# Monday, February 08, 2010

What is content, what is distribution

Boxee: We didn't steal anything from Hulu.  

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

.. Zucker responded: "What Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal. We have several distributors...of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with, so we don't preclude distribution deals. What we preclude are those that illegally take that content."

That accusation before Congress that Boxee violated the law triggered a lengthy response late this afternoon from Boxee Founder and CEO Avner Ronen, on his company's blog: "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 Web site 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."

The question of whether enabling access to another Web site's video through one's software is effectively "redistribution," cuts to the heart of the major issue of contention surrounding the ... Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010 [via Betanews]

Surrounding quite a lot in the media world. It seems to me that they are all absolutely desparate to control the 'frame', not just what is displayed in that frame (which is the bit they have the rights too).

This is what the row in the UK about project Canvas is about -- the BBC saying they are being open and wonderful and generally terrific (I know, I know) and Sky and Virgin (platform providers) being very suspicious about why the BBC of all organisations should want to build a platform.

My opinion? Everyone is terrified that in the future (or already) content is worthless, its only the frame (where the adverts sit) that is monetisable. Certainly in the UK we need to come to a better settlement or we are stuck in a world of almost zero viewer competion. Do you really want a world where you can only buy one TV set? 

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