Court: Owning a Satellite Dish Is a 'Human Right'

Banning them could breach freedom of expression: European judges
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2011 9:07 AM CDT
Satellite dishes hang on an apartment block in Berlin.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness ... and a satellite dish? In a somewhat bizarre ruling out of Europe, judges in Strasbourg declared that owning a satellite dish is a human right. It all started when two renters in Sweden were evicted by their landlord for installing a satellite dish—which many find unsightly—and refusing to take it down when asked. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the tenants have a right to receive information, and that banning satellite dishes could breach freedom of expression rights.

"The right to use a satellite dish [is] one of the many concrete benefits for European consumers of the free movement of goods and services within the internal market," says an official. "Their use must therefore be free from any unjustified obstacle." Following the ruling, Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission warned landlords they could be sued if they attempt to prevent satellite dish installation, the Daily Mail reports.

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