TV Licence article Discussion

edited 14 June 2010 at 3:08PM in In My Home (includes DIY) MoneySaving
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  • wymondhamwymondham Forumite
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    Just come back into MSE after about 18 months since most of the forums i like are closed down on MSE - so, where are we on TV licensing, has everyone cancelled yet?  How about cancelling if you haven't already to pay your higher energy bill, that's a better use of your hard earned cash?  Hope you're all ok!!!!
  • edited 23 September 2021 at 12:08PM
    CornucopiaCornucopia Forumite
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    edited 23 September 2021 at 12:08PM
    pphillips said:

    Apologies if I have not made myself clear but I completely agree with everything said in that video. I note that towards the end of the video he says that if you install a TV but not as a television receiver, ie you only intend to use it for catch up, DVD, video games etc, then you don't need a TV licence. I take your point that it isn't TV Licensing policy to prosecute for section 363(3) offences, presumably because they are harder to prove, but felt that it was worth discussing just in case.
    But he talks towards the end of the video of the role of the 2004 Regulations in setting definitions for the primary legislation.  

    At the risk of getting very geeky about this, the original 1949 legislation makes an interesting contrast - basically saying that the rules are whatever the Postmaster General says they are.   The intent seems to be the same - to provide flexibility to make small changes to the law without requiring new primary legislation.

    To be clear about my position, I agree with Section62 that S.363(3) is rendered moot for all practical purposes by the definition of "television receiver".   I also contend that this is exactly what is intended by the current system of law - a clear division between lawful use of lawful equipment configurations in contrast with offending use.    (Because this is the ideal situation with any legislation - that it should be clear and precise).
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  • _vexorg__vexorg_ Forumite
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    I really dont think the rules are geared up to handle internet or cable viewing.
    One click on a website like channel4.tv gets you live or on-demand, and now it seems that wrong click make you a criminal if you dont have a licence.

    Then I have a TV licence, and presume that covers me watching live TV on my phone. I then go to my daughter's flat with no TV licence, the phone uses her wifi, is it then illegal for me to watch live tv on my phone???

    Can they tell?
    What stops people just saying their parent was there and they didn't know what they were watching on their phone?

    And refering the Virgin box (or Sky box) with no licence, is it sufficient to have that unplugged in the house, or must it be removed out of the house as it's capable of receiving TV?
  • edited 23 September 2021 at 12:37PM
    CornucopiaCornucopia Forumite
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    edited 23 September 2021 at 12:37PM
    _vexorg_ said:
    I really dont think the rules are geared up to handle internet or cable viewing.
    One click on a website like channel4.tv gets you live or on-demand, and now it seems that wrong click make you a criminal if you dont have a licence.

    Then I have a TV licence, and presume that covers me watching live TV on my phone. I then go to my daughter's flat with no TV licence, the phone uses her wifi, is it then illegal for me to watch live tv on my phone???

    Can they tell?
    What stops people just saying their parent was there and they didn't know what they were watching on their phone?

    And refering the Virgin box (or Sky box) with no licence, is it sufficient to have that unplugged in the house, or must it be removed out of the house as it's capable of receiving TV?

    The situation regarding the ease of illegal viewing is just the same with lots of other offences - not seeing the speed limit sign, or deciding to disregard it, for example.    It could ultimately be part of the reasoning for changing the rules, but I don't think it's that much of a problem now (not helped, though, by TVL's vagueness in explaining the rules).

    Your home TV Licence covers you for viewing on a portable device anywhere.  Connecting to local Wifi doesn't amount to "installing" the device AFAIK.   As you say, policing viewing on portable devices away from your home would be tricky, anyway.

    I'd recommend putting the Tivo/Sky Satellite Box away in a cupboard.  

    The rules have proven to be fair and flexible in the face of technical changes - remarkably so, when compared with alternatives that might have used much more specific language.

    There have been "no licence required" scenarios pretty much since TV Licences began in 1946.   Initially, only a small minority of households had TVs.   Then the rise of people who preferred not to have a TV.

    The modern "LLF" centre-ground has been a viable option since the invention of the domestic video recorder in the 1970s and 80s.   Streaming is just the modern equivalent of that preference for personalised, pre-recorded material.

