tend to assume that you will, hence the difficulty in getting an exception.

    http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    You need reading comprehension lessons.
    Of course they're not the same.


    Well, you're the one who asked how they were any different. If you don't remember that, you can look right up above at what you wrote. Or do you "need reading comprehension lessons" to do that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's somewhat easier to prove that don't own a TV (let them in and show them around)...

    Except, that wouldn't prove any such thing.

    http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/

    According to that page, "You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it's being broadcast." That wouldn't even require that you own a TV. How could you prove that you never even inadvertently glance at a TV broadcast? Would you have to gouge your eyes out?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    Well, you're the one who asked how they were any different.
    Uh, no. I was relating the *security* with the question, not the applications.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    Bugs Bunny, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    Uh, no. I was relating the *security* with the question, not the applications.

    OK, so *using* a VPN is the same as *using* a P2P application, according to you.
    Still a maroon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    Techdirt featured a recent article about government employees being banned from using P2P software on government computers. You attributed the cause of leaked files to the lack of education of P2P software (settings), correct?

    Yes. Absolutely.

    Are you going to write a Techdirt article against Witopia should one day you hit a site and your VPN is compromised because of *your* actions?

    No, why would I do that?

    It boggles my mind people do this. I fully understand the purpose of Witopia. It's the users who think "security" is 100% guaranteed that get compromised.

    Huh?!? What are you talking about. I do not use Witopia because I think it gives me 100% security. I use it because it is more secure than not using it. Period.

    You seem to be suggesting that no one should use security products because if htey use any security products they'll think they're secure and do stupid stuff. Really? You want to go down that path?

    Do you wear a seatbelt?

    When you do, I'll simply link back to this one and point out the failure caused when people want to do unsecured actions using a secured system.

    There is nothing wrong with going to regular sites with a secure connection. Nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    identicon
    Mike, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    VPN not working

    So cancel your Witopia VPN.

    There are plenty of VPN providers that have not had their IPs blocked by Hulu. The good ones, like the one I provide constantly add more servers as our user base grows.

    In essence, it's our job to add servers each month.

    Shop around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    icon
    bassmadrigal (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: VPN + security = Hulu viewing?

    I am curious as to your argument as well.

    There are many unsecured websites out there that you are putting in a password, whether it be a forum or a bank (although if you bank isn't using https, I would recommend a new one). Or even on facebook. Gmail is able to be run with https or without, are you recommending that since it can be run without, it should be? The point of the VPN is to add an additional layer of security. Just like https. Is it 100% secure? No, nothing is. But if this prevents people from getting my facebook password, then it is a step in the right direction.

    I don't personally use a VPN, but I have used SSH Tunneling in the past, and it takes some work to go from unsecured to secured and back. First you have to make the connection then you have to change your browser to use that connection. If VPN's are anything like that, I can understand why someone wouldn't want to log out.

    And to go along with your lock box/key analogy, on the internet you are always walking down a dark alley... There is always the possiblity that someone is lurking over you. Why wouldn't you want to protect everything possible? Whether it is your car keys or a couple million dollars worth of stock.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    identicon
    Matt Canada, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    CHALANGE TO HACKERS

    THIS IS A CHALANGE TO HACKERS COME UP WITH SOME INOVATIVE NEW WAYS SO WE CAN WATCH HULU IN CANADA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    identicon
    Niels, Dec 8th, 2009 @ 7:45pm

    Proof

    It's a rather ridiculous thing indeed. We serve many US expats all over the world, and they can't watch Hulu anymore either. (Well, they can, but no thanks to Hulu.)

    At the very least Hulu should provide them with a method to proof they are in US and/or US citizens. This can be as simple a entering your credit card just so they can verify it's issued to someone in US.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    icon
    brassballs (profile), Feb 21st, 2010 @ 9:15am

    Okay, so WiTopia's VPN doesn't work with Hulu...

    Simple solution - just try another anonymous VPN service!

    www.vpntelevision.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    identicon
    Teufelhunden, Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 3:01am

    Re: Screw TV aggregators

    I think searching for TV aggregators for a working link is a waste of time, as they rarely work. I'm a US Marine stationed overseas and I think it's complete bullshit that I'm blocked from Hulu.

    I'm using a VPN service to connect http://www.vpntelevision.com

    ps Hulu - I would be willing to pay to get access from overseas!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    identicon
    wolf, Sep 4th, 2010 @ 4:06pm

    cool down ...

    What most people forget is that some of this content (more or less depending on country) is going to be aired there sooner or later ... How could they sell that stuff to other countries if people can access it for nothing .... they are investing a ton of money (not quite half as much as they charge us here) in producing this content and to market it worldwide .... so, it's perfectly understandable that they are protecting their assets ... after all, you can go out there and produce your own content ... right .... ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    identicon
    Steven Lee, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 11:03am

    I manage to "bypass" and watch my favorite tv show on hulu. I got a vpn account from http://www.whatsonthebox.net Been using it for 3 months and so far so good. Quite happy with the speed & network.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
    identicon
    Stressed!, May 19th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Ok so here is my problem- I'm inside the us, my setup is direct from comcast- no proxy as far as I know. I have allowed hulu in every security setting i can find- and I still can't get access! What the hell do I do to get it to work?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114.  
    identicon
    X7200, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 4:40am

    As regular seasons of your favorite TV shows are coming to an end, Hulu is preparing a lineup of new content for the summer. COol ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This