Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Hulu Blocking a Browser?

The more I think about this Hulu/Boxee thing, the more one thing keeps bugging me: At the end of the day isn’t Boxee just another browser? I mean sure you can use it on your TV, but you could use any browser on your TV (as long as you hooked your computer up to it). Basically, what I’m thinking is that Boxee is just an alternate interface for viewing web content, no different than Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. And while Hulu (or any site for that matter) has no responsibility to support any browser, I’ve never heard of blocking one (though a quick Google search did turn up Paypal considering blocking browsers that weren’t tough enough on phishing).

I don’t actually think this has wider implications for the web, but for fun let’s imagine it did. Google blocking non-Chrome users from accessing Google.com or Microsoft saying no Hotmail for Firefox folks would put people up in arms (and I’m sure spurn some anti-competitive lawsuits). Now I’m sure some lawyer (or Hulu’s TOS) could easily tear this apart, but how come this is different?

(And while on the topic of Hulu, CBS is saying they can embed the player on TV.com.)

February 23, 2009