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.

Filed Under: content, security, video, vpn
Companies: hulu, witopia


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  1. icon
    R. Miles (profile), 4 Nov 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.

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