Christopher Woods (CustomMade) christopher at
Tue Apr 5 07:19:45 EDT 2011


> -----Original Message-----
> From: get_iplayer-bounces at 
> [mailto:get_iplayer-bounces at] On Behalf Of Ben Webb
> Sent: 05 April 2011 11:32
> To: get_iplayer at
> Subject: Re: legality
> On 5 April 2011 11:11, Ian Stirling 
> <get_iplayer at> wrote:
> > You _do_not_ need a license to watch any other content. 
> Foreign TV you 
> > can pick up with a really big antenna, or content a licenced 
> > broadcaster provides in non-realtime ways.
> As far as I am aware you are correct about non-realtime 
> content (you can watch iPlayer on demand content without a tv 
> license for example), however, I was under the impression 
> thta watching foreign live content, whether using a big 
> antenna/satellite or streamed over the internet required a TV license.

This was initially thought to be the case but Article 49 of the Treaty of
Rome (as amended) which enshrines free provision of intra-EU state services,
including telly. BBCRefuseniks[1] has this to say:

"So, even if the Parliament has every right to ban watching the BBC without
a licence, they must not stop you watching Romanian or Dutch television.

The beauty of it is that there were a number of cases in European Court of
Justice where the ECJ interpreted the Treaty provisions about this and other
EU "freedoms". Being a political court, the ECJ nearly always decides in
favour of the EU. So, the interpretation now is rather wide. Arguably, the
notorious Dassonville formula applies to services as well as goods - so, any
measure 'directly or indirectly, actually or potentially hindering' the
provision of services between member-states is prohibited under Article 49."

And remember Karen Murphy's fight against BSkyB recently? See [2] for the
illuminating article, which discusses at length the various EU
and national laws and goes into a fair amount of depth.


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