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Will decriminalising non-payment of the TV license fee lead to an increase in prosecutions?

It's going nowhere, it was always about possession of a device (television) capable of displaying broadcast channels and content. Whether you watch the BBC or not is neither here nor there.
It is not about possession of devices (television) at all. I could have a thousand TV sets connected to a thousand aerials/dishes with a thousand set-top boxes and a thousand PV recorders along with a whole bundle of computers, phones, tablets & consoles etc all capable of receiving and/recording live tv and iPlayer in my house.

If I watch or record live tv on any channel whatsoever from any broadcaster whatsoever or watch or record any iPlayer content on just one of them I need a licence. If I watch or record live tv/iPlayer on none of them, I do not need a licence.
A licence is not needed to own, have or operate any TV receiving device. The licence simply permits the viewing/recording of live tv or any iPlayer content at the licensed address.

Clearly, possession of kit may tip the balance of probabilities in favour of the prosecutor but the reality is of is that without a confession or without being caught viewing/recording live tv/iPlayer red handed, there is no prosecution.



Technically you needed (maybe still need, I have not checked to see if this has changed recently) a license for a public band radio receiver but they just didn't/don't bother with that bit.
Radio licences were abolished in 1971.

Radio Licences were required from around 1920 but included TV until 1946 when TV licences were introduced. Thereafter, TV licences included the radio but for those who only ever listened to a radio, a radio specific licence was needed.

Oddly, No licence is needed to listen to radio channels on BBC iPlayer.
 
a valid argument before they invented cable and satellite TV

I guess that has morphed into the argument that Sky and Virgin deliver BBC program to all subscribers. I am not sure about other satellite providers so maybe if you can limit your reception to them and also not use a device that is capable by design of receiving BBC content then you might have a chance.

Perhaps they have updated the legal wording on such matters but I wouldn't be surprised if the original catch all statements are still in place and still cover as needed, that is what catch all is for of course.
 
It will go like the French; technically, you can opt out of a TV license fee but they make you jump through bureaucratic hoops to do so and it's easier to just pay the fee.
 
I guess that has morphed into the argument that Sky and Virgin deliver BBC program to all subscribers. I am not sure about other satellite providers so maybe if you can limit your reception to them and also not use a device that is capable by design of receiving BBC content then you might have a chance.

Perhaps they have updated the legal wording on such matters but I wouldn't be surprised if the original catch all statements are still in place and still cover as needed, that is what catch all is for of course.
Again, not correct with the idea that avoiding anything BBC eliminates the need for a licence

From TV Licensing:

The requirement to hold a TV Licence and to pay a fee for it is mandated by law under the Communications Act 2003 and Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 (as amended).​
It is an offence to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on any channel and on any broadcast platform (terrestrial, satellite, cable and the internet) or download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer without a valid TV Licence.
 
It will go like the French; technically, you can opt out of a TV license fee but they make you jump through bureaucratic hoops to do so and it's easier to just pay the fee.
Or like the Germans and it becomes a hypothecated part of council tax & you can't opt out at all
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Again, not correct with the idea that avoiding anything BBC eliminates the need for a licence

From TV Licensing:

The requirement to hold a TV Licence and to pay a fee for it is mandated by law under the Communications Act 2003 and Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 (as amended).​
It is an offence to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on any channel and on any broadcast platform (terrestrial, satellite, cable and the internet) or download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer without a valid TV Licence.
I filled in the back of the license demand and returned it with no payment and no follow up
 
I filled in the back of the license demand and returned it with no payment and no follow up
That is entirely down to the vagaries of Capita T/a TV Licensing. If you say you don't need a licence and they choose to take that at face value - all to the good. Their action or inaction doesn't change the fact that an offence is committed if no licence is held when a licence is legally mandated.

TV Licensing currently has the power to 'investigate' your (address's) licence-free status at any time they choose to do so in the future. No doubt they will although it will probably just be a letter asking if you still don't need a licence.
 
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ugly

LE
Moderator
TV Licensing currently has the power to 'investigate' your (address's) licence-free status at any time they choose to do so in the future. No doubt they will although it will probably just be a letter asking if you still don't need a licence.
They will get the same response
 
Clearly, possession of kit may tip the balance of probabilities in favour of the prosecutor but the reality is of is that without a confession or without being caught viewing/recording live tv/iPlayer red handed, there is no prosecution.

Which would remain exactly the same should it be decriminalised. The level of Burden of proof is irrelevant.
 
Posted for entertainment value. Best practice is DO NOT SPEAK TO THE FECKERS. Zero information. They are powerless.

That blokes just an antagonistic dick. Must be an ARRSEr, looks like Bravo_Bravo
 
How does that work then? Not sure you thought that though... The offence is viewing live TV rather than owning a TV.

It used to be the TV receiver that was licensed - remember how television retailers and rental companies used to be compelled to provide TV Licensing the name and address of the buyer of every telly sold or rented?

That was binned in 2013 because every Tom, Dick & Harriet had computers, phones, tablets, PVRs, consoles etc capable of receiving live TV.

My laptop and a bfo monitor make a good viewing device... neither is a TV.
Live TV you say. Now perhaps you want to watch, say, the 6 o'clock news. On our TV, if we turn it on at, say, 5 past 6, we're given an option to either "watch it live" or "from the beginning". If we watch it "from the beginning", we're 5 minutes behind in time and thus not watching it live surely? Therefore no license required?
 
Live TV you say. Now perhaps you want to watch, say, the 6 o'clock news. On our TV, if we turn it on at, say, 5 past 6, we're given an option to either "watch it live" or "from the beginning". If we watch it "from the beginning", we're 5 minutes behind in time and thus not watching it live surely? Therefore no license required?
If your TV is recording the broadcast and playing it back a few minutes behind then that is recorded broadcast TV and you do need a licence
If your TV is picking up ITV Player when they make the earlier broadcast available then you don’t need a licence
 
Live TV you say. Now perhaps you want to watch, say, the 6 o'clock news. On our TV, if we turn it on at, say, 5 past 6, we're given an option to either "watch it live" or "from the beginning". If we watch it "from the beginning", we're 5 minutes behind in time and thus not watching it live surely? Therefore no license required?
Good luck with that one. (should it ever come to needing good luck with it).

If you are using some sort of time-shifting technology to pause, rewind, fast-forward and record programmes, this feed is still considered to be live and you will need a TV Licence.
 
This is what will make the TVL unenforceable i.e. time to obtain judgement and volume of cases.
Agreed. Plus, where Bailiffs do recover money, it is very often on the basis of £10 this week, £10 the next.
The whole system will quickly become v hard for the BBC to efficiently manage, as you suggest.
 
Live TV you say. Now perhaps you want to watch, say, the 6 o'clock news. On our TV, if we turn it on at, say, 5 past 6, we're given an option to either "watch it live" or "from the beginning". If we watch it "from the beginning", we're 5 minutes behind in time and thus not watching it live surely? Therefore no license required?

If it’s BBC you’ll revert to iPlayer and fall foul of the rules.
 
You are still watching it as it's being broadcast, which is the terminology used, presumably for that reason.
Pornhub it is then.
 
I'm sorry but since when has the Minigun been "forgotten?" I regularly see heli's either on their way in or out of the local camp during exercises with guns, various, in the doors some of which are clearly Mini's when there's a joint exercise ongoing involving NATO partners, particularly those of the Spam persuasion.
The subject matter expanded to include the cool and the crap when the things started to become available to him.
 

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