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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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Sunday, 27 August 2017

TV Licence Evasion: A Reminder Of The Rudd Defence


The House of Lords Appeal of Jeffrey Rudd vs. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is a very significant piece of case law for anyone accused of TV licence evasion.

The potency of the Rudd defence is exemplified by the fact that the BBC and TV Licensing do not want anyone to know about it, as illustrated below.


You can read a summary of the Rudd judgment here. We have previously discussed the Rudd judgment in an earlier article.

In a nutshell: For a defendant to be guilty of TV licence evasion, the prosecution (TV Licensing) must prove that a television receiver was actually used, and not merely that it was available for use.

It was a House of Lords Appeal, so sets a legally binding precedent on the proceedings of the Crown and Magistrates' Courts in similar cases.

In layman's terms the Rudd judgment means that the court has to consider any reasonable defence that TV receiving equipment, even thought it was present in an unlicensed property, was not actually being used for receiving TV programmes.

It therefore follows that TV Licensing has a weak case unless it actually catches a person in the act of receiving TV programmes without a valid TV licence.

Anyone caught with a TV receiver in their property could offer the perfectly valid defence that it wasn't in use, but was present for some non-licensable purpose (e.g. for listening to radio or playing video games). Alternatively they could offer the perfectly valid defence that the TV receiver wasn't in use during an unlicensed period, because the property was unoccupied at the time (e.g. they were on holiday or stopping with relatives).

Remember that TV Licensing goons have no automatic right of entry to any property. You can avoid the risk of having to rely on the Rudd defence by ignoring TV Licensing completely. Tell them nothing and never allow them access to your home.

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