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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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Saturday, 13 May 2017

BBC Introduces iPlayer Password Protection

The BBC has reiterated the imminent arrival of password protection for its iPlayer service.

As previously reported on the TV Licensing Blog, the Government gave the green light to password protection last September. The reason the story is appearing back in the news is because of the BBC's intention to flick the switch before the end of May.

Since 1st September 2016 it has been an offence to watch or download live or on-demand (visual) programmes from the BBC iPlayer without a valid TV licence. A TV licence is not, however, required to listen to or download radio programmes from the BBC iPlayer, nor is one required to download S4C programmes via that platform. That being the case an unlicensed person could, in certain circumstances, use the BBC iPlayer perfectly legally.

The BBC has denied that the introduction of user authentication is a measure to crack down on TV licence evaders. It has to be said that on this rare occasion, given our earlier comments about radio content, we do actually believe them.

According to the national broadcaster, the introduction of passwords will allow greater personalisation of the iPlayer for its users. For example, the system will be able to suggest programmes based on past viewing/listening habits. In the longer term the BBC plans on offering certain paid services via the iPlayer, which is another reason for the move towards user authentication.

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Shady Pete said...

Currently should you access iPlayer a pop-up requires you to say whether you have a TV licence and if not, directed elsewhere. However should you access Radio iPlayer no such declaration is requested so looks like the radio-only service will carry on normally without the need for any password.

While it would be possible for the BBC to re-introduce the radio licence enforcement would be even more problematic than it was prior to 1971 when the original licence was abolished. Back then GPO inspectors had no powers to detain, interrogate and search those suspected of listening to Radio 2 on a concealed pocket trannie which is why the radio licence was eventually withdrawn.

The TV licence is also facing its Waterloo for the very same reason. Capita operatives have no powers to detain and interrogate someone and "examine and test" their mobile device if suspected of being used to watch live TV broadcasts. Furthermore, Capita Business Services would need Sec.49 RIPA authority to "examine and test" any computing device, authority they will never get. Computing devices also fall outside the ambit of the Communications Act.

Shaun H said...

I understand the "BBC ID" will have to be used for signing in to iPlayer. I've got one of these which includes my email address and post code for posting comments to the site. I also have a TV licence.

Will the history of use they intend to save, also be able to be used as evidence in the event of a none licence payer using it to access iPlayer ?

It seems too much of a co-incidence that they are now going to require this, just after the law changed.

They say they5 won't use it for enforcement, but could change their minds later.

I was quite sad when they announced the licence fee was to stay for another 10 years. It's well past its "sell by" date, and people shouldn't be prevented from watching other independent broadcasters programmes, just because they don't want to watch the BBC. It's an unfair subsidy, which in my view is morally repugnant. Forcing people to have licences to view the likes of ITV, Sky, etc is little different to requiring them to have a licence to watch DVDs or video tapes etc.