Hulu drops georetardation on SNL clips, still blocking others freely available

Hulu has quietly dropped its uniform georetardation polices following our post highlighting the absurdity of their position October 6.

Until now, all clips on Hulu have been uniformly unavailable outside of the United States. For the first time this isn’t the case, with clips from Saturday Night Live now available to anyone visiting the sites, or watching them embedded elsewhere. The clips do have a small bug: the 30 second pre-rolls don’t play, and instead users have to sit through 30 seconds of nothing, but it’s at least a start.

While we welcome the move by Hulu to start making available content outside of the United States where it is freely and legally available elsewhere, the gesture seems a little shallow given they’ve only lifted the block on Saturday Night Live clips. Clips freely available from other shows, including Colbert, John Stewart, and a range of clips from the Presidential Debates are still blocked. They’ve even got all the shows from The Onion blocked (which are freely available in full EVERYWHERE) so it’s not as if they’re dealing with big media companies alone with this issue.

Lets make it easy for Hulu with a general rule: clips from shows, including big networks, are usually available everywhere online, full shows aren’t, because the rights issue comes into play with full shows sold in overseas territories, not 2 or 3 minute clips. This even applies for made for television shows: for example, I was a big fan of Jericho, and I regularly watched clips on the CBS site, including 5 minutes of the next episode teasers. The only thing I was ever blocked on was the ability to watch the whole show, because rights to the show had been sold to stations outside the United States, and those networks usually get the rights to online viewing as well, within each country.

Slightly less an EPIC FAIL, more now a throw the dog a bone and think he wont notice the rest FAIL.