Major Close Down

Jon Davies jon at
Fri Aug 8 08:22:56 PDT 2014

On 5 August 2014 20:59, Frankie Higgs <frankiehiggs at> wrote:
> (If there's anyone on the list who can explain our exact legal status,
> I'd be grateful

Disclaimer - I am not a lawyer.  Do not rely on anything I say here -
if you're in doubt, consult a lawyer.

But I do a fair amount of contractual stuff as part of my day job.

get_iplayer only downloads media from BBC-controlled sites that is
already available to you from those same BBC-controlled sites.
get_iplayer does not break any encryption, or circumvent any
"effective technological measures" in order to do so.  "effective
technological measures" is defined in the EU copyright directive, and
is very very roughly encryption, scrambling or similar.  The BBC
doesn't apply this to their iPlayer content (at least, not the content
downloaded by get_iplayer).

In my view the particular tool you use to download things from
websites doesn't matter. What *does* matter is the permissions and
rights the BBC chooses to grant to you regarding that content.  As
someone else said, it's their content, not yours.  Being able to
download content does not automatically give you any right you might
care to think up.

The terms of use of the BBC's websites set out what you can and cannot
do with their content, and nothing that get_iplayer does violates
those terms.  If you violate the terms, then *you* have violated the
terms, not the get_iplayer software or its many and various authors.

If you're the slightest bit unsure what the BBC's terms are, then you
should read them (in particular see here: and here:  If you're the
slightest bit unsure what they mean, then you should consult a lawyer.
But the terms are pretty readable and straightforward.

If you're physically outside the UK, then most of the video and some
of the radio content is not available to you.  get_iplayer does not
circumvent the (fairly simplistic) mechanisms for preventing extra-UK
access put in place by the BBC.  If you /are/ outside the UK, and you
can't access content using a conventional web browser and the iPlayer
site, then you're probably not permitted to use that content.  Neither
will get_iplayer help you access it.  And this list is not the place
to discuss how you might circumvent such measures.

If you're within the UK, then get_iplayer simply provides a mechanism
to access content that you /already/ have access to, but does so in a
way that suits some people better than the mechanisms the BBC directly

And that's pretty much it.


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