Pay per view? Don't think so...

Well, well, here's a surprise. Just when we thought the BBC must have run out of ways to bore and infuriate us, they find another.

Apparently, the BBC have decided that they don't gouge enough money from black 'n' white telly-watching pensioners, or from fifty inch plasma-watching benefit claimants, to pay both Jonathan Ross and Chris Evans the tens of millions they so richly deserve.

No. They need more money to pour into those ever-open motor mouths. They want people looking at the Internet to cough up too. For fuck's sake.

So, they've decided that a TV licence (145 quid, please) is legally required if anyone watches TV programmes online at the same time as they are shown on television. What? Yes.

And if we're doing this at work - during the World Cup, for example - and the Dimbleby Tax hasn't been paid, the employer may be held liable and fined up to £1,000.

Oh BBC, do fuck off, would you?

But they won't: they're really keen to get their sweaty hands on this extra money. The authorities which govern TV licensing have said:

"..officers will be out patrolling during the World Cup, visiting business premises identified as unlicensed".

Yeah? On who's authority are you going to bust into our offices in the middle of the working day, eh? We've got a lot of confidential data on our systems, and we're not going to have some jumped up traffic warden scrolling up 'n' down looking at it.

We don't allow anyone unauthorised access to our computers, and that includes you, BBC 'officers'. So why don't you get in your little vans, and fuck off back to Shepherd's Bush, eh? Can't you see we're watching the footie?

Jon Shaw, TV Licensing spokesman, said:

“Some managers might assume if they don't have a TV in the building, they don't need to worry, but the rise of online TV means many more businesses need to be covered by a TV licence. We'd rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk a court case and a fine.”

Yeah? Here's a message for you, Mr Shaw:

Fuck. Right. Off.



JuliaM said...

They have no power of entry, so the only people who will be caught out by this will be the idiots that cringlingly obey anyone they feel is in 'authority'.

MatGB said...

Note, it's not the BBC. It's "TV Licensing", a wholly owned subsidiary of Crapita, who subcontract the collection, and IIRC are appointed by the Govt without any say from the BBC.

Doesn't change it from being a stupid thing, but it also doesn't stop it from being the law, regardless of stupidity of that law.

SadButMadLad said...

If you watch on a laptop and have a license at home then you are covered.
"Any device powered solely by its own internal batteries (i.e. it is not connected to an aerial or plugged into the mains). Your main home’s TV Licence will cover this."

The problem will occur if broadcast is watched on a desktop PC, in which case it's the business' problem even though they might not know which staff member is watching via iPlayer, 4OD, ITVPlayer (important bit is Live broadcase, not catch up). It would be very difficult to find and prosecute such cases as TV license enforcers don't have the power of entry, no matter how much they say they do. They need a court order.

If the business gets in a TV to allow staff to watch then that is a slightly different issue as the business is actively making the facility available and will definately need a license. Hard to find such a case in an office, but a garage is a different case.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

As JuliaM says, TV Licensing (Capita) have no power of entry without getting a warrant from the courts and then they must have proof.

Plus to stop the salesmen harassing you, you can withdraw their right of implied access with a simple letter or notice outside your house.

The concept of having a TV tax is running out of time. I got rid of my licence ages ago but I don't watch live broadcast anyway. And if I did use iPlayer or the equivalent to watch a live broadcast then there's no way they can stop me - I have a mixture of Dell LCD monitors and plasmas around the house with no tuners and everything is streamed from my servers on the Gigabit network around the house (each room has an ethernet port). I can watch the same streamed bluray movie in my kitchen while cooking, upstairs in the bedroom, in the office or in the living room.

And I watch what I watch, when I want to - it's a Libertarian's dream come true :)

If you're a geek like me you can have this now, the rest of you will have to wait until you can buy these things from Dixons and Currys.

It's the way media is changing and the BBC is on borrowed time as a state funded broadcaster.

By cancelling your TV licence you can make this happen a little quicker than Mark Thompson is anticipating.

Anonymous said...

Tv Licensing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation which employs Crapita to run their theft operation.

They have no more power of entry than an Asda employee has. Never phone them, never speak to them, never argue with them just shut the door in their faces.

As Julia said remove implied right of access with a very simple template letter you can find online.

The easiest way I have found to deal with this state sponsored theft is to ignore them and burn all their letters when they arrive.

Mrs Rigby said...

Hmm. Looking at the report it says "TV licence is legally required if anyone watches TV programmes at the same time as they are shown on television"

I'm sure somebody in a pub will manage to find a way round that little rule.

The BBC doesn't seem to be working too hard to make itself popular just now, does it? You'd think they'd be trying to be more user-friendly, because apparently there's a TV Tax review in 2012 (from a comment left at my place)

Anonymous said...

Hold on hold on. What about if the computers are owned by the Government in the first instance ie any of the public Services, civil service etc. Can they commit an offence against themselves ????

microdave said...

"at the same time as they are shown on television."

Since there is always a buffering delay when watching online I would say that it's not "live", any more than using something like a Sky+ box to catch up.

It's either live, or it's not...

Anonymous said...

There's one of TVLicensing's very un-threatening letters hanging up in the kitchen in the office.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr C Furious

I received yesterday threatening letter number three from those nice people at the TV Leecensing Centre in an envelope marked 'ACTION REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY'.

It is bordered in red and has OFFICIAL WARNING stamped in big unfriendly letters across the top.

I am certain there is a law against sending threatening letters by the Royal Mails.

Secondly, I do not recall ever authorising any agent of the BBC to instruct me to do anything. Ever.

Apparently, they think I have to tell them that I do not require a licence, in writing or online. They seem unable to work it out for themselves that if I do not have a licence it is because I do not need one.

Forcing me to do something smacks of slavery. Those nice people in the previous government were working on a new anti-slavery law specifically aimed at stopping 'vulnerable' people from being coerced into doing things against their will.

Where government (including its agents and subsidiaries) is concerned we are all vulnerable, therefore any attempt by government or its subsidiaries or agents to force anyone to do anything would be tantamount to slavery under their proposed legislation.

I don't think it made it to the statute book.



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