Monday, November 02, 2009

Hulu Proxy Apocalypse

It seems that the great Hulu apocalypse has hit more than just Witopia.net, Amazon's EC2 instances also seem to be blocked.

Of course, there are a tonne of other cloud providers out there, several of them even cheaper than Amazon. Personally, I'm still with Witopia. Like any good company, they had a new address range up immediately.

Hulu is stuck in the same game as Apple. They're playing whack-a-mole with the hackers. The only problem, every time they want to block an access method, it costs them money. However, it is free for us to invent a way around a block (it's a hobby), and there are a lot more of us than there are developers at Hulu.

This is yet another example of "Don't piss off the nerds".

Personally, here are the lessons that I would take from this.

  1. There is a market for International access. People are willing to _pay_ to get access. I am currently paying US$12/month to access Hulu, Pandora, and TV.com. I would pay that for unfettered access to Hulu.
  2. Hulu isn't going to win with black lists. They're going to have to implement a white list, which is a lot more expensive to maintain.
  3. Not a single person who was using Hulu simply stopped watching TV when Witopia and Amazon were turned off, they just went back to bittorrent.
  4. Don't piss off the nerds. They can out-spend you.

There are plenty of cloud providers out there. The same solution will probably work on other sites. Install Squid and give it a try!

1 comment:

senseless said...

I don't know what anyone else is complaining about.. Being blocked, that is.

We've yet to be blocked in 11 months of continuous service by hulu. We were blocked once by bbc and were back up and running again within the hour.

Of course I have taken quite a few extra precautions to make it more difficult for them to blacklist our IPs.