Rep. Rick Boucher Presses NBC About Hulu Practices Toward Boxee

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 4:  Comcast Chairman...
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During the Congress hearing examining the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal Rep. Rick Boucher Presses NBC About Hulu Practices Toward Boxee.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): What about Boxee? Mr. Zucker you probably are in a better position to answer that. Did Hulu block the Boxee users from access to the Hulu programs?

Zucker (NBC): This was a decision made by the Hulu management to, uh, what Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal. And, you know, all, all the, we have several distributors, actually many distributors of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with so we don’t preclude distribution deals. What we preclude are those who illegally take that content.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): “Well would you have negotiations with Boxee upon request?”

Zucker (NBC): “We have always said that we’re open to negotiations.”

I’m overjoyed to see congress pressing NBC about their issues with Boxee and Hulu.  They have had past issues with streaming content online and now with Comcast set to take over I fear those issues will only get worse.

Boxee uses a web browser to access Hulu’s content – just like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Boxee users click on a link to Hulu’s website and the video within that page plays. We don’t “take” the video. We don’t copy it. We don’t put ads on top of it. The video and the ads play like they do on other browsers or on Hulu Desktop.

The big difference between boxee and other browsers are that boxee took the effort to make their product available on other platforms that connect easily to the TV.  This is unfortunately perceived as a threat by those studios who don’t get the change in the way audiences want to consume their media.  We go into more detail on Speculative Fiction Today #405 “Many Mini Chucks”.

Zucker’s response makes me cringe because it sounds like the health care debate all over again.  One side says hey lets negotiate on this and the other side says they are more then willing to negotiate yet their actions shows no intention of doing so.

(via Boxee Blog)

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