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Hulu Again Removed from Boxee and Again Added Back

In a mouse and cat game, Hulu the popular online content provider of shows, movies, and more has blocked Boxee yet again from accessing the Hulu content from the Boxee application. We reported early Friday that Hulu made its way back on Boxee and the same very day Hulu responded with blocking Boxee users from accessing the content via RSS feed.

As many of us know, RSS feeds allow users to obtain updates of our favorite sites (our RSS feed found here) and in this case with Hulu, its video content updates. Last month we reported that Hulu removed Boxee as a source for providing its content to users. In response to this, the Boxee team decided to enable access to Hulu via RSS feeds to obtain the  content. In a response on Friday, Hulu blocked the Boxee browser from accessing the Hulu site therefore preventing the RSS feeds to pull data from Hulu, leaving Boxee users dead in the water yet again.

RSS feeds are publicly available and it’s really disappointing to hear that a site would block certain applications from accessing their content in such a manner. I would assume that the Boxee development team is currently working on disguising its browser to look like Firefox, Internet Explorer, or some other known browser in an attempt to fool Hulu. Wouldn’t have Hulu thought of this? Why had fuel to the fire Hulu? Perhaps its personal now, from both sides of the fence?

Boxee announced in its blog that it has updated Boxee to include a status message in the application to indicate whether Hulu content is available on Boxee or not. As we stated before, I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of this as the battle continues to move onward.

Update: I was reading some comments over at Slashdot and a user by the name of “Manip” brings up a great point and puts it into perspective of who we should really be defending here.

The Slashdot user claims that the Boxee software package completely strips out the advertising of Hulu’s content and repackages it almost as its own material, of course there is still a small source icon but Hulu is making no advertising revenue off of this. He points out: “How would you feel if someone hot-linked your content, consumed your bandwidth, and gave you no advertising revenue in exchange?”

I think this is an excellent point and I wouldn’t have known because I have never had the opportunity to try Boxee out and I’m unaware of how it delivers its content. Boxee should be paying Hulu if it wants to use it as a source or at least work out some sort of advertising deal.

However, on the other side of the fence – Hulu still has embedded advertising with the videos. Hulu still makes good on these ad’s. What do you think? Should Boxee pay Hulu for anything or should they call it a wash since Boxee is getting Hulu’s embedded ads within video’s out to a larger audience?

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