[hackerspaces] Hulu Tor Blacklisting

Don Ankney dankney at hackerco.de
Sun May 29 02:05:02 CEST 2011

I don't think this is a statement, political or otherwise, by Hulu about Tor. My guess is that they only have license to distribute content in the United States, which means that the copyright holder demands a reasonable effort to block distribution outside the US.

In my mind, this fundamentally lies with the copyright holders that demand DRM on content.

On May 28, 2011, at 4:01 PM, "Sam Mainman" <telegramsam at deliveryman.com> wrote:

> I recently visited Hulu.com on finding they had available "Passport to
> Pimlico," mentioned in this blog post: http://aots.co.uk/blog/?p=2638
> On attempting to view the movie, I was greeted by a message that read:
> "Based on your IP address, we noticed that you are trying to access Hulu
> through an anonymous proxy tool.  Hulu is not currently available outside
> the U.S.  If you're in the U.S., you'll need to disable your anonymizer
> to access videos on Hulu.  If you think you're receiving this message in
> error, please submit this form."
> I'll leave aside that Hulu blocks the entrance to a British comedy because
> someone from England might be trying to sneak into the theater.
> Also the minor obstruction it was to circumnavigate and watch the movie anyway.
> More the point, the anonymous proxy tool Hulu noticed wasn't in use when Hulu
> "noticed" it.  It hadn't been online since a reformat of the hard drive and
> fresh install of the operating system a few weeks before.  
> Hulu's notice was provoked by the IP address having been entered into one
> or another blacklist for previously running a Tor relay.  The only pretext
> was that the address appeared within Tor network status reports, without
> regard the relay had been configured as non-exit. 
> Extra credit absurdity, Hulu continues to regard suspicious an IP address
> from which they would not have directly received anonymous requests when
> the relay _had been_ active.
> I haven't submitted the form to report receiving the message in error, nor
> bothered attempting to have the IP address removed from the blacklist.  I
> haven't been otherwise inconvenienced by it.
> Instead, I recommend running non-exit Tor relays on U.S. IP addresses with
> a view to the minimum period to get onto the blacklist(s) Hulu references.
> Achieving this, move to another IP address, rinse, repeat.  Blacklisted
> addresses then cycle to other users, who may never notice until an attempt
> to watch shows on Hulu.  Some will complain, most will surrender that it
> just doesn't work, move along and deny Hulu the avertising revenue.
> Promote online privacy and jam transmission of broadcast television content
> on the internet as a side effect.  Win-Win.
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