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  • Section62Section62 Forumite
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    In fact, the drafting seems quite neat to me - both enabling a distinct line to be drawn between lawful and illegal use of equipment, and also giving a degree of flexibility to address possible technological changes.
     
    I was thinking about this earlier.

    On reflection, I don't think the problem is with the wording of S363(3), I think it exists in that form to allow flexibility in the nature of the regulations.

    As the regulations currently exist, the licensing requirement relates to installation and use of a "television receiver".  If the regulations were revised (at some point) to make the requirement relate to ownership of a "television receiver" then S363(3) becomes more meaningful - it creates the offence of possessing a "television receiver" with intent...

    It would enable enforcement action to be taken if a person was found to have a "television receiver" on or about their person or property, without them needing to be caught using it for that purpose.

    That could come into its own if, for example, the future TV licensing requirement were something like a flat fee per digital device having the capability of displaying broadcast or streamed video (an idea I believe gets floated from time to time).


    S363(3) looks wrong, because the current regulations don't need it.


    Also, the ownership/possession concept perhaps has more relevance in the historical context of a "television receiver" being a box sat in the corner of the room, rather than the contemporary meaning.  I wondered whether S363(3) was an entirely new creation in the 2003 Act (an inspired prediction of the future?), or if it was replicating a previous provision (hanging onto the past?) - but I've not been able to find any original as enacted versions of any of the historic legislation to check this out.
  • CornucopiaCornucopia Forumite
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    You can see several versions of S.9 of the 2004 Regulations, and the changes between them give a flavour of how drafters see the built-in flexibility of the primary legislation.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/692/regulation/9/2004-04-01
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  • edited 23 September 2021 at 1:08PM
    CornucopiaCornucopia Forumite
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    edited 23 September 2021 at 1:08PM
    wymondham said:
    Just come back into MSE after about 18 months since most of the forums i like are closed down on MSE - so, where are we on TV licensing, has everyone cancelled yet?  How about cancelling if you haven't already to pay your higher energy bill, that's a better use of your hard earned cash?  Hope you're all ok!!!!

    I think the cause of enjoying being legally Licence-free has done fairly well in the past couple of years.

    The numbers are now being admitted and published by the BBC  - some 3.75 million households being evaders or having completed the "No Licence Needed" form.  I think in BBC-speak, this is their total estimate of unlicensed properties.

    I think (can't really be sure) that the misinformation and myth around the TV Licence is slowly being swept away.   TV Licensing themselves appear to be playing more by the rules on the doorstep, and there has been public criticism of their letters, too.   
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  • Nick_CNick_C Forumite
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    Cornucopia said:

    Personally, I would not recommend VM or Sky Satellite boxes as the basis of being legally Licence-free.   If you pay a subscription to keep them active, that would be bad.   
    I renegotiated my Virgin contract in February, and had to take a package that includes TV and (VOIP) Telephone to get the best price.  The TiVo box has been unplugged and stored in the loft since I went LLF in 2020.

    As the old joke goes, if having the equipment to potentially commit a crime makes me guilty, then I had better plead guilty to rape as well.
  • edited 23 September 2021 at 2:09PM
    CornucopiaCornucopia Forumite
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    edited 23 September 2021 at 2:09PM
    Part of the issue is that I/other people who advise but don't have the equipment concerned can't easily keep up with the contractual and technical requirements for subscribing.   So therefore err on the side of caution.    If you are able to run your VM service without the Tivo box being connected, that sounds fine to me.

    More widely, I'm not keen on the way VM tends to lock people in because of the upheaval involved (in many cases) of going back to a "BT" line.  

    I'm not sure that your final comment is an "old joke", and it may well not "make the grade" anyway.
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  • nesimsnewnesimsnew Forumite
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    First Post
    I had to buy a TV license as mum in care home now. Previously she free one. I didn't mind paying but was told can't have a direct debit installments as I didn't have a TV licence b4. Which of course I didn't cos mum's one covered the address!  So I had to put the whole payment on a credit card I use for emergencies.  I still don't know when or if  i can start installments for nxt time Which would b better
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