So, Jeff Zucker of NBC was hanging out his new best friend Brian Roberts from Comcast today, talking up the proposed acquisition
in front of Congress. A certain Rep. Rick Boucher asked "what about Boxee?" and things got a little interesting. Jeff says that Boxee was "illegally taking the content that was on Hulu," as opposed to the "many distributors of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with." We're not exactly sure which deals Zucker is referring to, but Boxee's Avner Ronen takes issue with the first point:
I'd like to set the record straight regarding Boxee's access to Hulu. Boxee uses a web browser to access Hulu's content – just like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Boxee users click on a link to Hulu's website and the video within that page plays. We don't "take" the video. We don't copy it. We don't put ads on top of it. The video and the ads play like they do on other browsers or on Hulu Desktop. And it certainly is legal to do so.
He also takes issue with some of Zucker's other points, pointing out that Hulu dropped Boxee based on a request from NBC, while Zucker calls it a decision by "Hulu management," and he also points out that Boxee hasn't found NBC as open to negotiations as Zucker claims to be, but will be giving it another shot -- perhaps with some of that subscription fee cash
mixed in somewhere to sweeten the deal? It's worth watching the short clip on C-Span and reading the entire Boxee rebuttal, even if it won't make you any less angry.