BBC on cable in the Netherlands (was Re: BBC iPlayer available abroad?)

Martin wrote:
Of course it is. I don't know how many more times I have to say that
BBC TV is available live by cable to most of the Dutch population.

Not technically legally it isn't. Here's the story from a DS Forum Member
who seems to know about these things:

Contrary to popular belief the Netherlands cable companies DO NOT pay the
BBC for transmitting BBC 1 and 2 there, even though they charge customers
for it. Nor do they do it with the BBC's permission (though the BBC have
long since accepted there's not much they can do about it).

Normally of course this would be a criminal act, but in this instance it is
legalised under a somewhat bizarre piece of EU legislation called the
Television Without Frontiers directive (originally introduced in 1989 and
revised in 1997). This allows analogue broadcast signals that can be picked
up on the coast of a country to be retransmitted over cable networks (this
is very closely defined and very much excludes online use) without the
permission of the copyright owner. If any charge is made money the money
must be paid to a collecting society to recompense rights holders, which in
this case is the ACLS.

The BBC does NOT take the rights upfront in most of it's rights contracts to
distribute to Europe. It has for some time however included a clause that
basically states that as long as the BBC makes no claim on the ACLS money,
it is effectively has nothing to do with this European cable retransmission
and that the rights holder accepts that it is effectively nothing to do with
the BBC, nor illegal, and that if they want any money for it they can go and
ask the ACLS for it themselves. Rights holders are generally pretty annoyed
that this was allowed to happen by Brussels, but accept the BBC's clause
that it is none of the BBC's business.

As the key part here is that the BBC has effectively nothing to do with this
retransmission, this does not grant the BBC the right to distribute these
programmes themselves in Europe. Nor does it legalise the Dutch cable
companies making such content available "on demand" - they can only
rebroadcast it as live.

I'm assuming that the ACLS referred to is this orginasation:

He also backs-up what I have already mentioned about the rights issues in
the UK.

Carl Waring
Freeview (free):