Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Thanks to these guys and ones prior to them (ShareReactor) we now enjoy free content on Hulu and other sites!

I no longer use Bit Torrent, but do thank these guys for forcing old media's hand!

Correction: The U.S. now enjoys free content on hulu and other sites.

Here's how I do it at $10/month:

Step 1: Buy an account from a hosting server in USA.

Step 2: Install your own proxy server.

Step 3: Enjoy hulu and others :-)

I have a Virtual Private American on Slicehost so that I can continue giving Amazon money for my favorite TV episodes. I know that is technically not allowed, but they mostly don't make it possible for me to buy them in yen or I would do it.

And I do it by buying Personal VPN [1], which is cheaper per year. Plus you get some extra security and privacy.

[1] http://www.witopia.net/index.php/products/

Are your download/upload speeds affected much by using a VPN?

I'm not that far from Witopia's servers (Toronto>NY being the closest), but from my experiance the added latency can be killer.

Well, I use them for regular browsing while I am on public internet access and I have not found any problems. As for download/uploads - haven't used them for torrents, but Hulu streams just fine. That's from Europe.

How is it better than just downloading a torrent? It's still "illegal" to use proxy servers to use Hulu from other countries.

Under what law? Generally I think it's legal to take a copy of a copyrighted work that you obtained legally and take it to another country, say, in your luggage. How is this any different?

Edit: Under the law that makes "import or export" a right exclusive to the copyright holder, apparently. Thanks for the correction!

Under the US law.


Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner's exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution.


Several exclusive rights typically attach to the holder of a copyright:

- to produce copies or reproductions of the work and to sell those copies (mechanical rights; including, sometimes, electronic copies: distribution rights)

- to import or export the work


An item is considered an export whether or not it is leaving the United States temporarily, if it is leaving the United State but is not for sale (a gift), or if it is going to a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary in a foreign country.

(I personally think this is all bullshit when applied to the Internet, but my opinion doesn't matter.)

Why is it illegal. Do the 'terms & conditions' forbid you from using a proxy installed in US?


International Use. Hulu's goal is to bring you as much Content as is legally available. That said, we are limited by the rights that our content licensors grant to us. Using technologies to access the Content from territories where Hulu does not have rights is prohibited.

(Of course, in some countries you can ignore Terms of Use.)

User experience is better.

I would argue that the user experience is not better. You are still seeing ads, and you still are limited to what the networks decide to put on hulu. Often they will take down episodes after a few weeks, and on top of that, there are plenty of networks that haven't made deals with hulu, and their content is not available.

I use linode for this and while it works on other sites like pandora, no dice on hulu. I get a "sorry, unable to stream this video. check your internet connection" message. Figured maybe they ban IP address blocks belonging to known hosts.

Have you tried by setting up a VPN instead of just a proxy server? I'm wondering if it's possible that Hulu's flash doesn't respect the proxy settings.

As other users report no problems with similar setups but using different hosts, I don't think that's the case.

I don't think $10 will save you if the situation is serious, this will complicate the situation more.If they want to find, they'll contact the host and if you paid via a Verified (Real) Credit Card and they have your credentials, then you can say "Good Bye" as (I think) you'll be penalized more..

You don't understand. The point wasn't to use a proxy to make illegal downloading untrackable. It was to use a proxy to access US-only (legal) media, like Hulu or South Park.

Thanks i didn't get the point

That's a great idea. Would you mind explaining you setup? What's the most secure way of doing this?

1) install debian on server, making sure to include openssh-server and privoxy. (ok, ok, maybe you use some other OS, doesn't matter)

2) Run this from your laptop/desktop:

  ssh -f -L8118:localhost:8118 my_username@my_remote_server sleep 36000
3) Set firefox's proxy to localhost:8118 for all protocols.

Oh, maybe step 1.5 should have been to turn off privoxy's logging, both because it could log something private, and because log files aren't needed in this case. I also disable privoxy's ad blocking because it breaks the NYTimes.

