One of the main reasons we started this blog was to remove the mystique behind the TV licence system.
One popular misconception, often quoted by ill-informed Beeboids peddling their immoral wares on the Digital Spy forums, is that mere ownership of television receiving or recording equipment requires a TV licence. To put not to fine a point on it, that claim is bollocks. However, it is not in the BBC's interests to clarify the situation so you will struggle to find it documented in any of their official material.
Perhaps the closest you'll get is on this page, where it says: "You don’t need a TV Licence to own or possess a television set. However, if you use it to watch programmes as they are being shown on TV then you need a TV Licence in order to do so."
There are a whole myriad of entirely lawful reasons why someone might possess TV receiving or recording equipment without a TV licence. For example, it is perfectly legal to use a television set as a monitor to play video games, DVDs or even view non-live content from TV catchup services. It is perfectly legal to use a DVD or video recorder (if they still exist) to capture images from a CCTV system. Even though the equipment is capable of being used for a licensable purpose, there is no legal assumption it will be.
The same is true of PC ownership. In this day and age live-streamed TV programmes are only a few mouse clicks across the web, yet it is unreasonable to assume people install a PC solely for viewing them. I suggest that watching TV online isn't even a consideration when purchasing a PC, with all the other software and hardware features available. Consequently there is no legal requirement to have a TV licence just to own a PC.
As we keep on reinforcing on this blog: The law requires that a licence is obtained for any device that is "installed or used" for "receiving or recording a television programme at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is received by members of the public".
If you don't have equipment installed or used for that purpose then you do not require a licence and are entitled to enjoy life without the stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's employees and correspondence.
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