Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): What about Boxee? Mr. Zucker you probably are in a better position to answer that. Did Hulu block the Boxee users from access to the Hulu programs?
Zucker (NBC): This was a decision made by the Hulu management to, uh, what Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal.
First of all, deflecting the blame to "Hulu management" is disingenuous. NBC owns 32% of Hulu. And, back on February 20th 2009, when Hulu blocked Boxee, Hulu made it clear their hands were being forced by their content partners (eg. NBC!).
And, second of all, what Boxee was doing was in no way "illegal". That's a flat out lie.
Here's Boxee's response to the "illegal" accusation. Their key bit:
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.
Finally, Harold Feld at Public Knowledge has more.