TV License dilemma

in TV MoneySaving
49 replies 6.4K views
OK so I think I have made a huge mistake... After reading advice about when a TV licence is required, I believed it applied to my situation and I cancelled it. I do not watch TV but my husband is obsessed with box sets and films. Before I went on to maternity leave last year, I needed to make some serious financial cut backs and decided to arrange a way my husband could just watch his box sets and download films, without having to pay out for a TV licence as regular TV isn't watched in our home. I searched the net for the best option, such as netflix, Amazon etc. I found the best deal I could, where my husband could easily download boxsets and purchase films to buy (with some old ones for free on the side), was the Sky TV package. I know that there is still live TV streaming and I admit, this is where I made the huge mistake, but I decided to give it a try and went through the cancellation process with TV licencing and admitted to them during on the cancellation form that I had purchased a Sky TV package to use the boxset aspect of it, but we do not watch Live TV.
So I stupidly allowed a guy from TV licencing today to go through my TV, which clearly showed downloaded box sets on there, but of course, as you can access live TV, I'm in trouble. They noted down on the form that I advised the TV licencing agency that I have the SKY TV package and said I should have probably been told it doesn't apply and I would still require a TV licence.
They have advised me to pay my TV licence today and I may still go to court. Can anyone advise me on what I should do now?
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Replies

  • Double_VDouble_V Forumite
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    TV license is not just for LIVE tv, it covers, radio, computer, clock radio, tv, vcr, dvd player, freeview, basically any content you watch is covered under tv license.

    Tell them that you didn't know about this. Honest mistake etc etc. And pay up the license fee.
    So they might cancel the court proceeding as once paid then no point wasting court time.
    Hopefully you get caution not fine.

    Good luck.
  • b33rb33r Forumite
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    Double V is incorrect, the license is just for Live TV.

    You are pushing it by having sky set up however the onus is on them to prove that you have actually used it to watch live tv (unless you admit to it which is what 99% of the prosecutions are based on).

    The best advice is to just ignore them and tell them they can't come in if/when they ever come round unless they come back with an order/warrant/the police.
  • Thank you so much. I feel so dumb. I thought I had understood what I had read but obviously not. I will do exactly what you have advised. It genuinely was an honest mistake.
  • This is a legal issue with ramifications, you have already made some serious mistakes, do not compound them. The next thing through your door could be a court summons.

    Both of the posts giving advice above are incorrect. Do not take legal advice from people who have time to waste on forums such as this.

    I could give my advice but it would be just dubious as I do not have all the facts nor am I qualified.

    Take some proper qualified legal advice, everything else is worthless.
  • b33rb33r Forumite
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    This is a legal issue with ramifications, you have already made some serious mistakes, do not compound them. The next thing through your door could be a court summons.

    Both of the posts giving advice above are incorrect. Do not take legal advice from people who have time to waste on forums such as this.

    I could give my advice but it would be just dubious as I do not have all the facts nor am I qualified.

    Take some proper qualified legal advice, everything else is worthless.

    Do you mind saying which part of my post was incorrect? I'm not trying to start a fight or troll or anything, am just genuinely interested what I may have wrong.
  • b33r wrote: »
    Do you mind saying which part of my post was incorrect? I'm not trying to start a fight or troll or anything, am just genuinely interested what I may have wrong.

    Everything.

    You stated the the onus is on them to prove it is actually used to view live TV:
    It is not. The "offence" is installation OR use, they have proven installation. There is no need to connect the STB to the dish for just watching a few box sets. In fact they have probably proven use as the Sky box automatically records live TV for some of the cathup.

    You also stated the best advise would be to hold off and see if they come back and then deny access.
    You are way too late they have already been, entered the property looked at the offending TV receiving equipment filled out the forms and had them signed. They have no need to return its fait accompli.
  • b33rb33r Forumite
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    Everything.

    You stated the the onus is on them to prove it is actually used to view live TV:
    It is not. The "offence" is installation OR use, they have proven installation. There is no need to connect the STB to the dish for just watching a few box sets. In fact they have probably proven use as the Sky box automatically records live TV for some of the cathup.

    You also stated the best advise would be to hold off and see if they come back and then deny access.
    You are way too late they have already been, entered the property looked at the offending TV receiving equipment filled out the forms and had them signed. They have no need to return its fait accompli.

    The onus IS on them to prove you have though, either by witnessing it, or you admitting you have, or by them proving you have through a technical method (I'm not aware of any cases of that though).

    And no, you haven't broken the law until you use a device to actually watch or record live TV. I do agree though that having a sky box connected (and claiming to only use the boxset functionality) really is pushing the bounds of this and it is most likely the poster has broken the law. In which case if TVL let them off by paying for the license and saying no more about it I would count myself lucky. If not, my advice would be to consult a solicitor.

    The piece of advice for ignoring them wasn't really aimed at this particular poster now but more a general one for anybody in the future. I worded it poorly. Until the OP comes back and updates us with status and or showing exactly what they have signed there's not much advice we can offer them.

    By the way, I have a TV license and am not against it in the slightest, I do disagree with the methods and practices of TVL though assuming everyone is guilty until proven innocent.
  • b33r wrote: »
    The onus IS on them to prove you have though, either by witnessing it, or you admitting you have, or by them proving you have through a technical method (I'm not aware of any cases of that though).

    And no, you haven't broken the law until you use a device to actually watch or record live TV. I do agree though that having a sky box connected (and claiming to only use the boxset functionality) really is pushing the bounds of this and it is most likely the poster has broken the law. In which case if TVL let them off by paying for the license and saying no more about it I would count myself lucky. If not, my advice would be to consult a solicitor.

    The piece of advice for ignoring them wasn't really aimed at this particular poster now but more a general one for anybody in the future. I worded it poorly. Until the OP comes back and updates us with status and or showing exactly what they have signed there's not much advice we can offer them.

    By the way, I have a TV license and am not against it in the slightest, I do disagree with the methods and practices of TVL though assuming everyone is guilty until proven innocent.

    Most of what you believe to be correct is not so.
    I would suggest you do not offer further legal advice to future posters, it is a serious business not to be played at.
  • MarkthesharkMarktheshark Forumite
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    If you have signed a TVL 178 form, you will be taken to court and found guilty.
    Did you sign the TVL 178 ?

    I do Contracts, all day every day.
  • edited 22 September 2015 at 9:14PM
    ChiefGrasscutterChiefGrasscutter Forumite
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    edited 22 September 2015 at 9:14PM
    The "offence" is installation OR use

    Not exactly:
    The offense is for receiving "as it is broadcast Television signal" onto any device without a licence.
    This might be a TV or a video recorder.
    It could equally be a computer which is receiving a direct "as it is broadcast" video stream on line.
    There is no offense for being in possession of such a device capable of doing these things. The offense is in the actual receiving of the broadcasts.
    My mobile COULD receive a TV broadcast.
    So is it an offense for me to "install" a computer or mobile in my house?
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