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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 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

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