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, 28 January 2018

TV Licensing and Web Access


It's a popular falsehood that having web access means that you must have a TV licence.

That is not the case, despite oft-mooted bullshit to the contrary by commission-chasing TV Licensing goons.

As we have said on numerous previous occasions, a TV licence is needed for any property where equipment is installed or used for the purposes of receiving TV programmes at the same time, or virtually the same time, as other members of the public. Additionally, since 1st September 2016, a TV licence is required for those properties where equipment is used to watch or download BBC on-demand programmes via the iPlayer (note: you do not legally need a TV licence to watch or download programmes on-demand from any non-BBC source).

We have underlined the most significant sentence. It is the sentence that most TV Licensing goons conveniently forget to mention during their relentless quest to drum up sales on behalf of the BBC.

What that sentence means, in simple terms, is that unlicensed possession of any sort of TV equipment (e.g. TV set, PC, laptop, mobile phone, tablet etc.) is not an offence in its own right. The offence only occurs if that device is connected up and/or used for the purposes of receiving TV programmes without a licence.

The following scenarios help to illustrate the situation:
  • The occupier of an unlicensed property has a PC with web access, but he never uses any equipment to receive TV programmes. No offence is committed, because the occupier is not using the PC for the purposes of receiving TV programmes, nor has he installed it for that purpose - he has bought and installed it with the intention of doing some online gaming or home office work.
  • The occupier of an unlicensed property has an old TV set gathering dust in the corner of the spare bedroom, but he never uses any equipment to receive TV programmes. As his old TV set is gathering dust in an unoccupied room, no-one could reasonably claim it was installed for the purposes of receiving TV programmes. That being the case, no offence has been committed.
  • The occupier of an unlicensed property uses a tablet to browse the web, but he never uses any equipment to receive TV programmes. No offence is committed, because the occupier is not using the tablet for the purposes of receiving TV programmes, nor has he installed it for that purpose - he has bought a tablet because he likes to surf the web on the move.
It would be entirely fair to say that the average TV Licensing goon does not appreciate the finer aspects of the legislation. Be it through ignorance or malice, they often try to bully people into paying for a TV licence they have no legal need for.

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4 comments:

Tommy said...

So I have a TV and I watch DVDs on it - No offence committed
I have a TV and I play Wii games on it - No offence committed
I have a TV and I listen to radio on it as my village has poor DAB but the ariel is connected to the Tv to do so. - No offence committed.
I have an HDMI cable connected to my TV and laptop where I watch Yt documentaries, old commedy shows and general interest things - No offence committed.
I have a TV and I watch Netflix - No offence committed. The only way these goons can do you is if they catch you and record you watching LIVE TV or iplayer. Stand your ground, they have to prove beyond reasonable doubt and its virtually impossible for them to do that unless you get caught. Better still just dont answer the door or letters but keep a record.

Dennis Whalebone said...

"a TV licence is needed for any property where equipment is installed or used for the purposes of receiving TV programmes” my TV/PVR was installed to watch and record live TV. Now I never use it for that. Installation and use are two different things. I use the PVR to listen to the radio, the TV is used to show the menus etc. One press of the wrong button will show live TV unless I manually retune some 400 TV stations. Goons would get me on this if they had a warrant even though I never watch live TV or use IPlayer. They should rewrite the whole thing, it's a bloody mess.

M. SHAKEY said...

Dennis... I have a similar set-up. Taking into account BBC/TVL unusual interest in my TV Tax requirement I did take the trouble to de-tune all of the TV stations and left the Radio stations tuned in. This means that I can now LEGALLY record ANY radio broadcasts..INCLUDING the BBC radio stations.

I did this because 'last time' the BBC tried to suggest that the mere posession of a PVR maching was evidence of evasion (because it had the ability to RECORD)... hoping I suspect that a wooly-headed Magistrate would automatically believe them.

Kindest regards

Shakey
PS... I have a USB port on my PVR which allows me to 'upload' pre-recorded TV programs from 'other sources'.
Up yours BBC/Capita

Tommy said...

No, surely. To win a conviction the must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you watch live tv. They can not do that unless they catch you doing it and even then its not guaranteed as they need to prove it. A licence is not needed for a tv nor is it needed if I watch Netflix on that tv. A licence is needed if you watch live tv or iplayer. I watch non of them.