Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sheeple of Britain: Wake Up to TV Licensing

I regret to report that there are still way too many "experts" floating around the web giving duff, albeit well intended, information about who TV Licensing are and what they do.

There is one reason why TV Licensing misinformation propagates across the web at such an alarming pace - they let it happen because it is not in their interests to set the record straight.

The BBC is the statutory Licensing Authority responsible for all things TV Licensing related. They own the "TV Licensing" trademark, which they are at great pains to distance from the BBC brand. Make no mistake that the BBC and TV Licensing are the same beast. The BBC proofread and rubber stamp TV Licensing's intimidatory letters. The BBC contracts the TV Licensing private company that sends thugs to check on non-licensed properties. 

The BBC is directly funded by the licence fee, which they are legally obliged to administer and enforce. Shrewder observers will spot the potential conflict of interests here - more licence sales by the BBC means more money for the BBC. It is in the BBC's financial interests to sell as many licences as possible, because they earn a share of each one. The BBC want as many people as possible to cough up and pay the fee without asking questions. They do not want people to know legal alternatives to buying a licence, because every lost sale is lost revenue for them. Gluttonous pecuniary advantage makes the BBC quite happy to let people believe a lie. Some of the more common lies they're happy for people to believe are "a licence is needed to own a TV/PC/mobile phone/iPod/whatever", "you must tell us why you don't need a TV licence" and "you must let us in your home to check you don't have a TV". All lies.

As I mentioned earlier, the BBC contracts a private company to conduct its TV Licensing operations. This private company, on the London Stock Exchange, is Capita plc. If you don't use equipment to receive or record live TV programmes then you do not need a TV licence. That is an unequivocal fact of law, which is not open to interpretation unless you're a Capita salesman desperate to earn some TV licence commission. Capita salesmen will say almost anything to get people to buy TV licences because they are rewarded a bonus for each sale. Likewise they will sink to almost any depths to catch "evaders" because they receive a bonus for each of them too.

People of Britain: Remember the following facts when dealing with TV Licensing:
  • You only need a licence if you use equipment to receive/record live broadcast TV programmes.
  • You are under no legal obligation to respond to TV Licensing letters. Ignore them completely.
  • You are under no legal obligation to co-operate with TV Licensing employees. Ignore them completely.
  • TV Licensing employees must always identify themselves when asked to. In practice this is another rule they tend to ignore, because if they pretend "to have a package" or whatever the person answering the door might say something incriminating.
  • TV Licensing has no right to enter your home without a search warrant.
  • TV Licensing employees, against BBC policy, often scare people with the hollow threat of a search warrant. In reality it is very difficult for them to get a search warrant because they need reasonable evidence that an offence is being committed to do so.
  • TV Licensing employees must leave your property immediately when you instruct them to.
  • Never engage in conversation or communication with TV Licensing. Any reassuring platitudes they offer are false. TV Licensing will seize on anything you say that is incriminating.
Remember that TV Licensing employees work for a private company contracted to do the BBC's dirty work. They have virtually no legal authority and you are entirely in control of how you deal with them. The best course of action is always to say nothing and close the door. They are completely powerless unless you afford them information they are not legally entitled to.

You might also find the following previous posts helpful:


Ray Turner said...

I recently received a letter from TV licensing, answering my request to confirm whether there was a "Licence not needed declaration" for this address.

I'm pleased to say that there is such a record.

Now to be fair to TV licensing, that correspondence was welcome because I asked for it. It took them a long time to get it to me, nearly a month, but it was a letter I welcomed from them.

And so far (though it is still early days) I haven't been hassled in any way shape or form.

If that situation continues, I'd find it hard to criticise TV licensing, as the system would be working as it should do.

But I'm fully expecting somebody to knock my door, one day.

Keep an eye on my blog, where I'll report what happens.

admin said...

Thanks for your comment Ray. I certainly will watch your blog.