TV License and Youtube/Twitch/Other Personal Live Streaming

Hey all,
OK - I've done a bit of searching, but can't fully find the answer:
I want to get rid of my TV License - we don't watch Live TV, only Netflix, Prime, Youtube, DVD's etc etc.
But my children want to watch little Jimmy stream himself playing a video game live on YouTube/Twitch. Technically it's live, but not a channel that's broadcasted on TV per se.
I contacted the TV Licensing and they said that we WOULD need a license. They said "Anything with a 'LIVE' banner would need a license on Youtube". I spoke to a solicitor and they said it would probably not be required.
I want to understand whether anybody out there has evidence of the answer, that would be great.
Anybody out there with any help?

Thanks
«13

Comments

  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,806
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    AFAIK a live YouTube stream doesn't need a licence (unless of course it was streaming something that is available to watch via a TV in the UK like Sky News for example, but somebody else may be along shortly to clarify that).
  • pphillips
    pphillips Posts: 1,631
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    AFAIK a live YouTube stream doesn't need a licence (unless of course it was streaming something that is available to watch via a TV in the UK like Sky News for example, but somebody else may be along shortly to clarify that).
    That's correct, As long as the live content is not being broadcast on a TV channel, you don't need a licence to watch it. The person from TV Licensing is wrong as YouTube and Twitch are not a TV channel.
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,013
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    Even if someone did accidentally stream some live content such as sky news on youtube, no one from TV Licensing would ever know, so don't feel concerned about that.
  • mobileron
    mobileron Posts: 1,218
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    And there are no such things a s TV detector vans,had a friend used to drive an empty one in the 80s.
  • @Swipe has the most sensible answer, everyone else is WRONG.

    You do officially need a licence for anything shown LIVE - it has nothing to do with terrestrial of "normal" TV channels anymore.

    Any live public broadcast is classed as "TV". It doesn't matter how you get it. Aerial, dish, cable, broadband or cellular. It also doesn't matter what device you use. You could be viewing it on your phone while roaming the streets... if it is being broadcast live (i.e. other people can watch the same program at exactly the same time as you, then it is "tv")
    You can only watch "on-demand" without a licence, so that most videos on YouTube are OK, as is Netflix and Prime (mostly)... when you click a video to play it, it is being streamed specifically to you,  at your request, not broadcast to a wider audience. To add to the confusion, YouTube DOES support LIVE content as well. And for that you do need a licence. Based on this, even Twitch watching needs a licence.

    Here is the official source article. Read and decide...
    www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one

    And whilst TV detector vans don't exist anymore, your ISP could theoretically provide the information to the licencing people (not sure how they'd do this legally, but technically, your viewing can easily be monitored)


  • unforeseen
    unforeseen Posts: 7,260
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    edited 19 June 2021 at 2:17PM
    Sorry but you are wrong.
    The Communication Act 2003 states "television receiver"
    For the above act the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 defines a television receiver as
    Meaning of “television receiver”
    9.—(1) In Part 4 of the Act (licensing of TV reception), “television receiver” means any apparatus installed or used for the purpose of receiving (whether by means of wireless telegraphy or otherwise) any television programme service, whether or not it is installed or used for any other purpose.
    (2) In this regulation, any reference to receiving a television programme service includes a reference to receiving by any means any programme included in that service, where that programme is received at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is received by members of the public by virtue of its being broadcast or distributed as part of that service.

    YouTube is not a television programme service. If it is only on YouTube and not broadcast at virtually the same time on a television programme service then no licence is needed


  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,135
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    edited 19 June 2021 at 2:52PM
    To be clearer...

    1. It is absolutely about "terrestrial" (and satellite and cable TV).   For a channel to be a "programme service" in the legislation, it must be received in the UK by one of those methods, and thereby viewable by the UK Public (whether they have to pay for it or not).

    The TV Licence is required to receive "programme services" (broadcast TV Channels) received via the three traditional means, or the same content at the same time received by other means (streaming, whether direct from a broadcaster or via another platform like Youtube).   (And also any BBC TV content on iPlayer).

    2.  Youtube contains both content that does not require a TV Licence to watch (almost all of it), and things like Sky News that do require a TV Licence to view.   Sky News (live) requires a Licence because it is a programme service i.e. it is a broadcast TV channel that you could receive via traditional means, but happen to be watching on Youtube.

    GregWoods said:
    ... And whilst TV detector vans don't exist anymore, your ISP could theoretically provide the information to the licencing people (not sure how they'd do this legally, but technically, your viewing can easily be monitored)
    No.  This categorically does not happen.   It would not "make out" the offence even if it did.
  • pphillips
    pphillips Posts: 1,631
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    If anyone is still confused:

    Using YouTube as a way of watching a broadcast TV channel (that could be viewed via aerial, satellite or cable) as it's being broadcast will require a TV license.

    Any other use of YouTube does not require a TV licence.
  • powerful_Rogue
    powerful_Rogue Posts: 7,467
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    GregWoods said:
    @Swipe has the most sensible answer, everyone else is WRONG.

    You do officially need a licence for anything shown LIVE - it has nothing to do with terrestrial of "normal" TV channels anymore.

    Any live public broadcast is classed as "TV". It doesn't matter how you get it. Aerial, dish, cable, broadband or cellular. It also doesn't matter what device you use. You could be viewing it on your phone while roaming the streets... if it is being broadcast live (i.e. other people can watch the same program at exactly the same time as you, then it is "tv")
    You can only watch "on-demand" without a licence, so that most videos on YouTube are OK, as is Netflix and Prime (mostly)... when you click a video to play it, it is being streamed specifically to you,  at your request, not broadcast to a wider audience. To add to the confusion, YouTube DOES support LIVE content as well. And for that you do need a licence. Based on this, even Twitch watching needs a licence.

    Here is the official source article. Read and decide...
    www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one

    And whilst TV detector vans don't exist anymore, your ISP could theoretically provide the information to the licencing people (not sure how they'd do this legally, but technically, your viewing can easily be monitored)



    What a lot of nonsense. Correct asnwer above by @pphillips.
  • silverwhistle
    silverwhistle Posts: 3,774
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    What a lot of nonsense. Correct asnwer above by @pphillips.
    Yep. First post too. Is someone being paid to spread FUD?

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