My case is easiest explained in metaphor…
Think of HULU as a bakery. In this bakery, there are some items placed on the counter with a sign in front of them declaiming those particular pasteries as FREE.
Today, there will be 3 customers.
Image via CrunchBase
The second customer is an iOS device (like an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch). Since Apple designed these devices without Flash or Silverlight support, let’s say that this customer has celiac (cannot eat anything with gluten). This customer looks around, sees a particularly tasty pastery, but cannot eat it. The baker offers to bake the same pastery with gluten-free flour.
But, since this is a special order, the customer with celiac will have to pay for the content. This sounds fair. The baker is doing extra work, buying extra ingredients, and is serving a smaller audience that they never intended to serve before. The customer with celiac is not even getting the same content (HULU needs to re-encode the video and stream it in a different format for these devices. So, it makes sense that the HULU app, in the App Store is a paid app).
The second customer pays for his pastery. Thanks the baker, and leaves.
Image via CrunchBase
The third customer (a Google TV device like a Logitec Revue or a Sony Internet-enabled Blu-ray Player) looks almost exactly like the first customer to the baker. It is a linux-based computer that can run flash. When the third customer picks up the pastery, the baker talks to the customer trying to find out some more about him.
Suddenly, the baker snatches the pastery back from the customer. The baker then says that this customer needs to buy the gluten-free pastery and is not allowed to have the free pasteries at all. This customer explains that he does not have celiac (he can run flash just fine). But, the baker stands firm, and actively blocks the customer from the free pasteries.
Isn’t this HULU being dicriminatory? Google designed a system that would work on HULU just like any regular personal computer. How can it possibly be legal for HULU to censor its content based upon what device I use?