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  • FIRST POST
    • gabriel1980
    • By gabriel1980 12th Jun 19, 1:04 PM
    • 275Posts
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    gabriel1980
    Enforcing the TV License
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:04 PM
    Enforcing the TV License 12th Jun 19 at 1:04 PM
    I should state that I do have a TV license and I have researched the below question online, but can't find a satisfactory answer.

    I understand that if you watch live TV through BBC iPlayer on a computer/tablet/phone that you have to buy a TV license, which is all well and good.

    What I want to know is how can they possibly enforce that? Are they asking everyone with a computer/tablet/smartphone to buy a TV license on the off-chance that they even access the BBC iPlayer app?

    Obviously I know off the vans which detect your TV signal (not sure if this is a myth or not) and obviously if you own a TV, you're going to need a license.

    But, surely just owning a computer and expecting you to buy a TV license is ludicrous! And, I repeat, how can they possibly enforce it? Come into your house and inspect your internet history?!
Page 1
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 12th Jun 19, 1:18 PM
    • 7,463 Posts
    • 10,933 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:18 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:18 PM
    I dont know if this is how they do it but i assumed they just cross check IP addresses with service providers to get physical addresses and then cross check that with their database of properties that have paid for a licence.

    And no they dont expect everyone with a device capable of accessing online content to have a licence. They expect anyone who uses their licence services to have one.
    Don't be angry!
    • Farway
    • By Farway 12th Jun 19, 1:21 PM
    • 7,653 Posts
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    Farway
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:21 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:21 PM
    They require you to sign up for iplayer with postcode, so I assume some data base checks it off.

    .How they would know if the post code you supplied was your real one & not, for instance, local chip shop I've no idea
    • wongataa
    • By wongataa 12th Jun 19, 1:21 PM
    • 1,803 Posts
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    wongataa
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:21 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:21 PM
    Not everyone with a computer etc needs their own licence. If the household you live in has one then all the computers and phones (and televisions) in the household are covered. There can be several people and devices in a household.



    It is quite hard to enforce in reality. A lot of it is down to trust.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 12th Jun 19, 1:37 PM
    • 13,401 Posts
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    Cornucopia
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:37 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 19, 1:37 PM
    Yes, a TV Licence is required to watch or download content from BBC iPlayer (and also to watch/record TV channels).

    Neither iPlayer usage or TV broadcast viewing is subject to rigourous, technology-based enforcement (although it would be technically much simpler to do it for iPlayer than for broadcast).

    What happens is that when you have no TV Licence, TV Licensing write to you - a lot. And if that doesn't persuade you to buy a Licence, they may visit you. And ask questions. They never really are that interested as to whether you need a Licence or not as a question of fact. They merely want you to buy one, or failing that to admit to evasion. Anything in between will just keep their "inquiries" going, subject to various legal ploys that can be used to deter them.

    It's all a bit crazy, old-fashioned and very British.

    But there is a basic legal requirement to hold a Licence if you need one.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • mobileron
    • By mobileron 13th Jun 19, 8:07 AM
    • 292 Posts
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    mobileron
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:07 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:07 AM
    Surely data protection will not allow them to get the IP address from the ISP.

    Capita are the company that knock on the door do not let them in our sign any paperwork,people that get fined usually admit they have been watching tv. There is no such a thing as a TV detector van any more.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 13th Jun 19, 8:14 AM
    • 13,401 Posts
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    Cornucopia
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:14 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:14 AM
    Surely data protection will not allow them to get the IP address from the ISP.
    Originally posted by mobileron
    Indeed. There is no basis in law (or otherwise) for Capita to obtain subscriber information from ISPs (whether there is well-founded suspicion of TV Licence evasion or not).

    Personally, I think that they are missing a potentially useful enforcement option, here. I would be quite happy for my ISP to allow me to tick two checkboxes - one that blocks BBC URLs, and the other that says I consent to them providing that information and my address to the BBC.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 13th Jun 19, 8:21 AM
    • 5,854 Posts
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    onomatopoeia99
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:21 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:21 AM
    Surely data protection will not allow them to get the IP address from the ISP.
    Originally posted by mobileron
    GDPR will prevent the ISP disclosing personal information it holds. It will not prevent TVL from obtaining a Norwich Pharmacal order from a court that requires the ISP to disclose the information.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 13th Jun 19, 8:26 AM
    • 13,401 Posts
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    Cornucopia
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:26 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:26 AM
    GDPR will prevent the ISP disclosing personal information it holds. It will not prevent TVL from obtaining a Norwich Pharmacal order from a court that requires the ISP to disclose the information.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    Realistically, though, they don't do this.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 13th Jun 19, 8:26 AM
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    Nick_C
    obviously if you own a TV, you're going to need a license.
    Originally posted by gabriel1980
    Just for clarity, you don't. If you only watch on demand services such as Netflix then you don;t need a TV license. You are being licensed to watch live TV or use iPlayer, not to own and use a TV set.

