Accessing the BBC from outside the UK

Jon Davies jon at
Fri Jan 6 09:14:53 EST 2012

On 5 January 2012 20:39, bat guano <batguano999 at> wrote:
> ...this is the relevant section from "Terms of Use of BBC Online Services" that applies to get_iplayer....
> 3.2.1 If you are outside the UK
> You may not access, view and/or listen to certain parts of BBC Content [...] if you are outside the UK [...]

I find myself playing devil's advocate, somewhat to my consternation:

This is a rather rubbish clause in the terms, which makes it very
unclear what's permissible access from outside the UK vs what's not
permissible.  Nowhere in the terms does it define what "certain parts"
of content are not to be accessed from outside the UK.  It seems that
the only way the BBC communicate this to users of the site is by
whether you can access the content when you try.

So if a user of BBC services routinely uses a UK-based proxy service
for some reason, then I don't see how the BBC can reasonably complain
that the user is breaching this term of the license since there's no
way of the user knowing whether they're accessing restricted content
or not.

Having tried on one or two occasions (though not recently) to use
iPlayer from outside the UK, I found that generally podcasts are
accessible, radio content seems to be mostly accessible, and video
content is mostly not accessible.  (I don't remember whether news &
weather are accessible from outside the UK, I think they are.)  But
you shouldn't rely on this information.

Having said that, David's comment

"We do not condone the use of get_iplayer to breach the licence
of the content that the BBC makes available. Please do not ask us how to
do so."

is entirely right.


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