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, 5 April 2015

TV Licence and Mobile Phones

An increasing number of viewers are ditching their normal static TV sets in favour of watching programmes on the move, but do they know the legalities of doing so?

This Bank Holiday weekend in particular, a lot of people will be away from home and seeking some alternative method of watching their favourite TV programmes.

The overwhelming majority of people in that situation are already licensed to receive TV programmes on the move, by virtue of the fact that their home address is covered by a valid TV licence. 

Anyone whose home address is covered by a valid TV licence is also covered to receive TV programmes elsewhere, as long as they use a device powered by its own internal battery and without an external aerial (e.g. an unplugged laptop, tablet or smartphone). That could be in their caravan somewhere in the Lake District, or it could be walking around town doing the shopping.

Suppose, hypothetically speaking, that a person wanted to receive TV programmes on the move, but their home address was not already covered by a valid TV licence. People in that situation, which must be an infinitesimally small minority, would technically require a TV licence before they started receiving TV programmes on the move.

To summarise: If you're watching on a mobile device, the chances are you are already correctly licensed to do so.

Of course the chances of being caught evading the TV licence on the move are also infinitesimally small (read as non-existent). 

How would you react if some randomer approached you in the street and asked "what are you doing with your mobile phone?"


Swipe said...

I can't believe TV Licensing even had the gall to put out a press release about this. As if TV detection from a property wasn't fantasy enough, now TV detection on camp sites? :D

John Galt said...

How would you react if some randomer approached you in the street and asked "what are you doing with your mobile phone?"

I'd tell them to "Mind Your Own Business", possibly with the F-Word incorporated as a hyphen for emphasis.

That's pretty much what any TV Licensing Goon would get in the UK if I still lived there as well.

Shady Pete said...

A TV Licensing goon has no power to see what a smartphone or tablet user is actually looking at - such an attempt amounts to a personal search. Capita Business Services masquerading as TV Licensing (or its predecessor the GPO/Royal Mail) has no power to interrogate, search, arrest or otherwise harass such a user. If harassed by a TV goon in public, photograph them and report the incident to the police.

Götter Dämmerung said...

This press release has got me thinking about submitting a FOI request from the BBC regarding the number of "Travellers" convicted of TV Licence fee evasion in the past year or so as I'm sure TV Licencing regularly check illegal Traveller camps up and down the country as part of it's duty to ensure that they are all correctly licenced ;-)

John Galt said...

@Götter Dämmerung:

I am sure that we both know the answer to that question. The TV Licensing goons go to places where they have easy prey (i.e. poor households with single mothers at home looking after kids).

They do not go to places where they have a reasonable chance of ending up dead in a ditch.

This is why they don't visit traveller sites or places like the Falls Road in Belfast.

Fred Bear said...

In 2001, the NAO reported the following estimated evasion rates around the UK:

England 4.5%
Scotland 7.8%
Northern Ireland 17.6%
Wales 5.5%
United Kingdom 5.2%

Info from: http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2002/05/0102821.pdf

John Galt said...

The Northern Ireland figures are 'interesting' if you know what I mean...


Fred Bear said...

In 1994, the evasion rate in Northern Ireland was 30.4 per cent. In other words, without consistent enforcement because of the security situation, the licence fee was an optional expense and about a third of people opted out.