    Surely data protection will not allow them to get the IP address from the ISP.
    Originally posted by mobileron
    I may be wrong, but I thought law enforcement authorities were allowed to use data from private companies (ISPs)?
    Last edited by Nick_C; 13-06-2019 at 8:33 AM.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 13th Jun 19, 8:30 AM
    • 5,854 Posts
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    onomatopoeia99
    I may be wrong, but I thought law enforcement authorities were allowed to use data from private companies (ISPs)?
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    No. They have to apply for a Norwich Pharmacal order to require an innocent third party to disclose information that may be relevant to a crime or tort.

    A private citizen or company can also apply for such an order. Plenty of information online.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 13th Jun 19, 8:31 AM
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    onomatopoeia99
    Realistically, though, they don't do this.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    Indeed, it is unlikely that they would have the required level of evidence to satsify the court that the order should be granted so they would just be wasting money on lawyers and court fees.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 13th Jun 19, 9:12 AM
    • 5,746 Posts
    • 2,576 Thanks
    brewerdave
    I dont know if this is how they do it but i assumed they just cross check IP addresses with service providers to get physical addresses and then cross check that with their database of properties that have paid for a licence.

    And no they dont expect everyone with a device capable of accessing online content to have a licence. They expect anyone who uses their licence services to have one.
    Originally posted by spadoosh

    As more and more people install VPN apps on their devices, it'll be nigh on impossible to tie an IP address to a physical address.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 13th Jun 19, 9:17 AM
    • 5,746 Posts
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    brewerdave
    There HAS to be a better way of funding the BBC, rather than the current King Canute approach of the Govt./BBC.

    Once Sky start serving all their offerings via internet rather than satellite dish, it'll be ridiculously easy (for some) to avoid detection ie no dish ,no aerial....................
    • roddydogs
    • By roddydogs 13th Jun 19, 9:31 AM
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    roddydogs
    In other words how can I get away with not getting a licence.
    • gabriel1980
    • By gabriel1980 13th Jun 19, 9:41 AM
    • 275 Posts
    • 501 Thanks
    gabriel1980
    To clarify, I'M not trying to get away without paying a TV license as I have a TV and do watch BBC channels sometimes. I'm more interested in how the BBC enforces their license as my mum (over 75) is soon going to have to start paying and she doesn't have much disposable income. She does use iPlayer a lot.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 13th Jun 19, 9:53 AM
    • 13,401 Posts
    • 16,169 Thanks
    Cornucopia
    To clarify, I'M not trying to get away without paying a TV license as I have a TV and do watch BBC channels sometimes. I'm more interested in how the BBC enforces their license as my mum (over 75) is soon going to have to start paying and she doesn't have much disposable income. She does use iPlayer a lot.
    Originally posted by gabriel1980
    If it's worth the hassle (maybe for a few specific programs), she could download her iPlayer programs at a Licensed address, and then watch them later at home without needing a Licence.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 13th Jun 19, 2:54 PM
    • 5,854 Posts
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    onomatopoeia99
    There HAS to be a better way of funding the BBC, rather than the current King Canute approach of the Govt./BBC.
    Originally posted by brewerdave
    Danish "media licence" method. If you have a device capable of watching TV, you have to pay for the licence. Such devices include 3G smartphones, computers with a broadband connection, TVs etc.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 13th Jun 19, 3:20 PM
    • 5,746 Posts
    • 2,576 Thanks
    brewerdave
    Danish "media licence" method. If you have a device capable of watching TV, you have to pay for the licence. Such devices include 3G smartphones, computers with a broadband connection, TVs etc.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99

    I'd read something about the Danish system. But as far as I can see, it has the same basic problems as our disfunctional system ....and appears to be about twice as much as ours
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 13th Jun 19, 3:25 PM
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    • 16,169 Thanks
    Cornucopia
    We hear a lot about other countries having TV Licences, but apart from Ireland (where An Post enforcers are extremely unpopular), you rarely hear anything about how enforcement actually works in practice.

    In countries that have the same European Charter of Human Rights, just how do they get around the Right to Privacy (or do they fudge it, like we do)?
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
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