Mitch Stoltz, a staff attorney at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, said that it's unclear whether using a VPN connection in the U.S. to watch foreign TV is illegal.
"I don't think you're violating any copyright laws by doing this," Stoltz said.
He said it's "not impossible" that the BBC would sue for breach of its terms of service. But it's not, in his view, likely.
"I don't think they're going to try to sue users on that, because it would be incredibly bad PR," Stoltz said.
VPN providers are another matter. "They may try to sue the middleman if it presents a large enough target," he said.