YouTube Joins Hulu In Letting Content Holders Block Access For TV-Connected Devices

from the but-why? dept

We've already covered how Hulu has blocked Boxee and the PS3 from showing video content -- even though all they're really doing is using a different browser -- one that lives on your TV -- to access the same content you can freely access on your computer. techflaws.org writes in to let us know that users of a Western Digital media center recently discovered that the latest upgrade -- driven in large part by Google/YouTube demands -- added some features, but also began blocking content that the content creator deems "not available" for mobile phones or TV. Now it's not clear how long YouTube has offered this functionality -- just that it appears WD has just enabled it -- but it's pissing off some users, understandably.

After all, if it's just a browser, why should the content creators care -- and why is Google helping them out in this regard? The line is blurring between various devices anyway and setting a special toggle that lets users block access to videos seen in a perfectly legal fashion on different types of devices seems pretty backwards. It's too bad Google even makes this an option -- and that anyone actually pays attention to it.

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  1. icon
    inc (profile), 18 Feb 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re:

    They User-Agent is defined when as part of the request the client makes to the server in the HTTP protocol. It is optional and can even be left out. If the server requests it then you will get an error. I was able to get the hulu home page without a User-Agent.

    telnet hulu.com 80
    Trying 63.150.131.11...
    Connected to hulu.com.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    GET / HTTP/1.1
    Host: www.hulu.com

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Server: nginx
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
    Status: 200 OK

    I could even use my own User-Agent.

    telnet hulu.com 80
    Trying 69.22.138.131...
    Connected to hulu.com.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    GET / HTTP/1.1
    Host: www.hulu.com
    User-Agent: Not Boxee

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Server: nginx
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
    Status: 200 OK

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