Jon Davies jon at
Sun Apr 3 09:37:15 EDT 2011

On 3 April 2011 14:02, James Cook <james.cook at> wrote:
> Hallo All,
> every since Phil stopped further development of get_iplayer I been
> wondering about the legality of developing code for get_iplayer. I
> wonder if by uploading patches we are exposing ourselves to possible
> legal action..
> Does anyone else here wonder about this?
> Does it depend on the patch?
> Should we consider some kind of anonimity?

Yes, I do wonder about it from time to time, but last time I checked
the terms and conditions for accessing both the BBC website and BBC
iPlayer, I couldn't see anything that *I* was doing that broke those

The relevant terms, provided that nobody here is doing this for
commercial purposes, are:

for general terms of access to BBC content:
for iPlayer:
for the RSS feeds - used for obtaining BBC schedules (and iPlayer content)
and for the podcasts:

note that get_iplayer is *not* a "BBC iPlayer Download Application",
so none of those terms apply.

There are a couple of areas where things *might* get a bit sticky:
- use of "iplayer" in the name, and graphics that look like the iPlayer logo
- clause 3.2.3(d) of the general terms, specifically
-- reverse engineering - whether using the publicly-available
interfaces on the BBC website constitutes "reverse engineering" or
not, and if it did whether creating and using get_iplayer falls under
the terms permitted under the EU directives on interoperability (in my
case I argue it does since the BBC choose not to provide a download
application which interoperates with my PC which runs linux and xbmc -
no, the "linux support" doesn't work because it relies on having a
beefy processor to do stuff that xbmc does in the graphics card)
-- attempting to breach copyright/helping others to do so (bear in
mind that the BBC has permitted UK residents to view the content they
provide, so accessing and using that content is not a breach of

Unfortunately you have to read the terms yourself, take your own legal
advice - which you won't find here, and make your own decisions about
using and/or contributing to get_iplayer.

Incidentally, going for anonymity probably won't work technically, and
would simply encourage others to infer that you think you're guilty.

disclaimer - I am not a lawyer


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