In addition to "relocating" you, this has the effect of allowing one to use unencrypted wireless APs in cafes and only worry about the same amount of network sniffing one might worry about from one's own ISP. This is why I decided on this set up to begin with, in fact.

It's easier to use -D 8118 and set a SOCKS5 proxy in Firefox instead of an HTTP proxy. Then you don't need to install Privoxy. I use this method to keep my passwords from going across untrusted wireless networks in plaintext.

Could you recommend one? Thanks...

I use westhost. http://www.westhost.com/

I think implicit in that is an acknowledgment that the content most in demand for pirating comes from the U.S. Which I find relevant because countries like Sweden might find less need for strong copyright laws because copyright-able materials are not seen as a valuable, exportable commodity, at least compared to the U.S.


The South Park guys caught on, and with every single episode available on their site, why would you even bother to pirate the episodes?

Side note: Even when people were pirating their stuff, they were just happy that people liked the show.

The widespread "piracy" of the Spirit Of Christmas short is what made South Park as popular as it was, early on.

Because people want to see the stuff right now. Southpark example, they don't upload the latest episodes right away

In my experience it takes a day. I don't think torrents could top that, even if they tried.

I really think South Park gets it. 24 hours after a new episode airs, they put it online. That's pretty damn reasonable.

Not really...shows like that, people want to discuss with others. If you have to wait 24 hours for the show to be upped, you miss out on all the watercooler talk the next day.

If torrents can up a show within 20 minutes, surely the show's creators can do it as well. If you are upping the thing anyways...I see no reason why your fans should have to wait an extra day.

If they could put it on the internet while they're airing it on TV that would certainly be the best.

Still, I give them great credit.

remember - some of us might be waiting months to see those shows on regular TV.. getting them within 24 hours of first screening is amazing for us.

agreed with the main point though

Hulu used to take a day (or maybe the whole weekend) to post Battlestar Galactica. Pirate Bay would take only a few hours, and would have it in HD, too.

The last five episodes of the series were delayed a week. I can't begin to understand how that seemed like a good idea.

There are multiple decisions Hulu (and more importantly their owners) are making that really don't make any sense.

There's one reason: flash. When we get a good video standard over the web, then yes, there's one less reason to pirate stuff like that.

Why isn't Flash H264 good?

One reason is that the Linux version of Flash is terrible last time I used it. Not even from a "open web principles" or "proprietary software is evil!" point of view, but rather in a "it crashes the browser on every 2nd or 3rd video viewing" perspective.

Also, I think Flash on OSX buffers more slowly than on Windows. It's why whenever I want to see something online I have to reboot into my Windows partition, where the video almost never has to stop to buffer. On OSX however, buffering for several minutes only leads to about 20-30 seconds of the actual video being loaded.

I've never had that problem and have used Flash video on Mac OS X for years.

I don't get that, at least on 32bit Ubuntu at home, although I hear people have a pretty crap experience. Have always found it pretty stable on Fedora / Ubuntu for the last decade actually - I get the feeling they do all their testing on major distros only.

However we've just moved to 64bit Linux Flash 10 alpha on RHEL at work - which I suspect might change my impression. It has Z axis issues at least which the current 32bit one doesn't.

Run it in nspluginwrapper, so that when Flash crashes it doesn't take down the browser. You just have to refresh the page for the Flash object to run again. Flash crashes less than once a day for me, and I use Flash a lot.

actually, the version on the southpark site is higher resolution than the torrents, the only issue i've had is that the content delivery network stutters enough that dowloading yields a better quality of experience

You can stream using whatever media player you like. We already have good video standards, it's just that people don't like dealing with their native video player and websites somehow feel that streaming Flash is easier.

The only thing that bothers me about their site is that every advertisement is the same and often just sucks. I'll take one of those annoying Sonic commercials, but seeing them over and over somewhat grates my nerves. It's a small price to pay though, since the ads are very short themselves and the video quality is good.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact