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NBC Says Boxee Illegally Took Content from Hulu
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February 09, 2010 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Boxee CEO Avner Ronen fires back: “We don’t ‘take’ the video. We don’t copy it. We don’t put ads on top of it.”
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Posted by matt  on  02/09  at  05:42 PM

this reminds me of the lawsuit the tv networks brought against the flying j truckstops. flying j attached some sort of device to the big screen tv in their truckstops that somehow detected when a commercial break started. then it would play flying j commercials for exactly 2 minutes before reverting back to the tv program.

but in this instance, nbc is still getting their commercials across to the viewer, so nbc has got no leg to stand on.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  02/09  at  05:53 PM

I agree Matt that a court might not honor a cease-and-desist request, but they still have every right to try to pressure Boxee and others to pay them some kind of fee.

But it seems like a silly decision on their part, given that Boxee was bringing their advertisers more eyeballs.

And, in the end, Boxee is partnering with clicker.com—a worthy competitor to Hulu. So Hulu seems to have lost.

Posted by John  on  02/09  at  06:45 PM

What I dont get is why the content providers care at all. At least with DVR I can fast forward through commercials. Hulu makes you watch them so they actually get people watching the commercials than someone who had it previously recorded.

Posted by matt  on  02/09  at  06:46 PM

The Comcast acquisition of NBC is rather interesting. Comcast makes money from selling broadband internet connections. Some people pay for high speed internet to illegally download music, movies, and even tv shows (some from NBC). In this scenario, the consumer gets what he wants (tv shows when he wants for little or no money), the content deliver entity (Comcast) gets what they want (large # of subscribers), and the content producer (NBC) is measuring fewer viewers and thus losing advertising money. The only person making money in this scenario is Comcast, and how ironic that their coffers are now big enough to buy NBC.

Content producers and content delivery companies should have started getting in bed together a long time ago. (Sony is an excellent example.) Whether the deal to acquire NBC goes through or not, Comcast is vested in NBC to produce worthwhile content.

Posted by John Nemesh  on  02/10  at  03:33 PM

What gets me is that NBC flat out LIED to congress when they said that it was Hulu’s decision to block Boxee.  In fact, it was NBC, and specifically their CEO who asked Hulu to block access.  Isnt there penalites for LYING TO CONGRESS?  At the very least I would like to see NBC reprimanded.  Best case scenario would be to simply not allow mergers of this type.  I really fear what “Big Content” has in store for us, the consumers, when they own the content AND the delivery system.  My guess is that we will see much more restrictive systems in place that FORCE people to buy cable TV service in order to view content online.  Hmm…that sounds a lot like ESPN360.com (now renamed espn3.com) and Comcast’s own Xfinity online offering!  If you like that kind of “service”, then by all means, let the deal go through!  Personally, I cant wait until Congress passes Network Neutrality laws and relegates Comcast and their ilk to “dumb pipe” providers.

Posted by Doug  on  02/12  at  12:40 PM

If they allow these mergers then they should require the content providers to sell the content to any access provider (Telco, Satellite, etc.) at a marketprice, meaning no setting a price that is unreasonably high.

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