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Hulu's Hollywood overlords force Boxee block

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Hulu's Hollywood overlords have forced the popular American web TV portal to block fans from watching streaming shows on television sets with Boxee.

Citing pressure from content providers, Hulu said the site's streaming shows will no longer be available through the free and open source media center platform. A joint ventures between media giants NBC and News Corp. - owners of the Fox TV network - the site is just a day removed from unceremoniously pulling its content from TV.com, calling the matter an issue of "contractual rights."

While Hulu has been rather curt about the TV.com content yanking, it sounds downright regretful about parting ways with Boxee. Hulu CEO Jason Kilar wrote in the company's blog that although the website never had a formal relationship with Boxee, the decision nevertheless "weighed heavily on the Hulu team."

From Kilar's blog post:

Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes. While we stubbornly believe in this brave new world of media convergence — bumps and all — we are also steadfast in our belief that the best way to achieve our ambitious, never-ending mission of making media easier for users is to work hand in hand with content owners. Without their content, none of what Hulu does would be possible, including providing you content via Hulu.com and our many distribution partner websites.

Boxee wrote about Hollywood crashing their party as well:

two weeks ago Hulu called and told us their content partners were asking them to remove Hulu from boxee. we tried (many times) to plead the case for keeping Hulu on boxee, but on Friday of this week, in good faith, we will be removing it.

So what's the motivation of Hulu's content providers? Perhaps they're worried watching streaming internet content on television will cannibalize their traditional market. But surely making content more restrictive and less available will only lead to more folks turning to P2P piracy sites – where they can thieve shows commercial free and on any device they desire. ®

Bootnote

Yes, yes, Hulu is only available in the US. But let's put on our "big picture hats" before you yell at us in comments.

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