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
    Mike Masnick (profile), 5 Nov 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.

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