Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Hulu and Boxee Feud Continues NBC President Jeff Zucker Says Boxee Was "Illegally Taking Content"

Boxee, the open-source media cen

ter software, is a pretty cool platform and they've been doing a lot of
things right. Hulu is the video site where three of the biggest US
television networks put up some of their content. Hulu is free (for now)
and Boxee has attempted to add Hulu to their platform, but Hulu has
resisted. Now we know why… sort of.
Early on in Boxee's history, they had Hulu has a channel on their
platform, apparently with Hulu's blessing. In February 2009, the
networks that run Hulu asked to be left off of Boxee, and Boxee removed
them as an official channel. This started the software engineering arms
race between Boxee and Hulu. Boxee would find some ingenious way to add
Hulu support to the platform, and Hulu would block them.
This has continued for some time. Boxee eventually resorted to using
Mozilla software so, in layman's terms, Boxee users accessing Hulu
content only looked like a regular Firefox user to Hulu's server logs.
Hulu is currently trying to use JavaScript scrambling to stop Boxee.
Fast-forward to last week. Cable giant Comcast has purchased TV network
NBC, who is one of the owners of Hulu. The US Congress is having
hearings into the $6.5-billion deal and during one of the hearings,
Virginia Rep. Rick Boucher asked NBC President Jeff Zucker, What about
Boxee? ... Did Hulu block the Boxee users from access to the Hulu
programs?
Zucker replies, What Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content
that was on Hulu without any business deal.
The folks at Boxee have chimed in, and saying that their current
solution to getting Hulu content on Boxee is based on web browser
technology – the same as typing in www.hulu.com into a web
browser. It's possible that Hulu's terms of service somewhere note that
you can't use Hulu in this manner, but let's cut to the chase –
Boxee has support for BitTorrent and the TV networks don't want Hulu to
be associated with a BitTorrent client.
No word on what will happen now. Zucker said they are open to
negotiations with Boxee. Boxee says in their blog that hasn't been the
case, but they're interested as well.

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