Court orders satellite dish taken down at "iconic" location

(Photo: FlickrLickr/Wikimedia Commons). ((Photo: FlickrLickr/Wikimedia Commons))

A tenant in an Amsterdam Centrum apartment building along the IJ has been ordered to remove his satellite dish by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, the first such ruling in Dutch history. He wanted to keep the dish on his home to access Portuguese programming, his native language, but the satellite dish is not allowed under the conditions of the lease.

The court considered the tenant's rights to freedom of information of people in the Netherlands under international law, and weighed it against both the lease conditions and the location of the new Ymere Chicago building along the "iconic" waterfront, the court stated in its appellate ruling.

Eventually the court ruled in favour of housing corporation Ymere, holding that the aesthetic importance of the building in question outweighed the importance of the tenant's right to access Portuguese television. The court justified its decision by pointing out that there are viable alternatives available to the tenant, such as streaming television programs over the internet, though the tenant said some of these options were cost-prohibitive.

The court also remarked that the prohibition against satellite dishes is clearly stated in the lease agreement the tenant was presented before moving into the complex.

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